Friday, December 11, 2009

Beaten Down In the Senate - The Honorable Charles Pinckney Sumner of Massachusetts

A famous event occurred on May 22, 1856, when Preston Brooks, a member of Congress from South Carolina, went to the floor of the United States Senate and beat Massachusetts Senator Charles Pinckney Sumner senseless with a cane. It was in the aftermath of Senator Sumner's "The crime against Kansas," speech when Rep. Brooks took offense at the reference to his uncle, Senator Andrew Butler, and avenged the perceived insult.

The Brooks/Sumner incident was recently compared to Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina shouting to President Obama, "You lie." Another recent reference to Senator Sumner reminded this reader that Sumner held the seat also held by the late Senator Edward Kennedy (see list of Massachusetts Senators here).

Why is Senator Sumner on the Richmond blog? Because his great-grandmother was Hannah Richmond, daughter of Perez Richmond, and granddaughter of Silvester Richmond. One of my "Richmond" blog entries profiled another descendant of Perez Richmond. Silvester Richmond, Perez's father, married Elizabeth Rogers who was a Mayflower descendant. Silvester Richmond's father, Edward, and grandfather, John (the original Richmond immigrant to the United States) were also my ancestors.

Hannah Richmond (page 85 in the JBR book) married David Jacobs in 1759. Their son, also named David Jacobs, married Hannah Hersey, who was also a Mayflower descendant. Relief Jacobs, daughter of David & Hannah (Hersey) Jacobs married Charles Pinckney Sumner (Sr.) who was christened Job Sumner (his name was changed to Charles Pinckney Sumner) as was his father, Job Sumner. The Honorable Charles Pinckney Sumner was the son of Charles & Relief (Jacobs) Sumner. The genealogy of the Sumner side of the family can be found here. A biography of the young Charles Sumner can be found here.

Charles Pinckney Sumner (b. January 6, 1811), at the age of 55, married Alice Mason Hooper (1838-1913) in 1866, widow of William Sturgis Hooper and daughter of Jonathan Mason, as his first wife. It was a short, unhappy marriage that ended in divorce in May of 1873, shortly before Sumner's death on March 11, 1874. Alice had a daughter, Isabelle Wyman Hooper (b. 1859) by her first husband, William Hooper (Isabelle married Edward Balfour and lived in Scotland).

As seen by contemporary references to the Honorable Charles Pinckney Sumner, his legacy lives on in 2009.

No comments: