Office of the President. Theophilus Capen Abbot Papers
UA.2.1.3

Summary Information

Repository
Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Creator -
Abbot, Theophilus Capen, 1826-1892
Title
Theophilus Capen Abbot papers
ID
UA.2.1.3
Date [inclusive]
1844-1893
Extent
1.5 Cubic feet
Language
English

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan."

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Biographical Note

Theophilus Capen Abbot was the third president of Michigan Agricultural College (M.A.C.), 1863-1885. He was born April 29, 1826 in Vassaboro, Maine and spent his early life in Augusta, Maine. At the age of fifteen he entered Colby University (later Colby College) at Waterville, Maine. He graduated in 1845 at the age of nineteen. He received his A.M. degree from Colby four years later.

After earning his A.M. degree, Abbot taught in Vermont, at the Bangor Theological Seminary in Maine, at Colby University, in Berrien Springs, Michigan and at the Union School in Ann Arbor, successively. In 1858 Abbot accepted the professorship of English literature at M.A.C. Previously he had taught mathematics, mechanics, Greek and chemistry. At M.A.C. he also served as the treasurer of the college and additionally as secretary of the college for two years. In February 1863 Abbot was unanimously selected as the new president of M.A.C. Abbot assumed an active role in both the administration of the school as well as continuing to teach. In constant pain from severe headaches and arthritis, Abbot continued as president until 1885. In 1866 his professorship was changed to logic and mental philosophy. Four years later he received a LL.D. degree from the University of Michigan.

On July 5, 1860 Abbot married Sarah Merrylees, a teacher at the Union School in Ann Arbor. Sarah (b. May 2, 1828; d. August 22, 1911) and Theophilus Abbot had two children. Mary Monat (b. January 10, 1863; d. March 20, 1903) and Joseph Rodney (b. March 30, 1865). Following his resignation in 1885, Abbot remained at the college as professor until 1889 he was forced to retire due to ill health. Dr. Abbot's health declined perceptibly after 1889 and he died on November 7, 1892.

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Scope and Content

The collection consists of correspondence, poetry, speeches, and diaries. There are also Abbot's testimonial records from the State Board of Agriculture.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections December 1978

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824
517-355-2330
archives@msu.edu

Revision Description

  April 1999

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status note

Copyright: Michigan State University. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Michigan Agricultural College.

Genre(s)

  • Diaries
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Speeches, addresses, etc.

Personal Name(s)

  • Kuhn, Madison

Subject(s)

  • Agricultural education
  • College presidents -- Michigan
  • Education, Higher -- History -- 19th century

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Collection Inventory

Correspondence 

Box Folder

 1858 

861 1

Receipts 

Box Folder

 1859 

861 2

 1860 

861 3

 1861 

861 4

 1862 

861 5
Box Folder

 January 1863 

861 6

 February 1863 

861 7

 March 1863 

861 8

 April 1863 

861 9

 May 1863 

861 10

 June 1863 

861 11

 July 1863 

861 12

 August 1863 

861 13

 September 1863 

861 14

 October 1863 

861 15

 November 1863 

861 16

 December 1863 

861 17

 (1863) 

861 18

(typescript) 1863 

861 19

 1864 

861 20

 1865 

861 21

 1866 

861 22

 1867 

861 23

 1868 

861 24

 1869 

861 25

 1870 

861 26

 1871 

861 27

 January-March 1872 

861 28

 April-June 1872 

861 29

 July-September 1872 

861 30

 October-December 1872 

861 31

 1872 

861 32

 (1872) 

861 33

 1873 

861 34

 1874 

861 35

 1875 

861 36

 1876 

861 37

 January 1877 

861 38

 February 1877 

861 39

 March 1877 

861 40

 April 1877 

861 41

 May 1877 

861 42

 June 1877 

861 43

 July 1877 

861 44

 August 1877 

861 45

 September 1877 

861 46

 October 1877 

861 47

 November 1877 

861 48

 December 1877 

861 49

 1877 

861 50

 1878 

861 51

 1879 

861 52

 1880 

861 53

 1881 

861 54

 1882 

861 55

 1883 

861 56

 1884 

861 57

 1885 

861 58

 1888 

861 59

 1892 

861 60

 undated 

861 61
Box Folder

Poetry 1848 

861 62

Open Letter 1869 

861 63

Speeches 

Box Folder

"Novels" 1872-1885 

861 64

"Novel and Novel Reading" 1872-1876 

861 65

"Education and Seeing" 1872-1874 

861 66

"Manual Labor" 1874 

861 67

"Agricultural Education" 1875 

861 68

"History of the College" 1876 

861 69

"Schools of Agriculture" 1877 

861 70

"Manual Labor" undated 

861 71

Programs 1877, 1883, 1884 

861 72

22nd Catalogue 1878 

861 73

Notebook (from UA 927) circa 1879 

861 74

"T.C. Abbot" 1893 

861 75

State Board of Agriculture Papers 

Box Folder

Abbot Testimonial Records 1890-1892 

861 76

Volumes 

Box Volume

Diary 1855-1885 

861 1

Letterpress Correspondence 1881-1890 

861 2

Diary (second copy) 1855-1885 

917H 3
Box Folder

"Portfolio" 1844-1845 

2980H 1

Untitled volume with notes or essays about philosophy undated 

2980H 2
Box

T.C. Abbot's memorial service (2 nitrate negatives) June 16, 1928 

neg