Jacob Abbott was born in Holloway, Maine, on November 14th, 1803, and died on October 31st, 1874. During his lifetime, Abbott received universal acclaim as an evangelical minister, educator and author. However, it was the gift or writing that provided Abbott with his greatest influence and fame.
Jacob Abbott led a busy life. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 1820; studied at Andover Theological Seminary from 1821 to 1824; was a tutor from 1824-1825, and from 1825 to 1829, he was a professor of mathematics and natural philosophy at Amherst College. In 1826, he was licensed to preach by the Hampshire Association. He founded the Mount Vernon School for Young Ladies in Boston in 1829, and was principal of it from 1829-1833. From 1834 to 1835, he founded and pastured the Eliot Congregational Church at Roxbury, Massachusetts. He was, with his brothers, a founder (and in 1843-1851 a principal) of Abbott's Institute, and in 1845-1848 of the Mount Vernon School for boys, in New York City.
Abbott was also a prolific author, writing juvenile fiction, brief histories, biographies, religious books for the general reader, and a few works in popular science. He died in Farmington, Maine, where he had spent part of his time after 1839, and where his brother Samuel Phillips Abbott founded the Abbott School.
As a writer of over 200 books, Abbott's great love was children's literature. He was considered by many to be foremost writer of juvenile literature during his time. Historians describe Abbott as a kindly devout man from Puritan ancestry who was gifted with a spirit of gentleness, simplicity, and industry. In his modest way he typified the Puritan heritage at its simple best.
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