Charles Sumner

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Charles Sumner
Daguerreotype of Senator Sumner, 1855
United States Senator
from Massachusetts
In office
April 24, 1851 – March 11, 1874
Preceded byRobert Rantoul, Jr.
Succeeded byWilliam B. Washburn
Personal details
Born(1811-01-06)January 6, 1811
Boston, Massachusetts, Massachusetts
DiedMarch 11, 1874(1874-03-11) (aged 63)
Washington, D.C.
Resting placeMount Auburn Cemetery
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Political partyRepublican (earlier Whig, Free Soil, Democrat)
Alice Hooper Sumner (m. 1866–1871)

Charles Sumner (January 6, 1811 – March 11, 1874) was an American politician, and lawyer. He was senator from Massachusetts from April 24, 1851 until his death.

Career[change | change source]

Sumner was the leader of the antislavery forces in Massachusetts. He was a leader of the Radical Republicans in the United States Senate during the American Civil War. He worked to destroy the Confederacy, free all the slaves and keep on good terms with Europe. During Reconstruction, he fought to minimize the power of the ex-Confederates and guarantee equal rights to the Freedmen.

Brook's attack[change | change source]

The attack of Charles Sumner, 1856

In 1856 Sumner made a speech against slavery and the Kansas–Nebraska Act. Sumner attacked many senators about bleeding Kansas and slavery including Senator Stephen A. Douglas and South Carolina's Andrew Butler. The Representative from South Carolina, Preston Brooks (Andrew Butler's nephew), became angry because he attacked his uncle. Brooks grabbed his cane and knocked Sumner onto the Senate floor.[1] Sumner had to stop his political career until he recovered two years later.

Personal life[change | change source]

Sumner was born on January 6, 1811 in Boston, Massachusetts.[2] He studied at Boston Latin School and at Harvard College. Sumner was married to Alice Hopper from 1866 until they divorced in 1873. They had no children. Sumner died on March 11, 1874 in Washington, D.C. from a heart attack, aged 63.

References[change | change source]

  1. William James Hoffer, The Caning of Charles Sumner: Honor, Idealism, and the Origins of the Civil War (2010) p. 62
  2. Long, William R. (August 8, 2005). "Charles Sumner (1811-74) - Three Essays on A Massachusetts Abolitionist". Archived from the original on 25 March 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2011.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Charles Sumner at Wikimedia Commons