About The ELCT

It was the belief of both Richard C. Cabot and Ella Lyman Cabot that persons were a better vehicle than institutions for a substance so precious and volatile as human idealism. Personalities grow and adapt; institutions all too often harden and contract. Their own creative faith, while variously transmitted, was most characteristically expressed in spiritual or material help to countless individuals at critical and crescent moments of their careers.

In medicine, Richard Cabot recognized three groups: those who would recover of themselves; those who would not recover, whatever the physician might do; and those – a relatively small middle group – where what the physician could do would make all the difference between life and death.

Carrying this same analysis over into his teaching, his social service, his individual contacts, it was again a middle group that challenged him – a group where a timely word, and unadvertised and prompt material assistance, might make all the difference between success and failure. Richard and Ella Cabot were willing; indeed, to gamble almost recklessly on the creative powers of human personality if there was even a slight chance of tipping the balance in favor of real and significant achievement.

It is fitting, therefore, that the Ella Lyman Cabot Trust, whatever the more generalized purpose expressed in its charter, should be devoted to this clearly articulated purpose of its founder – the sponsoring of persons with projects.

These projects may be in the realm of art, science, social service, education – almost any significant human endeavor – so long as they are embodied in the elastic medium of some individual creative personality. Worthy endeavors embodied in institutions may often tempt the trustees to lend their support, but these will be outside the peculiar and often expressed scope of the Trust, as it existed in the mind of its founder. Only so qualified and defined does the Ella Lyman Cabot Trust stand as a truly characteristic projection of these two individuals, so rich in their own achievement, yet whose warmest and most appealing characteristic was the faith which they had in their friends.

Continue to General Application Guidelines to learn how the ELCT operates.