The Charles Sumner statue sits on an island right across the street from Johnston Gate, gazing over locals, students, and visitors alike. When Charles Sumner, the ardent abolitionist, passed away from a heart attack in 1874, the entire city of Boston entered a state of mourning. In his eulogy, Sumner was memorialized as “a ripe scholar, a profound statesman, an honest, earnest defender in the darkest hour, as well as at mid-day of freedom, justice and right.” After his death, the Boston Art Committee looked to commemorate Sumner with a statue in his likeness, to be placed prominently in the recently constructed and now burgeoning Boston Public Garden. Towards this end, the Committee solicited designs for the statue from the greater community. They received countless submissions, including some from prominent architects of the day, before eventually settling on one which had been entered anonymously. The winner was a regal, seated version of Sumner, holding an open book in one hand and staring resolutely into the distance. Observers said it captured the great statesman`s thoughtful disposition.