Solomon said: "Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand
before kings, He shall not stand before mean men." How true are those words; how often have we seen them demonstrated.
Abbott Lawrence, brother of Amos Lawrence, was born December 16, 1792, and was educated at the academy in Groton. At about sixteen years of age, he took the stage for Boston, with the princely sum of three dollars in his pocket. He began work in the store of his brother Amos, as just a clerk. After five years of faithful service he was made a partner, and the firm became A. & A. Lawrence.
The war of 1812 came on, and Abbott, who possessed less money than his brother, failed, but he was not disheartened. He applied to the government for
a position in the army, but before his application could be acted upon peace was declared.
After the war his brother Amos helped him, and once more they entered into
partnership, Abbott going to England to buy goods for the firm. About 1820 the
Lawrence brothers, with that enterprise which characterizes all great business
men, commenced manufacturing goods in America, instead of importing them from
the old world, and to the Lawrences is due no small credit, as the cities of
Lowell and Lawrence will testify. He was a member of the celebrated convention
at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, whose recommendations to Congress resulted in the tariff
act of 1828, which was so obnoxious to Calhoun and the Cotton States. In 1834
Mr. Lawrence was elected to Congress, where he did valuable service on the
Committee of Ways and Means. He declined re-election, but afterward was
persuaded to become a candidate and was again elected. By the advice of Daniel
Webster he was sent to England on the boundary question.
President Taylor offered him a seat in his Cabinet, but he declinedólater he
was sent to England, where he became a distinguished diplomat, and was recalled
only at his own request. At one time he lacked but six votes of being nominated
On the 18th of August, 1855, Abbott Lawrence died. Nearly every business place in Boston was closed - in fact, Boston was in mourning; the military companies were out on solemn parade, flags were placed at half-mast, and minute-guns were fired. Thus passed away one of the merchant princes of New England.