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Civil War Albumen of General Samuel Lawrence 5th Mass. Left For Dead at First Battle of Bull Run
Item #: VF2770
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Wounded and left for dead at the opening days of the Great American conflict known as the Civil War, Brigadier General Samuel Crocker Lawrence of the 5th Mass. left his position as a banker and joined the fight. Col. Lawrence received a commission on 07/23/1860 and almost exactly one year later found himself near mortally wounded at the first battle of Bull Run on 07/21/1861. This Imperial albumen is in excellent condition with only minor staining to the bottom of the card stock. The reverse of the image identifies the soldier as Brigadier General Lawrence and listing all of his accomplishments of his War service. SAMUEL CROCKER LAWRENCE (November 22, 1832 – September 24, 1911), financier and manufacturer, was born in Medford, Massachusetts, son of Daniel and Elizabeth (nee Crocker) Lawrence. The Lawrence family is one of the oldest in the country and can be traced in England back to the 12th century. John Lawrence, of St. Albans, the first American ancestor of the family, came from England in the ship "Planter," in 1635 and settled in that year at Watertown, Mass. From him the line is traced through Enoch, Nathaniel, James, Lemuel, and Lemuel, Jr., who was Samuel's grandfather. He was educated in the public schools of his native town, and was graduated at Harvard University in the celebrated class of 1855, his classmates including Phillip Brooks, Alexander Agassiz, Frank P. Sanborn, Gen. R. S. Barlow, Edwin H Abbot, Robert Treat Paine, and Theodore Lyman. Soon after graduation he started business in Chicago, Illinois as a member of the banking firm of Bigelow & Lawrence. He had a natural taste for banking, and the firm in Chicago was successful from the first, but after two years he acceded to the repeated requests if his father to return to Medford and enter the Lawrence distillery.

This business had been established for one hundred and seventy years, and the distillery had had been in the hands of his family since 1824. The celebrated Medford Rum manufactured by it was famous all over the world for more than a century. Returning to Medford in 1858, he became a partner with his father and brother, under the firm name of Daniel Lawrence & Sons. He was the sole proprietor from 1867 to 1905, when he closed the distillery. He had always been interested in military affairs, and while still a student he joined the Massachusetts State militia. In 1855, he was commissioned lieutenant, and promotion thenceforth came rapidly to him until, in 1860, he became colonel of the fifth regiment, and brought it to a high degree of efficiency in drill and prepared it for active service. When the Civil War broke out the fifth and sixth regiments were the first to volunteer for service. His regiment distinguished itself at Bull Run, where Colonel Lawrence was wounded and left for dead on the field. Its men re-enlisted, and served through the war, and it was one of the last regiments mustered out of service. Colonel Lawrence was commissioned brigadier-general over volunteers in June 1862, and in the following year led the militia that suppressed the Boston draft riots. He resigned his commission in August 1864. Five years later he was elected commander of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, of which he was an active member up to the time of his death.

In 1875, General Lawrence became interested in railroad enterprises, and was prominently and effectively identified with several big railroad companies. He rendered special service to the old Easter Railroad Company in 1875, when he was elected its president. The company was then on the verge of bankruptcy and disruption of its valuable leased liens seemed imminent. Only a man of unusual energy, tact, personality and executive ability could possibly have kept it together, and this combination of qualities General Lawrence supplied. When the Eastern railroad was leased to the Boston & Maine Railroad in 1884, General Lawrence became a director of the joint corporation, and from 1893 to 1908 was an executive director of the Boston & Maine Railroad. He also took a prominent part in the second and successful reorganization of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fé railroad.

