1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Lowell, Abbott Lawrence
LOWELL, ABBOTT LAWRENCE (1856–), American educationalist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts on the 13th of December 1856, the great-grandson of John Lowell, the “Columella of New England,” and on his mother’s side, a grandson of Abbott Lawrence. He graduated at Harvard College in 1877, with highest honours in mathematics; graduated at the Harvard Law School in 1880; and practised law in 1880–1897 in partnership with his cousin, Francis Cabot Lowell (b. 1855), with whom he wrote Transfer of Stock in Corporations (1884). In 1897 he became lecturer and in 1898 professor of government at Harvard, and in 1909 succeeded Charles William Eliot as president of the university. In the same year he was president of the American Political Science Association. In 1900 he had succeeded his father, Augustus Lowell (1830–1901), as financial head of the Lowell Institute of Boston. He wrote Essays on Government (1889), Governments and Parties in Continental Europe (2 vols., 1896), Colonial Civil Service (1900; with an account by H. Morse Stephens of the East India College at Haileybury), and The Government of England (2 vols., 1908).
His brother, Percival Lowell (1855–), the well-known astronomer, graduated at Harvard in 1876, lived much in Japan between 1883 and 1893, and in 1894 established at Flagstaff, Arizona, the Lowell Observatory, of whose Annals (from 1898) he was editor. In 1902 he became non-resident professor of astronomy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He wrote several books on the Far East, including Chosön (1885), The Soul of the Far East (1886), Noto, an Unexplored Corner of Japan (1891), and Occult Japan (1895), but he is best known for his studies of the planet Mars—he wrote Mars (1895), Mars and Its Canals (1907), and Mars, the Abode of Life (1908)—and his contention that the “canals” of Mars are a sign of life and civilization on that planet (see Mars). He published The Evolution of Worlds in 1909.