Amos Adams Lawrence

Is your surname Lawrence?

Research the Lawrence family

Amos Adams Lawrence's Geni Profile

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!

Share

Amos Adams Lawrence

Birthdate: (72)
Birthplace: Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
Death: August 22, 1886 (72)
Nahant, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States
Place of Burial: Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Amos Lawrence and Sarah Richards
Husband of Sarah Elizabeth Appleton
Father of Marianne Appleton Amory; Sarah Brooks; Amory Appleton Lawrence; Right Rev. Bishop William Lawrence; Susan Mason Loring and 2 others
Brother of William Richards Lawrence and Susanna Lawrence
Half brother of Mary Means Lawrence; Mary Means Lawrence and Robert Means Lawrence

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Amos Adams Lawrence

Amos Adams Lawrence (July 31, 1814 – August 22, 1886) was the son of famed philanthropist Amos Lawrence. He was educated at Groton Academy (now Lawrence Academy at Groton) and at Harvard College.

Born in Groton, Massachusetts, Amos Adams Lawrence was a key figure in the United States abolition movement in the years leading up to the Civil War. He contributed large amounts of capital to John Brown's abolitionism, and played a major role in the crucial border state of Kansas. (See Kansas-Nebraska Act.) There he financed the founding of the University of Kansas.

He also founded a college in Appleton, Wisconsin, which developed into Lawrence University. Lawrence also contributed large sums of money to Harvard and the Episcopal Theological School (now Episcopal Divinity School), in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Lawrence Academy, and the Groton School. Lawrence's farm outside of Boston became the campus for Boston College.

Amos Adams Lawrence is credited with founding an Episcopalian dynasty in Boston, Massachusetts, which prompted many Boston Brahmins to convert from Unitarianism.

Amos Adams Lawrence's son, William Lawrence, took an even more avid interest in the Episcopalian church, and became the long-time bishop of Massachusetts.


Amos Adams Lawrence, the son of famed philanthropist Amos Lawrence, was a key figure in the United States abolition movement in the years leading up to the Civil War, and instrumental in the establishment of the University of Kansas and Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Lawrence was born in Groton, Massachusetts or Boston and educated at Groton Academy (now Lawrence Academy at Groton) and Harvard College. He then entered business for himself as a commission merchant and eventually became owner of Ipswich Mills, the largest producer of knit goods in the country located in Ipswich, Massachusetts. In addition, he was a devout member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Boston, where he met and married his wife, Sarah Appleton (a relative of Samuel Appleton), as well as a trustee of Massachusetts General Hospital and president of the Young Men's Benevolent Society.

Lawrence was radicalized by living through the Anthony Burns affair in the spring of 1854: "[W]e went to bed one night old fashioned, conservative, Compromise Union Whigs & waked up stark mad Abolitionists." Lawrence became a key figure in the United States abolition movement in the years leading up to the Civil War, during which he contributed large amounts of capital to the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company and John Brown's abolitionism, played a major role in the crucial border state of Kansas (see Kansas-Nebraska Act), and also contributed to funds for the colonization of free negroes in Liberia. 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 Brown. During the contest in Kansas, Lawrence wrote frequently to President Franklin 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. He repeatedly urged the necessity of offering no armed resistance to the Federal government, and he deplored Brown's fanaticism. In 1858 and 1860 he was the Whig candidate for governor of Massachusetts. In 1862 he raised a battalion of cavalry which became the 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry, of which Charles Russell Lowell was colonel.

Lawrence financed the founding of the University of Kansas (in the town of Lawrence, named after him); founded in 1847 a college that evolved into Lawrence University upon 5,000 acres (20 km2) of land that he purchased in 1844 in the Fox River Valley, which became Appleton, Wisconsin (named for his father-in-law); and contributed large sums of money to Harvard and the Episcopal Theological School (now Episcopal Divinity School), in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Lawrence Academy, and the Groton School. His farm outside of Boston became the campus for Boston College. In 1857-1862 he was treasurer of Harvard College, and in 1879-1885 was an overseer. He died at his summer resort in Nahant, Massachusetts.

Amos Adams Lawrence is credited with founding an Episcopalian dynasty in Boston, Massachusetts, which prompted many Boston Brahmins to convert from Unitarianism. His son, William Lawrence, took an even more avid interest in the Episcopalian church, and became the long-time bishop of Massachusetts.

view all 11

Amos Adams Lawrence's Timeline

1814
July 31, 1814
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
1843
May 12, 1843
Age 28
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
1845
July 5, 1845
Age 30
1848
April 22, 1848
Age 33
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
1850
May 30, 1850
Age 35
Milton, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States
1852
February 4, 1852
Age 37
Brookline, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States
1855
November 21, 1855
Age 41
Brookline, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States
1858
June 8, 1858
Age 43
Boston, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States
1886
August 22, 1886
Age 72
Nahant, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States