Rep. Abbott Lawrence

Is your surname Lawrence?

Research the Lawrence family

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Rep. Abbott Lawrence

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Groton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States
Death: August 18, 1855 (62)
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
Place of Burial: Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Maj. Samuel Lawrence and Susanna Lawrence
Husband of Katherine Lawrence
Father of Annie Bigelow Rotch; James Lawrence; John Abbott Lawrence; Col. Timothy Bigelow Lawrence, USA; Abbott Bigelow Lawrence, Jr. and 2 others
Brother of Luther Lawrence; William Lawrence; Amos Lawrence; Susan Lawrence; Mary Woodbury and 2 others

Occupation: Businessman, Politician, and Philanthropist, and Founder of Lawrence, Massachusetts, Minister to Great Britain
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Rep. Abbott Lawrence

Abbott Lawrence was a prominent American businessman, politician, and philanthropist. He founded Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Born in Groton, Massachusetts, the son of Revolutionary War officer Samuel Lawrence, Abbott Lawrence attended Groton Academy, (now Lawrence Academy at Groton.) Upon his graduation in 1808, Lawrence became an apprentice to his brother, Amos. Soon the Lawrences formed a partnership, specializing in imports from Britain and China, and later expanded their interests to textile manufacturing. They became extraordinarily wealthy. Many cite the Lawrence brothers as the founders of New England's influential textile industry.

In the 1820s, Lawrence became a prominent public figure--a vocal supporter of railroad construction for economic benefit, a very controversial stance at the time. In 1834, Lawrence was elected to the 24th Congress, as a Whig from Massachusetts. He did not run for renomination to the 25th Congress, but was re-elected to the 26th Congress. In 1842, he was appointed commissioner to settle the Northeastern Boundary Dispute between Canada and the United States.

In 1848, Lawrence was an unsuccessful candidate for the vice-presidency on the Whig ticket, headed by Zachary Taylor. With Taylor's presidential victory, he offered Lawrence a choice of administrative positions. After rejecting a cabinet appointment, Lawrence chose the post of minister to Great Britain. He filled that position with great distinction, and was involved in the negotiations of the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty. He resigned in 1852, and returned to the United States to join the presidential campaign of Gen. Winfield Scott; however, he soon grew dissatisfied with the Whig stand on slavery, and estranged himself from the party.

Lawrence was active in Boston's Unitarian Church. He actively promoted education for lower-class citizens, and donated money to various causes. He supported Lawrence Academy, affordable housing in Boston, and the Boston Public Library. He also provided funds to establish the Lawrence Scientific School at Harvard College. He died in Boston on August 18, 1855, aged 62, and was interred in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

His nephew, Amos Adams Lawrence is also well-known.

view all 11

Rep. Abbott Lawrence's Timeline

1792
December 16, 1792
Groton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States
1820
April 28, 1820
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
1821
December 6, 1821
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
1824
April 16, 1824
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
1825
June 11, 1825
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
1826
November 22, 1826
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
1828
April 9, 1828
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
1832
February 21, 1832
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
1855
August 18, 1855
Age 62
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States