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Cross, Wilbur Lucius (10 April 1862–05 October 1948), scholar and governor of Connecticut, was born in Gurleyville, Connecticut, the son of Samuel Cross, a farmer, miller, and manufacturer, and Harriet Maria Gurley. With considerable accuracy, Cross dubbed himself a “Connecticut Yankee.” His family had lived in the state for more than two hundred years. From early on, he embraced the political faith of his father and by age eight had proudly proclaimed to a local politician in Gurleyville, “I am a Democrat” (Cross, p. 35)....


James Russell Lowell. Engraving, c. 1894, from a drawing by S. W. Rowse, 1855. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-100831).


Lowell, James Russell (22 February 1819–12 August 1891), author and diplomat, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of Charles Lowell, a liberal Congregational minister, and Harriet Brackett Spence. Among New Englanders who were apt to take ancestry seriously, the Lowell family was already firmly established in the region’s ecclesiastical and legal annals. During the nineteenth century the Lowell name became synonymous with manufacturing wealth and State Street trusts, but Charles Lowell’s descendants benefited little from this tradition. Their area of prominence was in literature; both James Russell Lowell’s sister Mary Lowell Putnam and brother ...