Historical Images

ca. 1855

Print Department Collection

Boston Public Library

Original Record


A young Charles Sumner joined Robert Morris as co-counsel for Benjamin and Sarah Roberts’ case against the City of Boston. During the 1849 hearing in front of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Sumner gave a passionate argument about the injustice of school segregation as it defied the Massachusetts State Constitution. Sumner would later become a fiery abolitionist Massachusetts senator in the years leading to the Civil War.

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Smith Court Stories

Smith Court Stories is a collaborative project of the Museum of African American History and Boston African American National Historic Site – a unit of the National Parks of Boston.

The creators of Smith Court Stories acknowledge that Smith Court in Beacon Hill sits on the historical Massachusett tribe territories.