Abiel Abbot

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Abbot, Abiel (14 December 1765 - 31 January 1859)

A Unitarian minister, born in Wilton, New Hampshire, Abbot is said to have originated the idea of a free, tax-supported public library.

A Harvard graduate in 1787, he taught in Phillips Andover Academy until 1789, studied theology, worked as a missionary in Maine. In 1794 he tutored Greek in Harvard.

In 1795, he was ordained a minister of a church in Coventry, Connecticut, then dismissed in 1811 because of some of his theological opinions.

Until 1819, he taught at the Dummer Academy, then became a farmer in North Andover until 1827, when he became pastor of church in Peterborough, New Hampshire, until 1848.

Abbott in 1811 published an account of his difficulty with the Coventry congregation,. In 1829 he wrote History of Andover, and in 1847 he wrote the Genealogy of the Abbot Family.