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Edward Cummings was the son of Edward Norris and Lucretia Frances (Merrill) Cummings and was born at Colebrook, N. H., April 20, 1861. He received his A.B. at Harvard in 1883 and A.M. in 1885. Then followed three years of sociological study in Europe as the first incumbent of the Robert Treat Paine Fellowship in Social Science. The most significant episode in his study of European economic conditions and philanthropic agencies was his year’s residence at Toynbee Hall in East London, where Canon Barnett was doing his brave pioneering work. He came home to take up teaching at Harvard, first as instructor in economics and then (1893–1900) as Assistant Professor of sociology. During this period he was one of the editors of the Quarterly Journal of Economics.
He had long been attracted to the ministry and in 1900 he was ordained and became the assistant of Dr. Hale. The relations of the older and the younger man were most cordial and co-operative and when Dr. Hale died Mr. Cummings became his successor. In 1925 the church was merged with the historic First Church and Mr. Cummings became minister emeritus.
He was a lifelong servant of good causes, a lover of justice, of his country, and of mankind. He died on November 2, 1926.
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