He was of Scottish ancestry.
He was born near Marseilles, Illinois.
He moved to Connecticut in 1857, with his parents. He came to Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1866 or 1867. He moved to Stillwater, Minnesota in the spring of 1868.
He was "a Republican in politics." (Thirteenth State Legislature. Minnesota in Three Centuries, 1908, p. 41)
He was a member of the Republican Party. (The Fifteenth Legislature of Minnesota, 1873, p. 13 and the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress)
He was listed as a Republican on the list of members posted after the 1877 election. ("The Next Legislature." St. Paul Pioneer Press, November 10, 1877)
"Mr. Sabin, as his ancestry would indicate, has always been a Republican and in 1870 he was elected. to the state senate, where he served until 1883,when he was sent to the United States senate to succeed the late William Windom." (Progressive Men of Minnesota, 1897, p. 70)
He was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination to the United States Senate in 1886.
He died in Chicago, Illinois. He was buried in Fairview Cemetery, Stillwater, Washington County, Minnesota.
Burnquist, Joseph A. A. Minnesota and Its People, Vol. 1, 1924 lists his death date as December 23, 1903. The Biographical Directory of the United States Congress lists December 22, 1902.