1871Samuel E. Sawyer gave the library $10,000, and as a result, the board voted to make the library free to everyone.Arts and Culture, Cultural Institutions

Samuel E. Sawyer, The Massachusetts WPA Federal Art Project Photograph Collection, Boston Public Library, c. 1935-1943, https://ark.digitalcommonwealth.org/ark:/50959/1544fc634
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The board also voted to name the library the Sawyer Free Library after its largest benefactor.

Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library. Outline of History and Dedication of the Sawyer Free Library of Gloucester, Mass., Tuesday, July 1, 1884. Cape Ann Bulletin Steam Book and Job Print., 1884.
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