Amos Lawrence (1786 - 1852)

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Birthplace: Groton, Massachusetts, USA
Death: Died in Boston, Essex, Massachusetts, USA
Occupation: Merchant and Philanthropist
Managed by: Michael Reid Delahunt, art teacher & lexicographer
Last Updated:

About Amos Lawrence

Amos Lawrence, (22 April 1786, Groton, Massachusetts – 31 December 1852, Boston, Massachusetts) was an American merchant and philanthropist. He was the son of Samuel Lawrence, a Revolutionary War officer, and the founder of Groton Academy (now Lawrence Academy at Groton), where Amos was educated.

In 1799, Lawrence became a clerk at a country store in Dunstable, Massachusetts. In 1804 he moved to Boston and founded a dry-goods mercantile, which became extraordinarily successful. In 1830, Lawrence established a cotton factory in Lowell, Massachusetts, and soon afterward became very ill. He devoted the rest of his life to philanthropy.

From 1831 until his death he gave over $639,000 (in 1840s dollars) to charitable causes. To Williams College, he gave nearly $40,000; to Groton Academy, which later changed its name to Lawrence Academy to honor both Amos and his brother, William Lawrence, he gave over $20,000; to Wabash College, Kenyon College, and the theological seminary at Bangor, Maine, he also gave sizable sums.

His private donations were innumerable--so great that several rooms in his house were used as offices to coordinate them. Among other things, Amos Lawrence donated libraries to academic institutions, established a children's hospital in Boston, and gave $10,000 for the completion of the Bunker Hill Monument (Lawrence's father had fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill).

At his death, his fortune was estimated at $8,100,000, making him one of the richest men in the United States.

Amos Lawrence's brother, Abbott Lawrence, founded Lawrence, Massachusetts. His son, Amos Adams Lawrence, founded the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, was responsible for the founding of Lawrence, Kansas (thus its name) through his work with the New England Emigrant Aid Company, and also helped found Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. His grandson, Bishop William Lawrence, was the longtime Episcopal bishop of Massachusetts. -------------------- Amos Lawrence, (22 April 1786, Groton, Massachusetts – 31 December 1852, Boston, Massachusetts) was an American merchant and philanthropist. He was the son of Samuel Lawrence, a Revolutionary War officer, and the founder of Groton Academy (now Lawrence Academy at Groton), where Amos was educated.

In 1799, Lawrence became a clerk at a country store in Dunstable, Massachusetts. In 1804 he moved to Boston and founded a dry-goods mercantile, which became extraordinarily successful. In 1830, Lawrence established a cotton factory in Lowell, Massachusetts, and soon afterward became very ill. He devoted the rest of his life to philanthropy.

From 1831 until his death he gave over $639,000 (in 1840s dollars) to charitable causes. To Williams College, he gave nearly $40,000; to Groton Academy, which later changed its name to Lawrence Academy to honor both Amos and his brother, William Lawrence, he gave over $20,000; to Wabash College, Kenyon College, and the theological seminary at Bangor, Maine, he also gave sizable sums.

His private donations were innumerable--so great that several rooms in his house were used as offices to coordinate them. Among other things, Amos Lawrence donated libraries to academic institutions, established a children's hospital in Boston, and gave $10,000 for the completion of the Bunker Hill Monument (Lawrence's father had fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill).

At his death, his fortune was estimated at $8,100,000, making him one of the richest men in the United States.

Amos Lawrence's brother, Abbott Lawrence, founded Lawrence, Massachusetts. His son, Amos Adams Lawrence, founded the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, was responsible for the founding of Lawrence, Kansas (thus its name) through his work with the New England Emigrant Aid Company, and also helped found Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. His grandson, Bishop William Lawrence, was the longtime Episcopal bishop of Massachusetts.

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Amos Lawrence's Timeline

1786
April 22, 1786
Groton, Massachusetts, USA
1814
July 31, 1814
Age 28
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
1852
December 31, 1852
Age 66
Boston, Essex, Massachusetts, USA
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