Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, to parents Timothy Bigelow and Anna Andrews, Bigelow was educated at Harvard University, where he graduated in 1786. He then studied law, and from 1789 until 1807 he practiced in Groton, Massachusetts. In 1807, he moved to Medford and opened a law office in Boston. It is said he argued 15,000 cases in the course of his 32-year legal career.
In 1802, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Bigelow was also a founding member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1812. He served as Massachusetts Speaker of the House, 1805–1806, 1808–1810, and 1812–1820. In 1814, he was among the delegates from Massachusetts to the Hartford Convention. In 1818, Bigelow purchased 10 shares of the Suffolk Bank, a clearinghouse bank on State Street in Boston. He died in 1821, at age 55, in Medford.
- One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Wilson, J. G.; Fiske, J., eds. (1900). . Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton.
- "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved June 25, 2011.
- American Antiquarian Society Members Directory
- Whitney, David R. (1878), The Suffolk Bank, Cambridge, MA: Riverside Press, pp. 4–5
- Caleb Arnold Wall. Reminiscences of Worcester from the Earliest Period: With Notices of Early Settlers and Prominent Citizens, and Descriptions of Old Landmarks and Ancient Dwellings... Printed by Tyler & Seagrave, 1877; p.46-47.
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Elijah H. Mills