Gorham Dummer Abbott

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Gorham Dummer Abbott (September 3, 1807 – August 3, 1874) was an American clergyman, educator, and author. He was a significant figure in the movement to supply schools with textbooks, libraries, and educational journals.


He was born in Hallowell, Maine,[1] to Jacob and Betsey Abbott. In 1826, he graduated from Bowdoin College, and later attended Andover Theological Seminary. Starting in 1831, together with his brother Jacob Abbott, conducted the Mount Vernon School for Girls in Boston, Massachusetts. He left the school in 1833, and married Rebecca S. Leach on February 11, 1834.

He was ordained a minister in the Presbyterian Church in 1837, and served as the pastor of the Presbyterian Church of New Rochelle, New York from 1837 through 1841. Beginning in 1841, he served with the literary department of the American Tract Society, a position he kept until 1843, when he went to New York City to found a new girls' school. He took 40 of the students from this school and established the Spingler Institute for Girls in New York, which received significant endowments from Americans and Europeans through 1870. He also was a significant influence on Matthew Vassar in the matter of education of women. In 1870, he retired to Natick, Massachusetts, where he died in 1874.

He was the author of several books, including:

  • The Family at Home: or, Familiar Illustrations of the Various Domestic Duties (1834) and
  • Mexico and the United States, Their Mutual Relations and Common Interests (1869).


  • Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who, 1963.


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