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Abbot, Francis Ellingwood, son of Joseph Hale and Fanny (Larcom) Abbot, was born in Boston, November 6, 1836.
His early education was obtained at home, and in the Boston public Latin school. Fitting for college, he entered Harvard in 1855, and was graduated with the class of 1859. He spent three years in the Harvard divinity school and Meadville (Pa.) Theological Seminary. It is a fitting tribute to the mother of the subject of this sketch that he has filially attributed his best education to her early training and blessed influence.
Mr. Abbot was principal of the Meadville (Pa.) Female Seminary three years ending in June, 1863, while still studying for his profession. He was ordained minister of the Unitarian society in Dover, N. H., August 31, 1864, and resigned April 1, 1868, to become minister of the Independent religious society in the same city. He resigned this position at the end of six months, because, in consequence of a famous lawsuit (set forth at great length in the New Hampshire Reports, Vol. 53), the new society voted not to maintain its own independent position. He served as minister of the Independent society of Toledo, Ohio, from July 1869 to March 1873, and editor of the Toledo (afterward Boston) “Index” from January 1, 1870, to July 1, 1880. He kept a classical school for boys in New York until September 1881, and has had since that time a “Home for Boys” in Cambridge, fitting pupils for Harvard College by private instruction.
Mr. Abbot was married in Nashua, N. H., August 3, 1859, to Katharine Fearing, the daughter of David and Susanna (Sherman) Loring. Of this union are three children living: Everett Vergnies (Harvard 1886), Edward Stanley (Harvard 1887), and Fanny Larcom Abbot.
Mr. Abbot received the degree of Ph. D. from Harvard University in 1881. He has published numerous articles, chiefly philosophical, in the “North American Review,” “Christian Examiner,” “Journal of Speculative Philosophy,: London “Fortnightly Review,” London “Mind,” etc. He published “Scientific Theism” through Little, Brown & Co., Boston, and Macmillan & Co., London, in 1885; three editions of this work have already appeared.