Lowell, A. Lawrence (Abbott Lawrence), 1856-1943

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1856-12-13
Death 1943-01-06
Americans
English

Biographical notes:

Nicola Sacco (1891-1927) and Bartolomeo Vanzetti (1888-1927) were Italian immigrants who were tried and executed for robbery and murder of payroll guards Frederick Albert Parmenter and Alessandro Berardelli. The case of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Sacco and Vanzetti quickly became one of America's most complicated and notorious political trials. They were found guilty on July 14, 1921, but the legal struggle to save them extended until 1927. By April 9, 1927, all appeals in the Massachusetts courts had failed and the men were sentenced to death. Alvan T. Fuller, the governor of Massachusetts, appointed a three person advisory committee to look into the case. The committe was known as the "Lowell Commission," so-called because the most prominent member was A. Lawrence Lowell, president of Harvard University. Other members of the commitee were Judge Robert A. Grant and Massachusetts Institute of Technology president Samuel Stratton. In its report of July 27, 1927, the committee decided that clemency was not warranted and the governor refused to commute the sentences. Sacco and Vanzetti were executed on August 23, 1927.

From the description of Papers concerning the Sacco and Vanzetti case, 1921-1927. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 79458327

Abbott Lawrence Lowell served as President of Harvard University from 1909 to 1933. Educated at Harvard (A.B., 1877, LL.B., 1880).

From the description of Papers of Abbott Lawrence Lowell, 1889-1958 (inclusive), 1889-1943 (bulk). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 76972565

From the description of Papers of Abbott Lawrence Lowell, 1889-1958 (inclusive), 1889-1943 (bulk). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 76972564

Abbott Lawrence Lowell was a lawyer, government scholar, president of Harvard University, and the chairman of the executive committee of the League to Enforce Peace. The League was organized to encourage support for the United States to join the League of Nations. This material was collected by Lowell for his work with this and other peace organizations.

From the description of Abbott Lawrence Lowell peace papers, ca. 1913-1933. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 612820116

A. Lawrence Lowell was President of Harvard University 1909-1933.

From the description of Documents written by A. Lawrence Lowell in connection with the Harvard Tercentenary, 1936. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 77063915

A. Lawrence Lowell was President of Harvard University from 1909 to 1933.

Hugo Munsterberg (1863-1916) was a professor of Professor of Psychology at Harvard from 1892 to 1916. He was outspoken on behalf of Germany, which caused serious problems for him when war broke out in 1914. He died in the month following this letter's writing.

From the description of Letter from A. Lawrence Lowell to Alfred C. Lane of Tufts University regarding Professor Hugo Munsterberg and academic freedom, November 2, 1916. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 77067935

On April 15, 1920, Frederick Albert Parmenter (1874-1920) and Alessandro Berardelli (d.1920) carried a factory payroll of $15,776 through the main street of South Braintree, Massachusetts, when two men shot at them. The gunmen took the money and ran away with a gang of possibly four or five. Both payroll guards were left mortally wounded. Two Italian immigrant anarchists, Nicola Sacco (1891-1927) and Bartolomeo Vanzetti (1888-1927), fell into a police trap set for another suspect in this crime. They were held, indicted, and eventually went to trial for robbery and murder. The trial was held at Dedham, in the Superior Court of Massachusetts for Norfolk County, May 31-July 14, 1921. This case quickly became one of America's most complicated and notorious political trials. On July 14, 1921, the two men were found guilty of robbery and murder, but the legal struggle to save them extended until 1927.

By April 9, 1927, all appeals in the Massachusetts courts had failed and the men were sentenced to death. Great national and international pressure was brought on Alvan T. Fuller, the governor of Massachusetts, to consider the question of executive clemency for the two men. Fuller appointed a three person advisory committee, the "Lowell Commission," so-called because the most prominent member was A. Lawrence Lowell, president of Harvard University. Other members of the committee were Judge Robert A. Grant and Massachusetts Institute of Technology president Samuel Stratton. In its report of July 27, 1927, the committee decided that clemency was not warranted and the governor refused to commute the sentences. Sacco and Vanzetti were executed on August 23, 1927.

On August 23, 1977, Michael S. Dukakis, Governor of Massachusetts, issued a proclamation that did not pardon Sacco and Vanzetti but declared "that any stigma and disgrace should be forever removed from the names of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, from the names of their families and descendants..."

From the guide to the Papers concerning the Sacco and Vanzetti case, 1921-1927., (Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)

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Subjects:

  • World War, 1914-1918--Peace
  • Children--Legal status, laws, etc
  • Unemployment insurance
  • Academic freedom
  • Peace movements
  • Trials (murder)
  • Sacco--Vanzetti Trial, Dedham, Mass., 1921
  • Anarchism--History

Occupations:

  • Collector

Places:

  • Europe (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Manchuria (China) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Massachusetts--Dedham (as recorded)
  • Massachusetts--Cambridge (as recorded)
  • Europe (as recorded)
  • Manchuria (China) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Europe (as recorded)
  • Manchuria (China) (as recorded)