John Stevens Cabot Abbott

John Stevens Cabot Abbott bigraphy, stories - Historian, pastor, writer

John Stevens Cabot Abbott : biography

September 19, 1805 – June 17, 1877

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

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.

Selected bibliography


  • The Child At Home (1834)
  • The Mother At Home (1835)
  • The Path of Peace (1836)
  • The School-Boy (1839)


  • The French Revolution of 1789 (1859)
  • The History of the Civil War in America (1877)


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:

  • Cortez
  • Henry IV
  • Louis XIV
  • King Philip (Metacomet), war chief of the Wampanoag people
  • Madame Roland
  • Marie Antoinette
  • Joseph Bonaparte, elder brother of Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Josephine, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Hortense, daughter of Josephine
  • Louis Philippe, the last king to rule France, although Emperor Napoleon III would serve as its last monarch.

Literary career

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 forward 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

On August 17, 1835 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.