Maj. James B. Abbott, one of the pioneer colonists of Lawrence and legislators of the territory and state, was born at Hampton, Connecticut, December 3, 1818, and grew to manhood in his native state. He was a member of the third party of emigrants from New England, which reached Lawrence on October 10, 1854, and soon became recognized as a free state leader. Major Abbott took up a claim about half a mile south of Blanton’s bridge, on the road to Hickory Point, and his house was a favorite meeting place of the free state men in that neighborhood. He was one of those who went east to procure arms, and through his efforts there were sent to Kansas quite a supply of Sharp’s rifles and a twelve-pounder howitzer. He was one of the party that rescued Branson from the sheriff of Douglas County; was a lieutenant in command of a company at the first “battle” of Franklin; commanded the Third Regiment of free state infantry during the siege of Lawrence in 1856; fought with John Brown and Black Jack, and was the leader of the expedition that rescued Dr. John Doy. He was a member of the first House of Representatives elected under the Topeka constitution, and in 1857 was chosen senator. Upon the adoption of the Wyandotte constitution he was elected a member of the lower house of the first State Legislature, which met in March, 1861. In that year he was appointed agent for the Shawnee Indians and removed to De Soto, Johnson County. At the time of the Price raid he led a party of Shawnees against the Confederates. In 1866 he retired from the Indian agency, and in the fall of that year was elected to the State Senate. He was infiuential in securing the establishment of the School for Feeble Minded Youth. Major Abbott died at De Soto on March 2, 1879, twelve years prior to which he had served as a director of the State Historical Society.
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