1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Sumner, William Graham

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SUMNER, WILLIAM GRAHAM (1840-1910), American economist, was born, of English parentage, in Paterson, New Jersey, on the 30th of October 1840. He was brought up in Hartford, Connecticut, graduated at Yale College in 1863, studied French and Hebrew in Geneva in 1863-1864 and divinity and history at Gottingen in 1864-1866, and in 1866-1869 was a tutor at Yale. He was ordained a priest of the Protestant Episcopal Church in 1869, was assistant rector of Calvary Church, New York City, and in 1870-1872 was rector of the Church of the Redeemer, Morristown, New Jersey. From 1872 to 1909, when he became professor emeritus, he was professor of political and social science at Yale. In 1909 he was president of ths American Sociological Society. He died at Englewood, New Jersey, on the 12th of April 1910.

He was notable especially as an opponent of protectionism, and was a great teacher. He wrote: History of American Currency (1874); Lectures on the History of Protection in the United States (1875) Life of Andrew Jackson (1882), in the “American Statesmen Series”; What Social Classes Owe to Each Other (1883); Collected Essays in Political and Social Sciences (1885); Protectionism (1885); Alexander Hamilton (1891), and Robert Morris (1891), in the “Makers of America Series”; The Financier and Finances of the American Revolution (2 vols., 1891); A History of Banking in the United States (1896); and Folkways: a Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores and Morals (1907), a valuable sociological summary.