National Historical Publications & Records Commission

Selected Letters of Charles Sumner

Pomona College

Northeastern University Press

Additional information at for the microfilm edition and selected letters at

Charles Sumner (1811 –1874) was an American lawyer, politician, and senator from Massachusetts. A powerful orator, Sumner was a leader of the Radical Republicans in the United States Senate during the Civil War. During Reconstruction he fought to minimize the power of the ex-Confederates and guarantee equal rights to the Freedmen. His correspondence to fellow Republicans, other reformers, prominent writers, and leading European liberals reflects virtually all facets of intellectual and political life in the United States during the mid-19th century. The NHPRC also funded a microfilm edition of 26,000 letters from 200 repositories. 85 reels, 379-page guide.

Complete in two volumes


refer to caption


Charles Sumner daguerreotype, c. 1850. Courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art


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