LOWELL, John (1743-1802)

LOWELL, JOHN, a Delegate from Massachusetts; born in Newburyport, Mass., June 17, 1743; was graduated from Harvard College in 1760; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1762 and commenced practice in Newburyport, Mass.; an officer in the militia in 1776; moved to Boston, Mass., in 1777; member of the State house of representatives 1778 and 1780-1782; delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1780; Member of the Continental Congress in 1782; served in the State senate in 1784 and 1785; commissioner on the New York and Massachusetts boundary line in 1784; judge of the court of appeals 1784-1789, of the United States district court 1789-1801, and of the United States Circuit Court for Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut in 1801 and 1802; died in Roxbury, Mass., May 6, 1802.

Harvard University
Houghton Library
Cambridge, MA
Papers: ca. 1629-1894, 5 linear feet.
The papers of John Lowell contain professional correspondence and legal documents reflecting the careers of the two John Lowells, father and son. Included are depositions, testimonies and memoranda from legal cases; reports and petitions of congresses; and deeds, contracts, wills, accounts, receipts, and promissory notes. Also included are records of the Continental Congress, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, various Massachusetts courts, and New England town meetings, as well as correspondence and court documents concerning the senior John Lowell's service on a commission to determine the Massachusetts-New York border, and much correspondence about land sales and debt collection. An unpublished finding aid is available in the repository and online.


Copley Press, Inc.
J.S. Copley Library
La Jolla, CA
Papers: 1785, 1.5 pages.
A letter from John Jay to John Lowell written on May 10, 1785. The letter contains one of John Jay's most significant and early statements on Federalism. "It is my first wish to see the United States assume and merit the Characrter [sic] of one Great Nation, whose Territory is divided into different States merely for convenient Government, and the more easy and prompt Administration of Justice."


Huntington Library
Manuscripts Department
San Marino, CA
Papers: In the Spence and Lowell Family Papers, ca. 1740-1958, 321 pieces.
Persons represented include John Lowell. An unpublished finding aid is available in the repository.


Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: In the Samuel Holten Papers, ca. 1630-1843, 1.6 linear feet.
Correspondents include John Lowell.


Massachusetts Historical Society
Boston, MA
Papers: In the Charles Lowell Manuscripts, 1657-1853, 1 narrow box and 1 oversize folder.
Correspondents include John Lowell.


Portsmouth Athenaeum
Portsmouth, NH
Papers: 1767, 1 item.
A letter from John Lowell to Joseph Whipple written on July 19, 1767. In the letter, John Lowell writes regarding an execution by Joseph Whipple for payment of money, and Joseph Whipple's notes for a response.


The Rosenbach Museum & Library
Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 1789, 1 item.
A letter from Fisher Ames to John Lowell written on April 8, 1789. In the letter, Fisher Ames states his policies on the tariff, asks the cooperation of merchants with the federal government, and gives news of various elections and appointments.

  • Deane, Charles. Judge Lowell and the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights. Boston: Press of J. Wilson and Sons, 1874.