No part of the earth's service is more worthy of study, for us, than that on which we live. No part can boast a history more replete with the elements of poetry and romance, — what she has done for the advancement of the mechanic arts, — what she has contributed to the comfort and well-being of civilized mankind, — what her citizens have done, and are now doing, for the preservation of the unity and nationality of America, — the world well knows.
Charles Cowley, 1862
[Lowell, Massachusetts] is in many ways a cosmopolis - the whole universe is represented there in a fourteen-square-mile municipality. And it is possible that by studying Lowell one might see the entire range of human experience and come away with a truer understanding of history. Mehmed Ali, 2006