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Abbott Lawrence, American philanthropist

Abbott Lawrence, American philanthropist

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Credit

ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Abbott Lawrence (1792-1855), American businessman and philanthropist. Lawrence was born in Groton, Massachusetts and was educated at the local academy. After graduating he was apprenticed to his brother's import business and soon became a full partner. They specialised in importing textiles, but Abbott decided it would be better to manufacture them in America. This made him extremely wealthy. He served as a politician for many years, but is best remembered for his philanthropy. He championed education for the lower classes, gave a substantial donation toward the founding of the Boston Public Library and endowed the Lawrence Scientific School at Harvard. From 1848-1852 he served as minister to Great Britain for the Taylor presidency.

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