Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Charles Pinckney Sumner


Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and Letters of Charles Sumner
(Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1877)

"A lawyer of Boston, high sheriff of Suffolk county from 1825 until his death."

[Oscar Fay Adams, A Dictionary of American Authors 368 (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1899)] [Adams has Sumner born in 1766 which is, most probably, a typographical error.]

"Sumner, Charles Pinckney . . . son of Major Job Sumner, a distinguished officer of the Revolutionary Army, was b[orn] at Milton, Mass., Jan. 20, 1776; graduated at Harvard College, 1796, and subsequently studied law under the guidance of Josiah Quincy; appointed High-Sheriff of the County of Suffolk, 1825, and retained this post by successive appointments until his resignation, a few days before his decease, which occurred April 24, 1839."

[S. Austin Allibone, 2 A Critical Dictionary of English Literature and British and American Authors 2302 (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincot & Co., 1874)(3 vols.)][In an "obituary notice" which appeared in the Law Reporter, May, 1839 we learn that Sumner's "rank as a general scholar, was not high, but he had a cultivated literary taste, and was something of a poet. On commencement day, his part was a poem on 'Time;' and while in college he published a poem entitled 'The Compass,' which had considerable merit. He studied law with the late Judge Minott, of this city, and after spending sometime in Georgia, he commenced the practice here. His success was not great as a lawyer, and he accepted the appointment of deputy of the sheriff. After serving in this capacity several years, he was appointed, on the resignation of Judge Hall, high sheriff of the country. He was a man of Roman firmness, of great integrity, and the fact of his remaining in office about twenty years, is evidence that he discharged his duties faithfully."]


Charles Pinckney Sumner, The Compass. A Poetical Performance, at the Literary Exhibition in September, MD,CC.XCV, at Harvard University, 24 (4) Magazine of History 11-19 (Tarrytown, New York, 1923)


Charles Pinckney Sumner, Eulogy on the Illustrious George Washington (Dedham, Massachusetts: Mann, 1800)


Charles Pinckney Sumner, A Letter on Speculative Free Masonry (Boston: J.Marsh, 1829)

____________________, The Water Waif, a Tale of Ancient New York (New York, Beadle and Adams, 1867)


Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and Letters of Charles Sumner (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1877)

Research Resources

Charles Pinckney Sumner Papers
Massachusetts Historical Society
Boston, Massachusetts

Charles Sumner
a son