John Stevens Cabot Abbott

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John Stevens Cabot Abbott
John Stevens Cabot Abbott.jpg
Born(1805-09-19)September 19, 1805
DiedJune 17, 1877(1877-06-17) (aged 71)
EducationBowdoin College, Andover Theological Seminary
OccupationHistorian, pastor, and pedagogical writer

John Stevens Cabot Abbott (September 19, 1805 – June 17, 1877), an American historian, pastor, and pedagogical writer, was born in Brunswick, Maine to Jacob and Betsey Abbott.

Early life[edit]

He was a brother of Jacob Abbott, and was associated with him in the management of Abbott's Institute, New York City, and in the preparation of his series of brief historical biographies. Dr. Abbott graduated at Bowdoin College in 1825, prepared for the ministry at Andover Theological Seminary, and between 1830 and 1844, when he retired from the ministry in the Congregational Church, preached successively at Worcester, Roxbury and Nantucket, all in Massachusetts.[1]

Literary career[edit]

Owing to the success of a little work, The Mother at Home, he devoted himself, from 1844 onwards, to literature. He was a voluminous writer of books on Christian ethics, and of popular histories, which were credited with cultivating a popular interest in history. He is best known as the author of the widely popular History of Napoleon Bonaparte (1855), in which the various elements and episodes in Napoleon's career are described. Abbott takes a very favourable view towards his subject throughout. Also among his principal works are: History of the Civil War in America (1863–1866), and The History of Frederick II, Called Frederick the Great (New York, 1871). He also did a foreword to a book called Life of Boone by W.M. Bogart, about Daniel Boone in 1876.

In general, except that he did not write juvenile fiction, his work in subject and style closely resembles that of his brother, Jacob Abbott.

Marriage and children[edit]

On August 17, 1830[2] he married Jane Williams Bourne, daughter of Abner Bourne and Abagail Williams. John and Jane had issue:

  1. John Brown Abbott (November 29, 1831 – May 24, 1839)
  2. Jane Maria Abbott (born November 25, 1833)
  3. Waldo Abbott (September 8, 1836 – July 7, 1864)
  4. Harriet Vaughan Abbott (born February 18, 1838)
  5. Ellen Williams Abbott(born January 11, 1840)
  6. Laura Sallucia Abbott (born October 30, 1843)
  7. Elizabeth Ballister Abbott (March 15, 1847 – February 23, 1864)
  8. Emma Susan Abbott (born July 12, 1849)
  9. Gorham Dummer Abbott (born March 29, 1851)

As a part of the 1872 Iwakura Mission Mr. Abbott was given guardianship of Shige Nagai, a Japanese girl sent to the United States to be educated.

John Stevens Cabot Abbott died at Fair Haven, Connecticut. In 1910, a series of twenty short biographies of historical characters by J. S. C. and Jacob Abbott, was published. Their brother, Gorham Dummer Abbott, was also an author. Abbott's grandson, Willis Abbott, was a Christian Scientist and an editor of the Christian Science Monitor.[3]

Selected bibliography[edit]


  • The Child At Home (1834)
  • The Mother At Home (1835)
  • The Path of Peace (1836)
  • The School-Boy (1839)
  • The history of Christianity : consisting of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth : the adventures of Paul and the apostles and the most interesting events in the progress of Christianity from the earliest period to the present time (1872)


  • The History of Napoleon Bonaparte (1855)[4]
  • The French Revolution of 1789 (1859)
  • The History of the Civil War in America (Volume I published 1864, Volume II published 1866)
  • Prussia and the Franco-Prussian War (1871)
  • The History of The State of Ohio" (1875)


Published after 1850 in the series Illustrated History, with other titles by his brother Jacob Abbott. Later reissued in the Famous Characters of History series, and in the 1904 series Makers of History:


  1. ^ Chisholm 1911.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Sales blurb about The History of Christianity Longyear Museum. Retrieved November 4, 2013
  4. ^ John Stevens Cabot Abbott (1859). The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte. Google Books. Eld & Blackham.

External links[edit]