c. 1850 Son of Dr. Abbot of Canton, Ezra Lincoln Abbot Identified Daguerreotype Photograph, Sixth Plate, as a young boy of Andover, Massachusetts, with His “Wand n' Hoop” Toy in hand, Choice Very Fine.Hand-tinted Daguerreotype (Sixth Plate) of a young boy seated with a hoop and stick toy. Extremely desirable because of the unusual, toy subject, but even more so because the child has been identified as Ezra Lincoln Abbot (part of the Abbot family from Andover, MA) that traces their lineage to Abraham Lincoln. The boy pictured here is the son of Dr. Ezra Abbot’s first marriage to Harriet Abbot which lasted only five years, Ezra Lincoln Abbot. At first glance, it appears that young Ezra is holding a wooden pointer or a musical instrument of some sort, but closer examination reveals that he holds a metal “hoop” in his right hand. Basically, Ezra would roll the hoop along the ground using the wand to balance the hoop and keep it moving forward, all the while running alongside playing with his toy. As long as the hoop maintained speed, Ezra could control it easily because the gyroscopic action of the spinning hoop would keep it balanced. This was a popular toy among both rich and poor. The image itself is in excellent condition and is crisp and clear. The cover has separated from the case at the hinge. Accompanied by an old card with Ezra’s full name in manuscript. Dr. Ezra Abbot became a physician and resided in Canton, Massachusetts for over 35 years. There are very few architecturally significant houses from the early 1800s that have survived almost intact with respect to their adornment and features. One such example is the splendid house built for Dr. Ezra Abbot at 470 Washington Street. Even today, 182 years after it was built, this Italianate home exemplifies a style that is rarely seen in Canton. See: Canton Citizen: True tales from Canton’s Past: Dr. Abbot’s House, by George T. Comeau.Abbot’s first marriage to Harriet lasted only five years and they had one son named Ezra Lincoln Abbot.
Abbot (1808-1872) 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 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.
The same year that Abbot and Lincoln married, the good doctor became a member of the Canton School Committee and would be a leading proponent for the expansion of the Canton Corner Cemetery. Abbot’s first marriage to Harriet lasted only five years and they had one son named Ezra Lincoln Abbot. Eight years later in 1852, Abbot married a second time. His new bride was 28-year-old Caroline Howard Lincoln, a close relative of Harriet’s. Abbot was now 44 and during the course of his second marriage they had two sons and a daughter, all when Abbot was in his 50s.
The impressive monument dedicated to Dr. Ezra Abbot, 1808-1872.
At Canton Corner Cemetery is a large and ornate grave for the Abbot family. Inscribed at the base is “the beloved physician.” There are two monuments there, one for his grave and a second erected by the people of Canton who inscribed their indebtedness that read in part “to the memory of a good physician, true friend and honest unselfish man from the people among whom he labored nearly 40 years.” Abbot died in 1872 and left a legacy of family and well-tended patients. After he died, a friend wrote that, “In his accounts he was excessively careless, and consequently, as is the case with many men devoted to the welfare of the community, his pecuniary gains were very inadequate and short of what they should have been.”