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Lincoln's Cabinet: Charles Sumner

Political Science and Lincoln Junkies, rejoice! A treasure trove of information awaits you.

Secondary Resources


Charles Sumner and Lincoln could best be described as an unusual friendship formed on the strengths of their beliefs rather than on background; educated at Harvard, liberal, and a firebrand, Sumner believed in a strong central government, and in abolishing slavery. "Lincoln biographer David Donald wrote that with Sumner "the President developed bonds of personal and political friendship." According to Donald, "The relationship was difficult for both men, for there could scarcely have been too more different personalities. Handsome, Harvard-trained, and world-traveled, Sumner was the antithesis of the homely, self-educated President." (Lincoln and Friends)

Primary Resources

 Google Scholar, the Library of Congress, and the National Archives have primary resources available. A sample is listed below.

  1. Charles Sumner: A memoir and letters Vol I
  2. The Landmark of Freedom: speech of Hon. Charles Sumner against the repeal of the prohibtion of slavery north of the 36p0, in the Senate.
  3. The Barbarism of Slavery: speech on the bill for the admission of Kansas as a free state, June 4, 1860.



Political cartoon of the attack. Source

John L. Magee created the lithograph Southern Chivalry – Argument versus Club’' in 1856, depicting Preston Brooks' attack on Charles Sumner.