He was always keenly interested in the civic affairs of Medford, and did much for the welfare of the town. He was appointed trustee of the public library in 1868, and a commissioner of sinking funds in 1878, and held the position of chairman of both bodies until his death, but he persistently refused to accept any elective public office until the town was made a city in 1892, when he became its first mayor. His term of office was marked by phenomenal progress in municipal affairs, General Lawrence was a trustee and chairman of the Medford Public Library for forty-three years, and bought for it from his own funds hundreds of volumes and works of art. He spent over $500,000 in destroying the gypsy moth pest in Medford and in Middlesex county and saved Middlesex Fells to the public. He took an active part in securing legislation, state and national, for the suppression of this destructive insect pest and in disseminating information respecting it — the powerful spraying machines now in general use.
General Lawrence was connected with the Masonic Order as soon as he attained his majority, and became one of the most prominent Masons in the country. He was one of the fifty-seven men who brought about the union of the Scottish Rite Masonic bodies in 1867. He was a grand commander of the Knights Templar of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, 1894-1895; grand master of the Grand lodge of Massachusetts, 1880-1883; lieutenant grand commander of the Supreme Council, 33° Scottish Rite Masons, and since 1866 an active member and officer of the Supreme Council, thirty-third degree, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction. Among the many other Masonic bodies with which he was connected in different capacities are: Hiram Lodge of Arlington in 1853; Mount Hermon Lodge, Medford, since 1854; St. Paul's Royal Arch Chapter, Mystic Royal Arch Chapter in 1853; Boston Council, Royal and Select Masters; De Molay Commandery, K.T., Boston; Boston Commandery, K.T., since 1858; Joseph Warren Commandery, Boston; St. John's Commandery, Philadelphia; Apollo Commandery, Chicago; Lafayette Lodge of Perfection, Boston; Giles F. Yates Council of Princes of Jerusalem, Lawrence Chapter of Rose Croix; Mount Calvary Chapter of Rose Croix, Lowell; De Witt Clinton Consistory, Sutton Lodge of Perfection, Salem. He was extremely active in the interests of the order, and contributed his lime and money in many ways to strengthen and extend its influence. It was through his efforts that the big debt on the Masonic Temple in Boston was cleared away. It was he who started the charity funds of every Masonic body with which lie was connected, and it was his money that largely contributed to endow them permanently. In his will he left liberal legacies to the Grand Lodge of Masons, the Charity Funds of the Mystic Royal Arch Chapter, Medford; Medford Council, Royal and Select Masters, Boston Lafayette Lodge of Perfection, Lawrence Chapter Rose Croix, Worcester and Boston Commandery, Knights Templar, besides various sums to other Masonic bodies. He made a hobby of military histories and Masonic literature, and his Masonic library contained what is undoubtedly the most complete collection of that kind in the world.

General Lawrence also left $50,000 in his will to found scholarships at Harvard College, and left another $50,000 for the benefit of the Lawrence Light Guard of Medford, known as Company E, Fifth Regiment—his old command—for whose benefit he had also given an ample fund to trustees for the maintenance of the elegant armory building which he had previously erected for the Light Guards. He also left a substantial sum of money to Lawrence Academy and to the Universalist Church, Medford. Many general philanthropic and educational activities likewise profited during his lifetime from his lavish generosity. General Lawrence was a director and member of the executive committee of the Maine Central Railroad since 1875. He was furthermore a director of the St. Johnsbury & Lake Champlain Railroad, the Washington County Railway, and the Somerset Railway.

At the time of his death he was senior surviving trustee of the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., which he helped raise to the position of one of the greatest life insurance companies in the country. He had a large grapefruit farm near Miami, Florida, where he spent his winters during his latter years, and was a pioneer in developing that industry. The versatility of General Lawrence was remarkable. Soldier, manufacturer, railroad organizer, insurance man, farmer, he handled a wide variety of large interests, and was uniformly successful in everything he touched. His services to the Masonic Order alone would have fully engaged the lifetime energies of any ordinary man. But the energy and talent of General Lawrence were of a quality very far above the ordinary. He was an unusual man, with an unusual grasp of affairs, an unusual executive capacity, and an unusual firmness and directness of purpose. He was an able mathematician, and the intense mental concentration, determination and mathematical exactness which he thus developed he brought to the conduct of his business affairs, and it had doubtless much to do with his success. If business success had been his sole aim he undoubtedly would have accomplished even greater things. But he had other and higher ideals to which business career was merely an incident and adjunct. He was imbued with a deep and sincere love for his fellow men, with an earnest desire to help them; it was the expression of his love for humanity that formed the leading motive and characteristic of his life-work.

Gen. Lawrence was married at Charlestown, Massachusetts on April 28, 1859, to Carolin Rebecca, daughter of the Reverend William and Rebecca (nee Taylor) Badger, and had two children: William Badger (q. v.) and Louise (Mrs. George L. Batchelder). General Lawrence died at Medford, Massachusetts on September 24, 1911.