ABBOTT, JOSEPH EDWARD POTTS

Copyright 2011-2018 John N. Lupia, III

Photograph of Honorable Joseph Edward Potts Abbott, circa 1890.

Abbott was a prominent New Jersey attorney in Mays Landing, Cape May County, New Jersey.


Joseph Edward Potts Abbott (1840-1914), was born on August 20, 1840 at Tuckahoe, Cape May County, New Jersey, the third child and son of Judge John Chattin Abbott (1803-1891), and Ann Godfrey Treen Abbott (1812-1864).

He attended the public schools, after which he taught at the public schools for three years. He studied law under George Spofford Woodhull, N. J. Supreme Court Justice (1866-1880), and was admitted to practice law in November 1865, and counsellor in June 1870. He was admitted to practice in U. S. Courts in 1869. 

As a schoolboy he began collecting minerals. 

On November 8, 1862, Abbott married Adaline H. Gibson (1836-1919), daughter of Charles and Mary Gibson of Doylestown, Pennsylvania. There two sons died in infancy. They adopted a daughter Nellie.

Fig. Published in John F. Hall, The Daily Union History of Atlantic City and County (Atlantic City : Daily Union Printing Co., 1900): 346.


Correspondence written on stationery manufactured by Hollowbush & Carey, a stationery and wallpaper manufacturer at Philadelphia. The letter is from Richard Champion regarding a payment due from him of $25 on a property he purchased. The real estate was given to his son-in-law George Washington Page (1836-1902), a Civil War veteran who married Champion's daughter Abigail. Page was given the land on which he became a prosperous cranberry grower. The letter is postmarked Tuckahoe, New Jersey, August 28, 1872. 
Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

In 1876, he exhibited his mineral collection comprising nearly one thousand specimens at the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia.

He began corresponding with the Chapman Brothers in 1881 based on records found in the Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive. It was at this period he began amassing an extensive coin collection over the next thirty years. In 1910, Francis Bazley Lee reports that his collection of American silver coins was considered one of the finest in the country.

Fig. Abbott correspondence with the Chapman Brothers, postmarked June 12, 1882, Mays Landing, New Jersey. There are many specimens in the 
Lupia Numismatic Library. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.

In 1885, he was president of the Mays Landing and Egg Harbor City Railroad Company.


Abbott correspondence with George W. Mitcher, discussing his plans to attend the Columbian Exhibition in Chicago in November, postmarked Mays Landing, New Jersey, October 16, 1893. 
Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

Abbott served as Atlantic County Prosecutor in the Court of Pleas beginning March 7, 1898 at the behest of Governor Griggs. 

In 1903, he was reappointed by Governor Murphy. He remained in office until 1908, retiring at age 68.


He died on May 24, 1914. He is buried at Union Cemetery, Mays Landing, Atlantic County, New Jersey. He was survived by his wife and daughter, Mrs. Joseph Tilton, his two brothers the Rev. William T. Abbott of Asbury Park, New Jersey, Chplain of the National Grand Army of the Republic; a brother who predeceased him, Sgt. John G. Abbott 48th NY Volunteers (casualty at Fort Wagner, Morris Island, S. C.), and a second surviving brother, Clark W. Abbott, the Tax Collector at Mays Landing, and a sister Mrs. Margaret Kenny of Nebraska.


Fig. Tombstone of J. E. P. Abbott at 
Union Cemetery, Mays Landing, Atlantic County, New Jersey.

The status of the Abbott coin collection is unknown.


Abbott House, built in the 1860's on Main Street, Mays Landing, New Jersey, was sold to Roy E. Beach in 1920. Today it is a Bed-and-Breakfast resort of the Jersey Shore.


Bibliography :

John F. Hall, The Daily Union History of Atlantic City and County (Atlantic City : Daily Union Printing Co., 1900): 34

Francis Bazley Lee, Genealogical and Memorial History of the State of New Jersey, (New York : Lewis Historical Publishing, 1910) Volume III : 875

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