Abiel Abbot (1765-1859)

1  ABIEL ABBOT, H.U. 1787, D.D. 1838, was the son of Dea. Abiel and Dorcas Abbot, of Wilton. The parents were most excellent persons, and attained the utmost success by their industry and perseverance in the new settlement, so as to be enabled to give a collegiate education to three of their sons. Abiel was the oiliest of a large family, and was born in Wilton, Dec. 14, 1765.* He graduated at Harvard University 1787, and received the degree of D.D. in 1838. He sustained a good standing in his class at college, and a character unstained. After teaching in Phillips Academy at Andover about two years, pursuing a course of theological studies, and being a tutor in H.U. one year, he was ordained, in October, 1795, minister of the first church in Coventry, Ct. Owing to differences of opinion between himself and the church, he left Coventry in June, 1811, and the September following was appointed Principal of Dummer Academy. In 1819 he resigned the charge of the academy, and moved to Andover, where, and at Chelmsford, in various pursuits, he remained until 1827 when in June he was installed minister of the Congregational Church in Peterborough. He continued to supply the pulpit until 1839 when his health failed, and the Rev. Curtis Cutler was installed as his colleague. He resigned his pastorate Sept. 9, 1848.

Few men have ever lived that sustained a better character than Dr. Abbot. His life was adorned with all the attainments, virtues, and excellences that belong to the Christian or man, and it would be difficult to say what his faults or errors in life were, he was so pure and upright in everything. He was always planning and doing good to some one, or to society in general. The Ministerial Library of the Congregational Society was established by his own individual exertions and private contributions from his own library, and now numbers about twelve hundred volumes. He was also the prime mover, and one of the earliest supporters, of the Town Library. He was always untiring in his efforts for the common schools, and long after the period most men retire, on account of their age, from active pursuits, his zeal and interest remained unabated. As a preacher he was always plain, clear, and interesting, and as a pastor always kind and sympathizing. He was always greatly beloved by the people. He was scholarly in his habits, and kept alive the knowledge of the Greek and Latin classics, as well as an intimate knowledge of the progress of his times, all through his life. No language can be an exaggeration in speaking of the character and virtues of such a man. He removed to West Cambridge in 1854, to reside with his grandson, Rev. S.A. Smith, where he d. Jan. 31, 1859, ae. 93. He was buried in Peterborough. He m. Elizabeth Abbot, day. Capt. John A. Abbot, Andover, 1796, and she d. in Peterborough, April 6, 1853, ae. 87.

"He published, in 1811, a statement of the proceedings which resulted in a dissolution of his ministry in Coventry; and in 1829 published a history of the town of Andover, Mass."*


2  Elizabeth, b. May 22, 1798; m. 1822, Rev. John A. Douglas, Waterford, Me. She d. Oct. 12, 1823, ae. 25 yrs., 4 mos.

3  Abigail, b. Oct. 17, 1799.

4  Sarah Dorcas, b. June 22, 1801; m. 1828 Samuel G. Smith, of Peterborough. She d. June 11, 1831, ae. 30.

* Genealogical Register of Abbot Family.

According to reference librarian, Brian Hackert, 24 (26?) Concord Street was once the home of the Peterborough Town Library's founder, Abiel Abbot, D.D.

Heralds of a Liberal Faith, Vol 2, pages 50-58