History of the Andrew Low House - Family Time Travelers

The Andrew Low House in Savannah, Ga

The Andrew Low House is a must when touring Historic Savannah. The home not only has a lot of history associated with it, it has a lot of artifacts inside the home that are breathtaking. You can read the Andrew Low House via any of the Trolley Tours. It is located right across from Lafayette Square.

The history of the Low family is a long one starting from when Andrew Low I came to Savannah to work in a store. He soon bought out the store and established the Andrew Low and Company, which traded in general types of goods. The company eventually shifted in to cotton export as the demand for cotton in England began to rise. The company was so successful, a separate office was established in Liverpool, England along with a partner, Robert Isaac. They owned ships that would transport the cotton from Savannah to England. Unfortunately, the Great Fire of 1820 destroyed thes Savannah office, yet it was promptly rebuilt and Andrew Low I had his residence on the 2nd floor.

Andrew Low I never married and needed an heir, he turned to his older brother, William, who had a son Andrew Low II. Andrew Low II arrived in Savannah at the age of 17 in 1829. Andrew worked hard and eventually the day to day operations in Savannah were put into his hands. His Uncle, Andrew Low I retired and returned to England working out of the Liverpool office from time to time. Andrew Low II rose to become a premier Cotton Factor in Savannah and became Savannah’s richest man in 1857.

Andrew Low II married Sarah Cecil Hunter in 1844. The couple would have one son, Andrew, and 2 daughters, Amy and Hattie. The family lived in a home that would be in the Madison Square area today. In 1847, Andrew Low II purchased the land across from Lafayette Square and hired John Norris, a distinguished architect, to construct a new family home on the land. However, tragedy struck Andrew Low’s life during this time. His son Andrew, his father, William, his wife Sarah and his uncle Andrew Low I, all died within months of each other from 1848 to 1849.

Andrew Low would move in to the new home towards the end of 1849 with his two remaining daughters. The girls eventually went to England to boarding school while Andrew focused on the business. Andrew then began dating Elizabeth Ann Mackay and married her in 1854. The ceremony was conducted outside of Savannah on a plantation. A train took guests from Savannah to the ceremony as Andrew Low II also owned the Central Railroad of Georgia.

Four more children came from his second marriage, two daughters Mary and Katie, two sons, William and Jessie, and one child only lived 1 day. It would be Wiliam that would marry Juliette Gordon later on in life. When the war began, Andrew and Elizabeth left the children with her family and they traveled to England. There, Andrew would finance cargo of munitions to sail to Savannah to help the Confederate. When they returned, Andrew was arrested in Ohio and sent to Fort Warren in Boston. In 1862, Andrew was freed on probation and within several months returned to his home in Savannah.

As the war raged on, Andrew Low received more tragic news that his wife Mary had passed away in 1863. Mary’s mother, Eliza Stiles, moved in to the home and took care of the grandchildren and ran the home for several years. By the Fall of 1867, the rest of the family moved back to England with the exception of Amy and Hattie who now were running the home at Lafayette Square. Andrew returned to Savannah each year and hosted guests like Robert E Lee and the Earl of Roxbury. Andrew sold his interest in in the Andrew Low Company in 1872 and began focusing on railroads, steel mills, and shipping. He would make several trips to America each year but ultimately remained in England where he died in 1886. His son, William, would accompany his body back to Savannah to be buried in Laurel Grove Cemetery beside his wives Sarah and Mary and his young son Andrew III.

Just the Facts!

  • Andrew Low I came to Savannah and established the Andrew Low and Company.
  • The company shifted to cotton exports and established a second office in England.
  • Andrew Low II, the son of William and older brother of Andrew Low I, came to Savannah at 17 in 1829.
  • Andrew Low II rose to be Savannah’s richest man in 1857.
  • Andrew II married Sarah Hunter in 1844. They had 4 children.
  • Tragic deaths all within a short time frame struck Andrew between 1848 and 1849 including his wife, son, father, and uncle.
  • The property for the Andrew Low House was purchased in 1847, with the house being completed in 1849.
  • Andrew remarried Elizabeth Mackay and they had 4 additional children.
  • Andrew financed the Confederate war by sending ships of munitions and supplies from England.
  • He was arrested upon his return in Ohio and sent to Fort Warren in Boston.
  • Once he was released, he returned to Savannah and hosted Robert E Lee and the Earl of Roxbury in his home.
  • Andrew sold his interest in the Andrew Low Company in 1872 and focused on railroads, steel mills, and shipping.
  • He passed away in England in 1886 and was returned to Savannah by his son, William, to be buried next to his wives and son.
  • William married Juliette Gordon, who founded the Girl Scouts of the US. She died in the home in 1927.


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Sites Consulted:

Andrew Low House

Historic Andrew Low House