Reference Entry

Stearns, George Luther

Louis S. Gerteis

in American National Biography Online

Published in print January 1999 |
Published online February 2000 | e-ISBN: 9780198606697 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/anb/9780198606697.article.0400946

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Stearns, George Luther (08 January 1809–09 April 1867), manufacturer and abolitionist, was born in Medford, outside of Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Luther Stearns, a physician, and Mary Hall. Stearns’s formal education ended after his father’s death in 1820. At the age of fifteen he moved to Brattleboro, Vermont, and worked for more than three years as a clerk in a relative’s store. In 1827 he returned to Boston and found employment as a clerk in a ship chandlery firm. In this business Stearns learned the importance of reliable sources of supply, and in 1835, with financial support from his mother and his future father-in-law, he acted on his knowledge to establish himself in Medford as a manufacturer of linseed oil. Six years later Stearns entered into a partnership to purchase a patent for an improved method of manufacturing lead pipe. The pipe business produced a sizable fortune for Stearns, and he would draw from it liberally to support his reform interests....

Reference Entry.  1289 words. 

Subjects: Slavery and Abolition of Slavery ; Manufacturing ; History of Manufacturing and Construction

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