Born: April 16, 1819, Boston, Massachusetts.
Died: February 2, 1881, Manhattan, New York.
Buried: Saint Johnland Cemetery, Kings Park, New York.
Edward was the son of Abiel Washburn and Paulina Tucker, and husband of Frances Hall Lindsly.
He attended the Boston Latin School, where he won a Franklin Medal, then studied at Harvard. When he graduated from Harvard on August 29, 1838, the order of exercises for Commencement listed
The Sensibility which terminates in Imagination, Edward Abiel Washburn, Boston.
After Harvard, Washburn studied theology at Andover and New Haven, and entered the Congregational ministry. In 1844, having been ordained in the Protestant Episcopal Church, he became rector of St. Paul’s, Newburyport, Massachusetts, where he stayed until 1851.
He spent 1851–52 visiting Egypt, Palestine, India and China.
He then served as rector of St. John’s, Hartford, Connecticut (1853–62); Professor of Church Polity, Berkeley Divinity School, Middletown, Connecticut; rector of St. Mark’s, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1862–65); and rector of Calvary Church, New York (1865–81).
In 1871, Washburn was a delegate to the Evangelical Alliance, and in 1872 he visited Spain. In 1873, he attended sessions of the Evangelical Alliance in New York, and in 1879, visited Basel, Switzerland. In the summer of 1880, he traveled on horseback in Virginia and North Carolina.