John Abbott Family Genealogy


Andreas, Lyter & Co., Davenport, Iowa

Transcribed by: Becky Jenkins

Page 30

HON. JOHN ABBOTT, of Naples.-We notice this gentleman is an Englishman by birth, and by voluntary choice an adopted American citizen of the United States. He was born in the town of Hull, county of York, England, in the month of March, 1802. He was engaged in an extensive manufacturing and retail boot and shoe trade in his native country. He is a liberal and generous-minded man, both on religious and political subjects, and during the political excitement in the year 1832-when the first Reform Bill of the British House of Parliament, passed by the House of Commons and the House of Lords, extending a mere shadow of suffrage to leaseholders, situated only in the privileged borough towns, and which lands and towns are owned and directed by the aristocratic landowners of the British empire, and consequently, whose power and control over said tenants and leaseholders is paramount, and to prevent and check, as much as possible, the exercise of the conferred suffrage on the new voters, the odious and tyrannical registry laws were enacted-Mr. ABBOTT became a spotted object for the furious malediction of his Tory government enemies, because he was a prominent reform advocate and a decided opponent of an union of church and state. A public meeting having been convened expressly to petition Parliament to pass a law for a final separation of church and state, Mr. ABBOTT advocated publicly the prayer of said petition. Many of his patrons being Church of England clergymen, they, in hate and malice of his patriotic action, stopped their patronage and otherwise ostracized and injured him in his native land; so he, in due time, after proper consideration and information with regard to the different countries to which emigrants in love with religious and political liberty were directing their intention to move thereto and settle for life, etc., determined upon the United States of North America as his pre-eminent selection and choice; and accordingly, on the first day of August, 1835, he, with his young family, embarked on board the noble American ship, "Byron of Bath," commanded by Capt. ACKERMAN, and, in due time, arrived at the port of New Orleans, from thence to Naples to the town of Lynnville, Morgan county, at which village he purchased some town property, a small farm, and other lands-from which facts it is evident Mr. ABBOTT did not come to his new and adopted country empty-handed. He resided on his farm, cultivating the same, and following practically his useful trade, that of boot and shoe making, for twenty years. During this period, he, after proper examination and discrimination of the then two political parties-whig vs. democrat-on the first open court day after his arrival, declared and swore allegiance, fealty, and obligation to the government, the Union, and the constitution of the United States. By his understanding, the whig party advocated a pageant and strong government in opposition to the specie circular law-also the pre-emption law and the veto as exercised by the President of the United States; also their advocacy of an United States bank, to be owned by a private company, and the use of paper money, which brought upon the country repeated financial convulsions. On the democratic side, he discovered by their votes in the halls of Congress, they advocated the constitutional veto; the specie circular law, to prevent land speculators from monopolizing the public domain from the poor man with worthless bank paper money; also, their passage of the pre-emption law, and the enactment of graduating the cost of the unsold government lands, so they could accrue to the poor man at nominal figures; and, the democratic party being defenders and adherents of the strict letter and construction of the constitution of the United States, caused this gentleman to attach himself to the true democratic principles and with the party who honestly labored to perpetuate our unparalleled constitutional government and liberty. Hence, he has ever worked with the unsophisticated democrats for the good and welfare of our common country.

Mr. ABBOTT is in no sense of the word a rich man. True it is he owns considerable, yet not very productive, landed property. The prudent and wise management of his financial affairs enables him to live in comfort and independence. His unselfish and generous heart urged him to deed to the citizens of Naples a part of his valuable land, sufficient for a public cemetery, as the original burial ground was too circumscribed and limited for the increasing population of the neighborhood. Mr. ABBOTT is a popular citizen of Scott county, as demonstrated by the democratic party nominating him for the senate of the Illinois state legislature in the year 1872.


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