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PROFILES IN COURAGE: AFRICAN-AMERICANS IN LOWELL
 
Adrastus and Elizabeth Lew's House

A few year earlier in 1844, Adrastus Lew, Zimri's son, married Elizabeth Freeman of Derry, New Hampshire.  They purchased and cleared a piece of woodland off Riverside Street in the Pawtucketville section of Dracut (now Lowell) and built a house which still stands on Mount Hope Street.  In 1912, at the age of 91, Elizabeth Freeman Lew recounted in an interview with the Lowell Sun:
 

The house where I live was, one of the houses which in slavery times, formed one of the underground railroad where runaway slaves word come for shelter and protection on their way to Canada.  Those were terrible times.

     Adrastus and Elizabeth had five sons and one daughter.  James, moved to Cambridge, formed a popular dance band, and served as the music advisor to the Cambridge School Committee.  William and Fred opened a successful dry-cleaning and dyeing business in Lowell.

     In 1874, William married Isabell Delaney of Virginia and raised four children - Harry, Theresa, Marion, and Girard.  After graduating from Pawtucket Junior High School, Harry Lew entered the family dry-cleaning business.  He was recruited by the Pawtucketville Athletic Club of the New England Professional Basketball League and was the first to integrate professional basketball in 1902.  Theresa Lew graduated from Lowell High School and was Class
Salutatorian in 1912.  After finishing Lowell Normal School, she taught at the Bartlett School for 25 years.  Marion Lew graduated from Lowell High School and the Lowell Normal School music program.  She then taught piano to generations of Lowell children.  Girard Lew, an outstanding athlete, graduated from Lowell High School and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  He became an educator and trainer, first in the South and eventually he worked in Chicago.  He was interviewed by the Lowell Sunday-Telegram in June 1913, about his experiences teaching in a poor, rural, segregated school in Gloucester County, Virginia.

     It is through understanding such events and experiences of the past that we, as individuals, as a community, and as a society that we can appreciate and respect one another, now and in the future.

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