Abbott and Amos Lawrence collection  1831-1885
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Biographical/Historical Note

Samuel Lawrence of Groton, Massachusetts, and his wife, Susanna Parker, had at least two sons: Amos and Abbott. Amos Lawrence was born in Groton on April 22, 1786, and worked as a store clerk until 1807, when he moved to Boston. He opened a dry goods store and was a successful merchant and factory owner. After his retirement in 1831, he became a prominent philanthropist. He died in Boston on December 31, 1852.

Amos Adams Lawrence , Amos's son, was born on July 31, 1814, and graduated from Harvard University in 1835. He was an investor and bank president, and supported efforts to ensure that Kansas became a free state. Lawrence served as Harvard University's treasurer from 1857-1860 and was twice nominated for the governorship of Massachusetts. Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, and the city of Lawrence, Kansas, are named for him. He died on August 22, 1886.

Abbott Lawrence , brother of the elder Amos Lawrence, was born in Groton on December 16, 1792, and worked as a clerk in Amos's store in Boston until 1814, when they formed a partnership. After his brother's retirement, Abbott invested in the textile industry, acted as a selling agent for cotton manufactories in Lowell, Massachusetts, served as president of the Essex Company, and provided the founding financial support for the Lawrence Scientific School at Harvard University. Lawrence was a member of the National Republican (later Whig) Party. He served in the United States House of Representatives (1835-1836 and 1839-1840) and as minister to Great Britain (1849-1852). He and his wife, Katherine Bigelow, married in 1819 and had seven children. Abbott Lawrence died on August 18, 1855.