Jacob Abbott

Jacob Abbott (1803 – 1879) was an American writer of children’s books.

On November 14, 1803, Abbott was born in Hallowell, Maine. Abbott’s father was Jacob Abbott and his mother was Betsey Abbott. Abbott attended the Hallowell Academy.

Abbott graduated from Bowdoin College in 1820. Abbott studied at Andover Theological Seminary in 1821, 1822, and 1824. Abbott was tutor in 1824–1825.

From 1825 to 1829 was professor of mathematics and natural philosophy at Amherst College; was licensed to preach by the Hampshire Association in 1826; founded the Mount Vernon School for Young Ladies in Boston in 1829, and was principal of it in 1829–1833; was pastor of Eliot Congregational Church (which he founded), at Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1834–1835; and 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.

He was a prolific author, writing juvenile fiction, brief histories, biographies, religious books for the general reader, and a few works in popular science. He wrote 180 books and was a coauthor or editor of 31 more. 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.

His Rollo Books, such as Rollo at Work, Rollo at Play, Rollo in Europe, etc., are the best known of his writings, having as their chief characters a representative boy and his associates. In them Abbott did for one or two generations of young American readers a service not unlike that performed earlier, in England and America, by the authors of Evenings at Home, The History of Sandford and Merton, and the The Parent’s Assistant. To follow up his Rollo books, he wrote of Uncle George, using him to teach the young readers about ethics, geography, history, and science. He also wrote 22 volumes of biographical histories and a 10 volume set titled the Franconia Stories.

Romulus

Romulus

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SOME men are renowned in history on account of the extraordinary powers and capacities which they exhibited in the course of their career, or the intrinsic greatness of the deeds which they performed. Others, without having really achieved any thing in itself very great or wonderful, have become widely known to mankind by reason of the vast consequences which, in the subsequent course of events, resulted from their doings. Men of this latter class are conspicuous rather than great. From among thousands of other men equally exalted in character with themselves, they are brought out prominently to the notice of mankind only in consequence of the strong light reflected, by great events subsequently occurring, back upon the position where they happened to stand.

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William the Conqueror

William the Conqueror

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ALTHOUGH Rouen is now very far before all the other cities of Normandy in point of magnitude and importance, and though Rollo, in his conquest of the country, made it his principal headquarters and his main stronghold, it did not continue exclusively the residence of the dukes of Normandy in after years.

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Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great

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ALEXANDER the Great died when he was quite young. He was but thirty-two years of age when he ended his career, and as he was about twenty when he commenced it, it was only for a period of twelve years that he was actually engaged in performing the work of his life. Napoleon was nearly three times as long on the great field of human action.

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Alfred the Great

Alfred the Great

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ALFRED THE GREAT figures in history as the founder, in some sense, of the British monarchy. Of that long succession of sovereigns who have held the scepter of that monarchy, and whose government has exerted so vast an influence on the condition and welfare of mankind, he was not, indeed, actually the first.

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Charles I

Charles I

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KING CHARLES THE FIRST was born in Scotland. It may perhaps surprise the reader that an English king should be born in Scotland. The explanation is this:

They who have read the history of Mary Queen of Scots, will remember that it was the great end and aim of her life to unite the crowns of England and Scotland in her own family. Queen Elizabeth was then Queen of England.

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Charles II

Charles II

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KING CHARLES THE SECOND was the son and successor of King Charles the First. These two are the only kings of the name of Charles that have appea-red, thus far, in the line of English sovereigns.

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Cleopatra

Cleopatra

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THE story of Cleopatra is a story of crime. It is a narrative of the course and the consequences of unlawful love. In her strange and romantic history we see this passion portrayed with the most complete and graphic fidelity in all its influences and effects; its uncontrollable impulses, its intoxicating joys, its reckless and mad career, and the dreadful remorse and ultimate despair and ruin in which it always and inevitably ends.

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Hannibal

Hannibal

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HANNIBAL was a Carthaginian general. He acquired his great distinction as a warrior by his desperate contests with the Romans. Rome and Carthage grew up together on opposite sides of the Mediterranean Sea. For about a hundred years they waged against each other most dreadful wars. There were three of these wars. Rome was successful in the end, and Carthage was entirely destroyed.

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Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar

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THERE were three great European nations in ancient days, each of which furnished history with a hero: the Greeks, the Carthaginians, and the Romans.

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Mary Queen of Scots

Mary Queen of Scots

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TRAVELERS who go into Scotland take a great interest in visiting, among other places, a certain room in the ruins of an old palace, where Queen Mary was born. Queen Mary was very beautiful, but she was very unfortunate and unhappy. Every body takes a strong interest in her story, and this interest attaches, in some degree, to the room where her sad and sorrowful life was begun.

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