Charles Sumner

#103865
Most Popular
Boost
Birthday
6, 1811
Birthplace
Massachusetts
Death Date
Mar 11, 1874 (63)
Birth Sign
Capricorn
Birthday
6, 1811
Birthplace
Massachusetts
Death Date
Mar 11, 1874 (63)

About

From 1851 until 1874, this Civil War-era Radical Republican leader served his home state of Massachusetts as a United States Senator. Remembered for his fervent, Reconstruction-era advocacy of equal rights for those freed from slavery, he was also a passionate abolitionist during the Antebellum period.

Before Fame

He earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard and subsequently practiced law in Boston.

Trivia

He once suffered a near-fatal beating on the floor of the Senate by an infuriated South Carolina Representative. He counted among his friends (and, later, pallbearers) literary luminaries Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Family Life

The son of an attorney and abolitionist father, he spent his youth in Boston, Massachusetts. His brief, unhappy marriage to Alice Mason Hooper ended in divorce in 1873.

Associated With

Though Sumner objected to President Abraham Lincoln's Civil War-era treatment of the South, which he regarded as not radical enough, he was an important foreign affairs adviser to Lincoln. Most importantly, he helped Lincoln cultivate a relationship with the French and English that brought those countries to the aid of the Union, rather than the Confederacy, during the Civil War.