John Fiske was born Edmund Fiske Green on March 30, 1842 in Hartford, Connecticut, the only child of Edmund Brewster Green of Smyrna, Delaware and Mary Fiske Bound of Middletown, Connecticut. His father was an editor in Hartford, New York, and Panama. His mother was the sister of John Bound, founder of Bound & Co. bankers on Wall Street, New York.
His father died in 1852, when John was 10, and in 1855 his mother remarried the Honorable Edwin Wallace Stoughton of New York, Minister to Russia from 1877-79.
In 1855, by act of Connecticut Legislature, he took the name of his maternal great-grandfather: JOHN FISKE.
He lived in Middletown until he entered Harvard, where he graduated in 1863. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1865, having been already admitted to the Suffolk bar in 1864, but never practiced law.
On September 6, 1864, at the age of 22, John Fiske of Lawrence, married Miss Abigail Morgan Brooks (1839-?) of Lawrence, age 25, in Appleton Chapel, Harvard University. The service was officiated by Minister Edmund B. Willson, Abigail's maternal uncle.
John and Abigail reared six children between 1865 and 1877: two daughters and four sons. Maud was born in Jamaica Plains, and married Grover Flint of New York, New York. The following children were all born in Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harold; Clarence, who married Margaret Gracie Higginson, Ralph, a writer who died at age 28, Ethel; and Herbert, who married Elizabeth -- and owned hotels in Petersham, Massachusetts and Redlands, Califiornia.
His career as author began in 1861, with an article on "Mr. Buckle's Fallacies," published in the "National Quarterly Review." Since that time he has been a frequent contributor to American and British periodicals. In 1869-71 he was university lecturer on philosophy at Harvard; in 1870 instructor in history there, and in 1872-79 assistant librarian. On resigning the latter place, in 1879, he was elected a member of the board of overseers, and at the expiration of the six years' term was re-elected in 1885. Since 1881 he has lectured annually on American history at Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., and since 1884 has held a professorship of American history at that institution, but continues to make his home at Cambridge. He lectured on American history at University College, London, in 1879, and at the Royal Institution of Great Britain in 1880. Since 1871 he has given many hundred lectures, chiefly upon American history, in the principal cities of the United States and Great Britain. The largest part of his life has been devoted to the study of history; but at an early age inquiries into the nature of human progress led him to a careful study of the doctrine of evolution, and it was as an expounder of this doctrine that he first became known to the public. In 1871 he arrived at the discovery of the causes of the prolonged infancy of mankind, and the part played by it in determining human development; and the importance of this contribution to the Darwinian theory, now generally admitted, was immediately recognized by Darwin and Spencer.
His published books are:
All the above published by. Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Also "Edward Livingston Youman's Interpreter of Science for the People" (New York, D. Appleton & Co., 1894) ; "A Japanese Translation of The Destiny of Man" was published at Tokio in 1893.
He received degree of doctor of letters from the University of Pennsylvania, 1894; doctor of laws, Harvard University, 1894; has been a fellow of the American Academy of Sciences, member of the American Oriental Society, American FolkLore Society, British Folk-Lore Society, Massachusetts Historical Society, Military Historical Society of Massachusetts, Essex Institute, American Geographical Society, American Antiquarian Society. Historical Societies of Virginia, Missouri, California, Oneida County, N. Y. ; was president of the Boylston Club, a club of singers in Boston, from 1877 to 1882. 
10 Aug 1870 US Federal Census, Cambridge, MA, John Fiske (31 b. CT) author, Abby (32 b. MA), Harold (3 b. MA), Clarence (1 b. MA), Maud (5 b. MA), James Brooks (40 b. MA) lawyer, Martha Brooks (27 b. MA)
1880 US Federal Census, Cambridge, MA, John Fisk (39, b. CT parents b. CT) lecturer, Abby M (41 b. MA parents b. MA), Maude (15 b. MA), Harold B (13 b. MA), Ralph R (9 b. MA), Ethel (7 b. MA), Herbert H (3 b. MA), Sarah A Haynes (59 b. ME), Isabella Lemont (30 b. Canada), Kate Mcmillan (28 b. Canada), Clarence S Fisk (11 b. MA)
7 Jun 1900 US Federal Census, Cambridge, MA, John Fiske (58 b. Mar 1842 CT, parents b. DE/CT) author, m. for 36 yrs., Abby M (61 b. Aug 1839 MA, parents b. MA) 6 ch/5 living, Maud F Flint (35 b. Jul 1865 MA) m. 4 yrs, 1ch., Ethel (28 b. Jul 1872 MA), Herbert H (23, b. Aug 1877 MA), Annie M Cahil (22 b. Oct 1878 Canada [Eng]) servant, imm. 1899, Sarah J Raffety (46 b. Oct 1854 Ireland) servant, imm. 1885
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