Orator and Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner (1811-1874) was known for his deep commitment to the cause of civil rights and emerged as an antislavery leader in the late 1840s. The Harvard-educated lawyer had previously engaged in disarmament efforts and prison and school reforms. In 1849, in the Roberts case, Sumner argued for integrated public schools in Massachusetts. He also became active in political protests against Texas’s annexation and the Mexican War. In 1848, he joined with other disenchanted Whigs and Democrats to form the Free-Soil party, which opposed the extension of slavery into newly acquired territories.