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The Lowells of Massachusetts

  • First Religious Society 26 Pleasant Street Newburyport, MA, 01950 United States (map)
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Nina Sankovitch's 2017 book The Lowells of Massachusetts has been praised as a "stirring saga" by the Wall Street Journal and a "powerful story of one of America's most extraordinary families" by the Washington Post.  The Lowells were a remarkable family, and Sankovitch’s book tells the story of their powerful dynasty, which had both nationwide impacts and local ties to Newburyport.  Join Sankovitch for an author talk on Sunday, March 11 at Newburyport's First Religious Society, a building with fitting historical ties to the Lowell family.

Lowells were settlers in the New World in the 1600s, revolutionaries creating a new nation in the 1700s, merchants and manufacturers building prosperity in the 1800s, and scientists and artists flourishing in the 1900s.  Locally, John Lowell served as the first pastor of the Third Parish of Newbury, which later became Newburyport’s First Religious Society, a Unitarian Universalist congregation now located on Pleasant St.  Lowell served the young parish for 42 years, until his death in 1767.

Though not without scoundrels and certainly no strangers to controversy, the Lowell family boasted some of the most astonishing individuals in America’s history: Percival Lowle, the patriarch who arrived in America in the seventeenth to plant the roots of the family tree; Reverend John Lowell, the preacher; Judge John Lowell, a member of the Continental Congress; Francis Cabot Lowell, manufacturer and, some say, founder of the Industrial Revolution in the US; James Russell Lowell, American Romantic poet; Lawrence Lowell, one of Harvard’s longest-serving and most controversial presidents; and Amy Lowell, the twentieth century poet who lived openly in a Boston Marriage with the actress Ada Dwyer Russell.

The Lowells realized the promise of America as the land of opportunity by uniting Puritan values of hard work, community service, and individual responsibility with a deep-seated optimism that became a well-known family trait. Long before the Kennedys put their stamp on Massachusetts, the Lowells claimed the bedrock.

Sunday, March 11 at 2:00pm, reception following
Newburyport First Religious Society, 26 Pleasant Street
Free and open to the public
Reservations recommended due to limited seating; contact or 978-462-2681

Earlier Event: December 10
Newburyport in WWII
Later Event: March 29
The Smuttynose Murders