John S. C. Abbott

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.[1]

Literary career

Owing to the success of his 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),History of Napoleon III Emperor of the French (1868), 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, although he did not write juvenile fiction, his work in subject and style closely resembles that of his brother, Jacob Abbott.

Books in order of publication:


  • The Mother At Home (c. 1830)[4]
  • The Path of Peace (1836)
  • The Child At Home (1834)
  • 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 the Civil War in America, (two volumes)[5]
  • The History of Napoleon Bonaparte (1855) (two volumes)[6]
  • Napoleon At St. Helena (1855)
  • Kings And Queens (1855)
  • Confidential Correspondence Of The Emperor Napoleon (1856)
  • The French Revolution of 1789 (1859)
  • The Empire Of Russia: Its Rise And Present Power
  • Austria: Its Rise And Present Power
  • History of the Hapsburg Empire
  • Italy
  • The History of the Civil War in America (Volume I published 1864, Volume II published 1866)
  • The History of Napoleon III, Emperor of the French (1868)
  • The Romance Of Spanish History (1869)
  • Prussia and the Franco-Prussian War (1871)
  • The History Of Frederick II, Called Frederick The Great (1871)
  • The History of The State of Ohio (1875)
  • Lives Of The Presidents Of The United States (1876)


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:

The American Pioneers And Patriots set:

  • Daniel Boone
  • Miles Standish
  • De Soto
  • Peter Stuyvesant
  • Kit Carson
  • David Crockett
  • Captain Kidd
  • John Paul Jones
  • La Salle
  • Christopher Columbus
  • George Washington
  • Benjamin Franklin


  • The Child At Home (1834)
  • The School Boy (1839)
  • The School Girl (1840)
  • A Visit To The Mountains (1844)
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