The Biographical Dictionary of America/Abbott, Benjamin Vaughan

3350477The Biographical Dictionary of America, Volume 1 — Abbott, Benjamin Vaughan1906

ABBOTT, Benjamin Vaughan, lawyer, was born in Boston, Mass., June 4, 1830; the eldest son of Jacob and Harriet (Vaughan) Abbott: grandson of the Rev. Jacob and Betsey (Abbot) Abbott, and of Charles Vaughan of Hallowell, Me., and a descendant of George Abbot of Andover. He was graduated from the University of the city of New York in 1850, and from Harvard law school in 1852. In 1853 he was married to Elizabeth, daughter of John Titcomb. He practised law for a number of years in New York, and after a time devoted himself chiefly to the compilation of law books and digests of the law. In this work he was assisted by his brother, Austin Abbott. Among his many legal works, which are considered of great value by his profession, are "Reports of Decisions of Circuit and District Courts of the United States," in two volumes; a revision of the United States statutes, on which he was engaged for three years, and which he succeeded in condensing from sixteen volumes to a single octavo, his collaborators in this work being Charles P. James and Victor C. Barringer; and a new edition of the "United States Digest," which had grown to a library of unwieldy size. This, in six years, he compressed into the pages of thirteen volumes, and followed it after 1879 with annual supplementary volumes. He also compiled "A Digest of Decisions in Corporations from 1860 to 1870," and "A Treatise on the Courts of the United States and their Practice," 2 vols; "Dictionary of Terms in American and English Jurisprudence," 2 vols.; "National Digest," 4 vols., which embraced all important decisions of the U. S. supreme circuit, district and claims courts; and edited and revised the fourth American edition of "Addison on Contracts." He collected his anonymous contributions to periodicals under the title "Judge and Jury," and issued in 1880 a juvenile in the Chautauqua reading circle series entitled "Travelling Law School and Famous Trials." In 1889 he published "The Patent Laws of All Nations," 2 vols., and edited Brodie's American and English Patent Cases," 3 vols. He died in Brooklyn, N. Y., Feb. 17, 1890.