1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Lawrence, Amos Adams
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Lawrence, Amos Adams
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LAWRENCE, AMOS ADAMS (1814-1886), American philanthropist, son of Amos Lawrence, was born in Groton, Massachusetts, U.S.A., on the 31st of July 1814. He graduated at Harvard in 1835, went into business in Lowell, and in 1837 established in Boston his own counting-house, which from 1843 to 1858 was the firm of Lawrence & Mason, and which was a selling agent for the Cocheco mills of Dover, New Hampshire, and for other textile factories. Lawrence established a hosiery and knitting mill at Ipswich — the first of importance in the country — and was a director in many large corporations. He was greatly interested in the claims of Eleazer Williams of Green Bay, Wisconsin, and through loans to this “lost dauphin” came into possession of much land in Wisconsin; in 1849 he founded at Appleton, Wisconsin, a school named in his honour Lawrence university (now Lawrence college). He also contributed to funds for the colonization of free negroes in Liberia. In 1854 he became treasurer of the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company (reorganized in 1855 as the New England Emigrant Aid Company), which sent 1300 settlers to Kansas, where the city of Lawrence was named in his honour. He contributed personally for the famous Sharp rifles, which, packed as “books” and “primers,” were shipped to Kansas and afterwards came into the hands of John Brown, who had been a protégé of Lawrence. During the contest in Kansas, Lawrence wrote frequently to President Pierce (his mother's nephew) in behalf of the free-state settlers; and when John Brown was arrested he appealed to the governor of Virginia to secure for him a lawful trial. On Robinson and others in Kansas he repeatedly urged the necessity of offering no armed resistance to the Federal government; and he deplored Brown's fanaticism. In 1858 and in 1860 he was the Whig candidate for governor of Massachusetts. Till the very outbreak of the Civil War he was a “law and order” man, and he did his best to secure the adoption of the Crittenden compromise; but he took an active part in drilling troops, and in 1862 he raised a battalion of cavalry which became the 2nd Massachusetts Regiment of Cavalry, of which Charles Russell Lowell was colonel. Lawrence was a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church and built (1873-1880) Lawrence hall, Cambridge, for the Episcopal theological school, of which he was treasurer. In 1857-1862 he was treasurer of Harvard college, and in 1879-1885 was an overseer. He died in Nahant, Mass., on the 22nd of August 1886.
See William Lawrence, Life of Amos A. Lawrence, with Extracts from his Diary and Correspondence (Boston, 1888).
His son, William Lawrence (1850- ), graduated in 1871 at Harvard, and in 1875 at the Episcopal theological school, where, after being rector of Grace Church, Lawrence, Mass., in 1876-1884, he was professor of homiletics and natural theology in 1884-1893 and dean in 1888-1893. In 1893 he succeeded Phillips Brooks as Protestant Episcopal bishop of Massachusetts. He wrote A Life of Roger Wolcott, Governor of Massachusetts (1902).