John Stevens Cabot Abbott (1805-1877)

John Stevens Cabot Abbott, American writer, was born in Brunswick, Maine, on the 18th of September 1805.  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.  He is best known, however, as the author of a partisan and unscholarly, but widely popular and very readable History of Napoleon Bonaparte (1855), in which the various elements and episodes in Napoleon’s career are treated with some skill in arrangement, but with unfailing adulation. 

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, preached successively at Worcester, Roxbury and Nantucket, Massachusetts.  He died at Fair Haven, Connecticut, on the 17th of June 1877.  He was a voluminous writer of books on Christian ethics, and of histories, which now seem unscholarly and untrustworthy, but were valuable in their time in cultivating a popular interest in history.  In general, except that he did not write juvenile fiction, his work in subject and style closely resembles that of his brother, Jacob Abbott.


Source: 1911 encyclopedia.


A selection of articles written by John Stevens Cabot Abbott for Harper's may be found online at Harper's.






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