George Cabot

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George Cabot
George Cabot.jpg
United States Senator
from Massachusetts
In office
March 4, 1791 – June 9, 1796
Preceded byTristram Dalton
Succeeded byBenjamin Goodhue
Personal details
Born(1752-12-03)December 3, 1752
Salem, Massachusetts
DiedApril 18, 1823(1823-04-18) (aged 70)
Boston, Massachusetts
Political partyFederalist
Alma materHarvard University
OccupationMerchant, Seaman, Politician

George Cabot (December 3, 1752 – April 18, 1823)[1] was an American merchant, seaman, and politician from Boston. He represented Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate and as the Presiding Officer of the Hartford Convention.

In 1789, President George Washington breakfasted at Cabot's Beverly, Massachusetts, home when he was in town inspecting the country's first cotton mill and the new Essex Bridge, which connected Beverly with Salem.[2]

Early life[edit]

Cabot was born in Salem, Massachusetts.[1] His father was Joseph Cabot, a ship merchant. His mother was Elizabeth Higginson.[3] He had ten siblings,[3] including John Cabot (b. 1745), Joseph Cabot Jr. (b. 1746), and Samuel Cabot (b. 1758). The Cabot family is originally from Jersey and likely Norman-French.

Cabot attended Harvard College for two years before he dropped out to go to sea. By the age of 21, he was captain of his own ship.

Political career[edit]

Cabot's political career began in 1775, when he became a member of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress. In 1777, he was a delegate to the state constitutional convention. In 1787, Cabot was a delegate to the state convention that ratified the US Constitution. He was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1788.[4]

He was elected to the U.S. Senate and served from March 4, 1791 to June 9, 1796. He was a supporter of the financial policies of Alexander Hamilton and became a Federalist when the party was organized. In 1793, he was named a director of the First Bank of the United States. In 1798, Cabot was appointed to but declined the position of the first US Secretary of the Navy.

Cabot opposed the policies of the Jefferson and Madison administrations, in particular the Embargo Act of 1807, which had a negative impact on trade conducted by New England merchants. Cabot was elected as a delegate to the Hartford Convention, organized in 1814 by Federalist politicians of New England who were unhappy with the conduct of the War of 1812.

Cabot chaired the secretive meeting, which called for constitutional reforms but stopped short of calling for secession. After the war ended, it was widely viewed as bordering on treason. The Treaty of Ghent, signed while the convention was meeting, effectively ended both the Federalist Party and Cabot's political career.

Personal life[edit]

He had four children: Charles, Henry, Edward, and Elizabeth.[3] Through Henry, Cabot was a great-grandfather of Henry Cabot Lodge[3] and the progenitor of a number of other prominent members of the Cabot family.

Cabot died in Boston, Massachusetts in 1823, and was initially buried the Granary Burying Ground. He was later reinterred in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


  1. ^ a b "CABOT, George, (1752 - 1823)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved July 28, 2011.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d Lodge, Henry Cabot (1878). Life and Letters of George Cabot. Little, Brown and Company. p. 5. Retrieved January 11, 2012. pp. 8, 323, 568
  4. ^ "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter C" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved July 28, 2014.

External links[edit]

U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Tristram Dalton
U.S. senator (Class 1) from Massachusetts
Served alongside: Caleb Strong
Succeeded by
Benjamin Goodhue