A Biography of Edward Adams
Edward Adams was born August 18, 1807 in Boston to John Quincy Adams and Louisa Catherine Johnson and became their third son and fourth child.
After graduating from college, he pursued legal studies before going on to practice as an attorney and serving in Massachusetts state legislature.
Early Life and Education
Adams’ early life was filled with intense activity and learning. Raised in Braintree, Massachusetts and graduating with his degree from Harvard College were hallmarks of activity for him.
Adams soon joined a political movement that challenged Parliament’s actions against American colonies, founded on Enlightenment values such as natural rights and abolition. Adams played an instrumental role in leading this opposition movement.
Over time, Adams relocated to Washington D.C. where he would serve in both houses of congress – serving both Senate and House as well as holding an honorary professorship at Harvard University for short period.
He served as both a diplomat in Europe and lawyer. Known for his revolutionary views and support of its goals, his political views were radical and extreme.
Adams was also an abolitionist; he and his wife Abigail strongly opposed slavery and the use of slave labor.
In 1801 he returned to Boston and was elected to the Massachusetts Senate.
President Monroe appointed Adams secretary of state in 1817 and served in this capacity until 1820, during which time his duties included keeping the British government informed on any diplomatic activities conducted by Confederate forces or preventing their construction or outfitting at British shipyards for use against Confederate forces.
Achievement and Honors
Adams was one of the co-founders of the Free Soil Party and served as vice president until 1858, representing Massachusetts in the House of Representatives from that period onwards.
His campaigning earned him the moniker “Old Man Eloquent”. This recognition can be found in his success at winning congressional acceptance for antislavery petitions and ending House practices of tabling them. His record in Congress can largely be credited to his tireless advocacy on issues of national importance.
He published numerous books and articles, edited the North American Review as editor-in-chief, led environmental conservation initiatives and became an accomplished photographer – famously his photographs of Yosemite National Park are iconic. Additionally, he worked on projects to expand the United States National Park system.
Adams was an exceptionally successful attorney, holding the highest caseload among Boston attorneys. Additionally, he served as prosecutor in the Boston Massacre trials and actively engaged in provincial politics.
John Adams was also a prolific writer, publishing numerous essays in Boston. A staunch nationalist and an early opponent of Thomas Jefferson and the Republican Party.
He kept an extensive diary from childhood onwards, updating it frequently throughout his life and endearing him to historians.
Edward Adams was a prominent founding figure of the United States. Known for serving in the American Revolutionary War and helping draft the Declaration of Independence, Adams gained widespread respect during his life. He died in Boston, Massachusetts.
Adams also published several books, with his most noteworthy works including Mont Saint-Michel and Chartres (published in 1913) and The Education of Henry Adams (1919).
He wrote extensively on archeology and philately, as well as being especially proud of his work with Tati Salman’s relics from Tahiti’s former Queen.
He was an influential journalist, historian, and novelist whose writings had an effectful effect on both American and British governments. In 1919 he won a Pulitzer Prize for The Education of Henry Adams which later went unpublished. On March 27 1918 in Washington D.C. he died and is interred beside Clover in an unmarked grave.