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William H. Sumner Correspondence

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 12 Apr 2010

Biographical History

William Hyslop Sumner (1780-1861) was a Massachusetts attorney, a member of the Massachusetts State Legislature from 1809-1819, and Adjutant General of the state. He served as aide-de-camp to Governor Caleb Strong and his successor, John Brooks.

His father, Increase Sumner (1746-1799) was the fifth governor of Massachusetts from 1797-1799.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The William H. Sumner Papers consist of correspondence, most of it social in nature and all incoming. The 1850s are most strongly represented, including numerous civil notes of invitation from British peers such as Lord Gage during Sumner's visit to London. Some of the earliest letters (such as one dated 1782 from Antigua in the West Indies) are addressed to his father Increase Sumner.

There are also a few official documents, including a souvenir ticket of admission to the State Apartments of Windsor Castle and the certificate appointing Sumner a Justice of the Peace.

Arrangement of the Collection

Letters are in chronological order. The few official documents are at the end.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Sumner, Increase, 1746-1799.
Sumner, William H. (William Hyslop), 1780-1861.


Lawyers -- Massachusetts.
Legislators -- Massachusetts.


Massachusetts -- History -- 19th century.
Massachusetts. -- Adjutant General's Office.

Genres and Forms




Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

William H. Sumner Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchase, 1969.

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