He clerked for crockery merchant Samuel B. Pierce on Broad Street, Boston, beginning in 1831. He was later associated with the firm of Andrew T. Hall. With George West. Bassett, French formed the firm of Bassett, French & Company
(ca1868), also on Milk Street.
The firm billed itself as "importers of crockery, china and glass ware, French and Bohemian fancy goods, silver plated ware and cutlery, paper hangings."
He served as an Inspector for city Ward Number. 9 in 1848. In 1853 he served as a judge in the exhibition of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association, held at Faneuil and Quincy Halls.
French lived in Boston on Edinboro Saint, ca.1858-1868. Around 1873 he moved with his family to an estate once owned by Samuel Griswold Goodrich in Jamaica Plain.
At some point he also owned the Warren house, 130 Warren Street, Roxbury.
In 1874, the business expanded to Chicago. After the old Milk Saint shop burned in the fire of 1872, Abram French & Company moved in 1879 to a new building on Franklin Saint at the corner of Devonshire Saint By all accounts the new shop presented merchandise in a tasteful and remarkably luxurious setting. The firm also exhibited specimens in the 1874 and 1881 exhibitions of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association.
As for recreational baseball, in August 1882, the Abram French & Company baseball team lost to Jones, McDuffee & Stratton.
French died after a sudden illness in January, 1884, at his home in Jamaica Plain, and was buried in Forest Hills Cemetery. He had been married, with seven children.