The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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James Abbott, 1776-1858

Nationality: American
Date of Birth: 1776
Place of Birth: Detroit
Date of Death: 1858
Place of Death:


He was the son of James Abbott, Sr, of Dublin, Ireland, who came to the USA and settled in Detroit, MI. He married Sarah Whistler, the sister of George Washington Whistler, at Fort Dearborn in the spring of 1804; their marriage was the first one recorded at Chicago. He was AMW's sister-in-law, and JW's uncle.


He was one of the leading residents of Detroit. His father organized a fur trading partnership with several local men, and Abbott Jr succeeded to the business.

He was Postmaster from 1806 to 1831. He was known as 'Judge Abbott' due to his position as Justice of Peace. In 1838 'Abbott Street' was named after him.


Bailey, Mary, 'Detroit's Street Names Honor Early Leaders,' The Detroit News, at (accessed 2002).