Ezra Abbot (1808-1872) Identified Civil War Era Quarter & Sixth Plate Daguerreotypes being the Town Physician of Canton, Massachusetts, who’s House built in 1839 still located on Washington Street, and who’s image being offered here is of the original builder and owner, displayed on the historic Abbot House’s website.Pair of Daguerreotypes, the larger being a man identified as Dr. Ezra Abbot, M.D. of Canton, Mass. (1808-1872). Two different Daguerreotypes of the same man is unusual because the high cost of daguerreotypes limited them to people of wealth and renown.
1. The larger Daguerreotype is framed to an overall size of 4” x 3” (Sixth Plate) and the smaller one is framed to an overall size of 3” x 2.5” (Ninth Plate). The larger image shows some light, white speckling, none of which affects Abbot’s face.
2. The smaller image is a bit weaker and shows some speckled toning to each of the four outer sides away from the center, not affecting Abbot’s face. Both cases are in relatively poor shape and the covers have separated.
Ezra hailed from the large historic Abbot family centered in Andover, MA. He attended Harvard University and Harvard Medical College and, upon graduation, opened an office in Canton, MA, where he practiced until his death in 1872. Likely, these images were taken prior to 1860 (when tintypes superseded daguerreotypes), when Ezra would have been in his fifties at the height of his practice. (2 items)
Ezra Abbot was the son of Ezra and Hannah Poor and was born in Andover in 1808. Attending Phillips Academy in Andover and completing his studies in Exeter, he attended Harvard University in 1830.
There is a sense that Abbot felt that with a life or work before him, “He had not that love of study in the abstract that would make him patiently give the years of manhood to studies having no direct relation to his future pursuits.” By all accounts he left college in 1832 and eventually began studying at Harvard Medical School. Graduating in 1837, he immediately began practice medicine in Canton.
Abbot must have had some means to build the house on Washington Street. Certainly, he had attained remarkable standing such that at age 31 he married Harriet Lincoln in 1839 here in Canton when she was 20. It is likely the house would be a wedding gift for his new bride. Lincoln was perhaps the sister of Frederic W. Lincoln, a direct descendant of Amos Lincoln, who was well known for marrying two of the daughters of Paul Revere.
Deborah Revere was born in 1758 and together she and Amos had nine children. When she died in January of 1797, Amos quickly married Deborah’s sister Mary Revere in May; together they had five children before she died in 1805 at the age of 35. Frederic W. Lincoln Jr. became the 16th and the 18th Mayor of Boston.