ABBOTT, Justin Edwards

ABBOTT, Justin Edwards. Portsmouth NH 25.12.1853 — Summit NJ 19.6. or 16.9.1932. Rev. U.S. Missionary and Indologist (Marathi Scholar). B.A. Son of missionary parents, Rev. Amos A. and Anstice Wilson, he came with them in 1857 to Rahuri (Ahmednagar dt.) and grew up in Maharashtra. Studies in the U.S.A., graduated from Dartmouth College 1876 and Union Theological Seminary 1879, ordained 1880. From 1881 on he worked as missionary in the Bombay Presidency, retired after his wife’s death in 1921. His last years he lived in Summit, NJ. Married 1902 Camilla L. Clarke (d. 1921) in Naples.

It seems that when in India, Abbott’s scholarly pursuits mainly lied in archaeology and epigraphy, and the study of Maratha saints started after retirement. He has been criticised for his very literal translations.

Publications: “Recently discovered Buddhist Caves at Nadsur and Nenavali in the Bhor State, Bombay Presidency”, IA 20, 1891, 121-123; “Discovery of Ancient Brâhmî Script in Kashmir”, JBRAS 21, 1900-05, 562-567; “Indian Inscriptions on the Fire Temple at Baku”, JAOS 29, 1909, 299-304 (in Pañjābī); inscriptions also in EI 4, 1896-97, 297-300 & 5, 1898-99, 102f.; brief notes in IA 21, 1892, 94 & 24, 1895, 83.

– “The Kātkari Language”, JBRAS Centen. Vol. 1905, 78-126.

– “Mālobā, the Marathī Saint”, JAOS 40, 1920, 300-306; “The Maratha Poet-Saint Dāsopant Digambar”, JAOS 42, 1922, 251-279; “The Bhikshugītā or Mendicant’s Song. The Parable of the Repentant Miser”, JAOS 46, 1926, 289-196 (BhāgP 11).

With N. R. Godbole edited the Poet Saints of Maharashtra series in Poona (translations from the Bhakta­līlakāmrta of Mahīpati): 1. Bhānu Dās. 1926; 2. Eknath. 1927; 3. Bhikshu­gītā. 1928; 4. Dasopant Digambar. 1928; 5. Bahiṇā Bāī. 1929; 6. Stotramālā. 1929; 7. Tukarām. 1930, collected as Stories of Indian Saints. 1-2. 37+507, 34+499 p. Poona 1933-34.

Articles on Stephens and other early Marathi Christian authors: BSOS 2:4, 1923, 679-683 & BSOS 3:1, 1923, 159-164; on Sivaji, JRAS 1924, Cent. Suppl. 191-195 & JAOS.50, 1930, 159-160.

The Keys of Power. A Study of Indian Ritual and Belief. 560 p. N.Y. 1933.

Sources: Short note in JAOS 1932 or 1933, works in the N.U.C. (not in B.L.C.); http://www.myjacobfamily.com/favershamjacobs/justinedwardsabbott.htm; neither in the Who Was Who in Am. nor in the Nat. Cycl. Am. Biogr.

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