Born: July 11, 1842, Rondout, New York (merged with Kingston, New York, in 1872).
Died: June 7, 1911, Tenafly, New Jersey.
Buried: Montrepose Cemetery, Kingston, New York.
Henry was the son of Stephen Abbey and Caroline Vail, and husband of Mary Louise Dubois (married December 26, 1865). He was also a great-grandson of Lucy Knox, who was said to be a direct descendant of Scotch reformer John Knox.
Known as a writer and poet, Henry was educated at the Kingston Academy; the Heading Academy, Greene County, New York; the Delaware Literary Institute, Delhi, New York; and the Hudson River Institute, Columbia County, New York.
A member of the Fair Street Reformed Church, he served as assistant editor of the Rondout Courier; editor of the Orange Spectator, Orange, New Jersey; a bank teller and merchant; member of the Kingston Board of Health; and director, vice president and president of the State of New York National Bank of Kingston. He belonged to the Authors Club, and was a life member of New York Shakespeare Society.
Abbey wrote a long poem about the 20th New York State Militia, and read it at the Gettysburg Battlefield, Pennsylvania, monument dedication in 1888.
The night came on, and unto sleep we gave
Our spirits. When the golden day was born
Veera awoke, and told me all her dream;
Lo, in the night three men have talked with me—
Three strange good men who said the kindest words,
And said that only those who were released
From sin, could find the garden of the Lord.
And this release was bought upon a cross
By One, a Nazarene, with priceless blood.
If He would bear our sins, then we might reach
The garden; but we must not touch or eat
The tree of life that flourished in the midst.
Then I abased my soul, and prayed again,
And cast off all the burden of my sins,
Tearing my strange ambition from my heart.
And Veera, too, embraced the Christian Faith.
So we arose, and went upon our way,
And journeying eastward, Eden found at last!
Henry L. Abbey
Stories in Verse, 1869