Essays of William Graham Sumner - Vol. 1

By William Graham Sumner; Albert Galloway Keller et al. | Go to book overview

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF
WILLIAM GRAHAM SUMNER1

I was born at Paterson, N. J., October 30, 1840. My father, Thomas Sumner, was born at Walton-le-Dale, Lancashire, England, May 6, 1808. He came to the United States in 1836. My mother was Sarah Graham. She was born in Oldham, England, in 1819, and was brought to the United States by her parents in 1825. She died when I was eight years old. This is about all I know of my ancestry. My father told me that he had seen his own great-grandfather, who was a weaver in Lancashire. They were all artisans and members of the wages class. It is safe to say that I am the first of them who ever learned Latin and algebra. My grandfather had a good trade, which was ruined by machinery. On account of this family disaster, my father was in every respect a self-educated man, and was obliged to come to America. His principles and habits of life were the best possible. His knowledge was wide, and his judgment excellent. He belonged to the class of men, of whom Caleb Garth in Middlemarch is the type. In early life I accepted, from books and other people, some views and opinions which differed from his. At the present time, in regard to those matters, I hold with him and not with the others.

In the year after I was born my father went prospecting through Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York. He came back convinced that, if a man would live as poorly and educate his children as badly in the East as he would

____________________
1
In A History of the Class of 1863, Yale College, New Haven, Tuttle, Morehouse and Taylor Co., 1905.

-3-

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Essays of William Graham Sumner - Vol. 1
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • How Sumner Impressed a Graduate Student Who Never Met Him xv
  • Autobiographical Sketch of William Graham Sumner 3
  • The Teacher's Unconscious Success 6
  • Purposes and Consequences 11
  • Discipline 20
  • Integrity in Education 36
  • The Scientific Attitude of Mind 43
  • Religion and the Mores 55
  • The Mores of the Present and the Future 73
  • The American Code 89
  • The Absurd Effort to Make the World Over 91
  • The Abolition of Poverty 107
  • Foreword to "Lynch-Law" 112
  • Witchcraft 114
  • War 136
  • Earth Hunger or the Philosophy of Land Grabbing 174
  • The Bequests of the Nineteenth Century to the Twentieth 208
  • The Family and Social Change 236
  • Modern Marriage 255
  • Is Liberty a Lost Blessing? 285
  • Who is Free? is It the Savage? 290
  • Liberty and Responsibility 310
  • Rights 358
  • Some Natural Rights 363
  • Some Points in the New Social Creed 369
  • An Examination of a Noble Sentiment 374
  • The Banquet of Life 379
  • The Boon of Nature 384
  • Land Monopoly 390
  • A Group of Natural Monopolies 396
  • Another Chapter on Monopoly 400
  • The Family Monopoly 405
  • The Family and Property 410
  • Equality 421
  • The Demand for Men 424
  • The Significance of the Demand for Men 430
  • What the "Social Question" Is 435
  • What Emancipates 442
  • Power and Progress 448
  • Consequences of Increased Social Power 454
  • Who Win by Progress? 460
  • The Forgotten Man 466
  • A Parable 497
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