Charles Abbott, legislator and merchant, was born in New Hampshire about 1835. Little is known about his early life. The Thirteenth Legislative District, encompassing Austin County, elected Abbott, a Republican, to the Texas House of Representatives. He served in the Twelfth and Thirteenth legislative sessions from February 8, 1870, to June 4, 1873. He signed the Oath of Office, a process that involved signing three different versions of the form, during 1871. In the Twelfth Legislature, the last to be predominantly Republican in composition, Abbott served on the Commerce and Manufactures Committee. Abbott was in office as a wave of Democrats returned power to the traditional antebellum forces in Texas politics. He was very active during the Thirteenth Legislature, serving on a number of committees, including the Agriculture and Stock Raising and Private Land Claims committees. Abbott participated in the Committee on the Resolution Asking the Governor to Remove T.C. Barden, Judge of the Sixteenth Judicial District. Barden, a Republican, served as a delegate to the National Union Republican Convention of 1872, and his role in enforcing Reconstruction made him highly unpopular with many Democrats in Texas. In a legislative directory from 1873, Abbott was listed as a merchant, aged thirty-seven and married, from the town of Hempstead.
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W. J. Barker, comp., Directory of the Members of the Thirteenth Legislature of the State of Texas (Austin: State Journal Print, 1873). Charles E. Spellman, ed., The Texas House of Representatives: A Pictorial Roster, 1846–1992 (Austin: Texas House of Representatives, 1992).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Abbott, Charles L.,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 16, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
April 25, 2007