After marrying Charles Abbott, Mary Abbott, Massachusetts-born, moved with him to Calcutta (Kolkata), India. There she gave birth to three children, Margaret, Charles, and Sprague. Her husband died in August 1879 and Mary Abbott returned to the United States, settling in Chicago, where her brother lived. She then began a career as a popular writer. Her first novel, Alexia, was published in 1889, and was followed by The Beverleys: A Story of Calcutta in 1890. Both did well and she later wrote essays for the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Evening Post. Mary Abbott’s writing career allowed her to move among the higher levels of Chicago society. She began a literary salon, and was friendly with the Potter-Palmers and the Chatfield-Taylors, heady company indeed. One person she befriended in those circles was Charles Blair MacDonald, considered by some people as the father of American amateur golf. MacDonald was the first US Amateur champion, and a well-known course designer. He introduced Mary Abbott and her daughter, Margaret, to the game at his own Chicago Golf Club. Margaret Abbott would become the first American female to win an Olympic gold medal, in the 1900 Olympic golf event.