1791-1849. 27 pp. Various sizes. Very good collection overall, some staining and finger soiling throughout. with scattered tearing, only affecting a limited amount of text one two or three letters. Rev. George T. Chapman: Sketches of the Alumni of Dartmouth College (1867) p. 87. Item #43916
Nineteen autograph letters on seventeen sheets, and one promissory note. Fifteen letters from Sebastian to his brother, Abel, (most before 1798 while Sebastian was at Dartmouth), two to his niece, Fanny, two from his daughter Mary to Abel and to Fanny, and one from his son, Elbridge, to Abel, all originally folded into packets and addressed; early ones with remnants of seals, later ones with postmarks.
Sebastian Columbus Cabot (Thompson Ct, 1769-, Enfield, Mass., 1853), the great grandson of George Cabot (1678-1717), studied divinity with Rev. John Smith, 1773 at Hanover, was a 1797 graduate of Dartmouth, preceptor at Moor's 1798-1800, appointed pastor at Pelham (now Prescott, Mass, 1807) but dismissed for ill health shortly thereafter, became a teacher, and settled in Enfield. He was the older brother of Abel (1783-1848), who appeared to remain a farmer, a prosperous one at that, all his life, in Chelsea, Vt. As the older brother, he gives Abel advice: "I could make it convenient to write everyday, it would give me much pleasure, but as our different pursuits require a separation, I shall feel myself happy to contribute to your entertainment and instruction in these silent accents, though it be but once a month or year. It affords me exquisite satisfaction to hear of your steadiness and attention to business ; and that your moral conduct merits the esteem and approbation of the wise and virtuous. This, my dear brother, is the direct way to future eminence and distinction in life, and though there are different degrees of eminence, some of which, require greater qualifications; yet these are the basis on which all qualifications are founded; and without these, we seldom if ever attain to any station of trust or confidence whatever Mirthful recreations, though lawful, afford us by a temporary enjoyment, and should always be kept in subordination to the more noble attainment, and even in these, one should not forget a medium, knowing that they are intended only to fit us for business. As nature, in all her works, though full of variety, keeps one steady and invariable course; so should man learn from her to regulate all his conduct, and to maintain a mediocrity in all his actions."
In letter three: "Our stations in life, though very different, cannot alter my feelings as a brother, nor the honor of a higher rank entice me to look down with an air of disdain upon one in a low station. It gives me singular satisfaction to hear that your behavior is commendable; that you are disposed to purpose the paths of virtue, and to live at a distance from corrupting vices. You have now just entered on the stage of manhood, where you will find your views extend a thousand different ways and pointing out various objects of pleasure. Here, fancy will open to your view a train of flattering beauties of various denominations. Here, imagination will predict copious prospects of future pleasure and delights. Here, pride and ambition will stimulate you to a vain glorious and often ostentatious appearance, and tempt you to enter the bowers of ease and expose yourself in the shades of security. But let me entreat you, dear brother, to stand firm against pride and haughtiness of mind; to avoid profanity and frothy company. Divest yourself of flattery and deceit. Let your tongue and heart always agree, and never let passion command your reason. Treat your inferiors with condescension, your equals with benevolence, and your superiors with gratitude and submission, and strangers with good manners."
Despite Sebastian's attitudes towards his brother, always hectoring him to write, suggesting he would be out of place at Sebastian's graduation, talking a relative out of visiting him, Abel appears to have helped his brother financially from the time Sebastian was in school, and later to have offered help to Sebastian's son, Elbridge, perhaps with a job, but Elbridge needed to support his parents as they grew older. Sebastian's last letter to his brother, on Christmas day, 1848, appears to indicate they had not seen each other nor been in touch for a number of years. Sebastian apologizes for not writing to Abel's children (though in the next letter to his niece, he says he doesn't have time to write to her) and updates Abel on his own children, marriages, family matters. Unknown to him, however, was that Abel was already deceased. Univ. of Vermont lists a file of letters between the brothers.