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Low, Capt., and Mrs. Gorham Parsons

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Mary Letitia (Crymbah) Low (c.1823–89) was born in Ireland.  She married Capt. Gorham Parsons Low (1806–80) around 1845 (although no marriage record has been found) and had three sons, only one of which survived her. A notation on Brace's Rock, Eastern Point, 1863 (inv. 146) indicates that Lane made a painting of Brace's Cove for Mrs. Low.

Capt. Low was a mariner, master of trade ships travelling the world. He kept a journal of his voyages that was published in 1937 under the title Sea Made Men. (1) Over the years, he was a Gloucester selectman and assessor, and a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He was also President of the Gloucester and Boston Steamboat Company, Director and President of the Gloucester Marine Insurance Company, a Director of the Sawyer Free Library and Lyceum, Director and President of the Bank of Cape Ann (Cape Ann National Bank), and was on the Board of Trustees of the Cape Ann Savings Bank.

Mrs. Low, according to her obituary, “was a woman of culture and refinement, and very pleasing manners, and was held in universal esteem.” (2) This was certainly true of her husband, who in his will said: “It is my wish and desire that my beloved wife Mary L. Low shall have the entire control and absolute disposal of all the property of all kinds which I shall die possessed, … because I have full faith and perfect confidence [in] the kindness and love which for more than thirty years I have found uniformly to characterize all her intercourse with her family ….” (3)

Until her husband’s death, the Lows lived on the corner of Angle and Washington Streets, neighbors of Addison Gilbert, in a large and imposing house that has since been demolished. Afterwards Mary Low lived in the old Low Homestead at the Green, where she died at the age of sixty-six.

– Stephanie Buck

(1) Cape Ann Museum Journals: Reminiscences of the sea life of Gorham P. Low of Gloucester, Mass., 1872.

(2) Obituary, Cape Ann Advertiser, June 14, 1889.

(3) Massachusetts Probate Records, Low, A-Low, J, 1828-1991 # 45723.

Related tables: Gloucester Lyceum »  //  Sawyer Free Library »

Citation: "Historical Materials." Fitz Henry Lane Online. Cape Ann Museum. (accessed May 27, 2024).
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