SUMNER, Charles Allen

1835–1903

Biography

SUMNER, Charles Allen, a Representative from California; born in Great Barrington, Mass., on August 2, 1835; attended Trinity College, Hartford, Conn.; studied law; was admitted to the bar and engaged in patent practice; moved to California in 1856 and settled in San Francisco; editor of the Herald and Mirror in 1861; during the Civil War was appointed November 26, 1862, to be captain and assistant quartermaster of United States Volunteers, and served until his resignation on March 30, 1864; moved to Virginia City, Nev.; member of the State senate 1865-1868 and served as president pro tempore for one session; returned to San Francisco in 1868 and became editor of the Herald; was elected as a Democrat to the Forty-eighth Congress (March 4, 1883-March 3, 1885); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1884 to the Forty-ninth Congress; resumed the practice of law; died in San Francisco, Calif., January 31, 1903; interment in the George H. Thomas Post plot at the Presidio.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

California State Library
California History Room

Sacramento, CA
Papers: In the John Stanton Political Campaign Collection, 1860-2007, amount unknown. Persons represented Charles A. Sumner.

Columbia University
Rare Book and Manuscript Library

New York, NY
Papers: 3 letters (1891) in the Belmont family collection. Finding aid in repository.

Huntington Library

San Marino, CA
Papers: 1874, 1 letter. A letter from Charles A. Sumner to Adolph Heinrich written on July 27, 1874. In the letter, Sumner writes of the 1862 efforts of Jacob Beideman of "defending his large real estate property rights in this city by a newspaper," and describes the results. Sumner writes of the political efforts of his group: "We saved every homestead in the city" from what he calls "an organized party of scoundrels; chief among them were the newspaper manipulators."

University of Georgia
Special Collections Library

Athens, GA
Papers: 1871, 1 item. The collection consists of a letter from Governor Rufus B. Bullock to Charles A. Sumner dated Atlanta, Georgia, February 18, 1871. In the letter, Bullock urges the acceptance of Foster Blodgett as a duly elected U.S. Senator from Georgia; mentions criticisms of Blodgett; and discusses Blodgett's background, personal life, and political character.
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