Thomas Boylston Adams, Esq (1772 - 1832) MP

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Birthplace: Braintree, Norfolk, Massachusetts
Death: Died in Quincy, Norfolk, Massachusetts
Managed by: David Stephen Donovan
Last Updated:

About Thomas Boylston Adams, Esq

THOMAS BOYLSTON ADAMS, third son and youngest child of John and Abigail (Smith) Adams, was born 15 September 1772. He graduated from Harvard in 1790 and studied law in Philadelphia. He accompanied his brother John Quincy on his first diplomatic mission to Europe as secretary in 1794, returned in 1798, and practiced law and contributed to Joseph Dennie's Port Folio in Philadelphia for some years thereafter. In 1805 he married Ann Harrod of Haverhill and settled in Quincy, which he represented in the Massachusetts legislature, 1805-1806. In 1811 he was appointed chief justice of the circuit court of common pleas for the southern circuit of Massachusetts. Thomas Boylston Adams died on 13 March 1832, in Quincy.

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THOMAS BOYLSTON ADAMS, third son and youngest child of John and Abigail (Smith) Adams, was born 15 September 1772. He graduated from Harvard in 1790 and studied law in Philadelphia. He accompanied his brother John Quincy on his first diplomatic mission to Europe as secretary in 1794, returned in 1798, and practiced law and contributed to Joseph Dennie's Port Folio in Philadelphia for some years thereafter. In 1805 he married Ann Harrod of Haverhill and settled in Quincy, which he represented in the Massachusetts legislature, 1805-1806. In 1811 he was appointed chief justice of the circuit court of common pleas for the southern circuit of Massachusetts. Thomas Boylston Adams died on 13 March 1832, in Quincy.

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Thomas Boylston Adams (September 15, 1772 – March 13, 1832) was the third and youngest son of John and Abigail (Smith) Adams.

Adams lived with relatives in Haverhill, Massachusetts during his father’s diplomatic missions in Europe, after Abigail Adams joined him in 1784. He graduated from Harvard in 1790 and studied law at his family’s behest, but brother John Quincy Adams did not believe he had the skills to practice law successfully.

Adams accompanied his brother John Quincy in Amsterdam and Portugal from 1794 to 1798, serving as his secretary. In 1805, Thomas Adams married Ann Harrod of Haverhill and settled in Quincy, which he represented in the Massachusetts legislature from 1805 to 1806. In 1811 he was appointed Chief Justice of the Circuit Court of Common Pleas for the Southern Circuit of Massachusetts. -------------------- Biographical sketch presented by The Adams Papers editorial project

    THOMAS BOYLSTON ADAMS, third son and youngest child of John and Abigail (Smith) Adams, was born 15 September 1772. He graduated from Harvard in 1790 and studied law in Philadelphia. He accompanied his brother John Quincy on his first diplomatic mission to Europe as secretary in 1794, returned in 1798, and practiced law and contributed to Joseph Dennie's Port Folio in Philadelphia for some years thereafter. In 1805 he married Ann Harrod of Haverhill and settled in Quincy, which he represented in the Massachusetts legislature, 1805-1806. In 1811 he was appointed chief justice of the circuit court of common pleas for the southern circuit of Massachusetts. Thomas Boylston Adams died on 13 March 1832, in Quincy.

SOURCE: Massachusetts Historical Society online at www.masshist.org/adams/biographical.cfm

______________________________________________________________________________ Of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin said, “Always an honest man, often a wise one, but sometimes, and in some things, he is absolutely out of his senses.” Certainly historians have indicated this was often true of Adams as a father. John and Abigail Adams had three sons and two daughters, one of whom, Susanna, died in infancy. One son became president of the United States. The other two died alcoholics. + + + Younger brother Thomas Boylston Adams had a casual, affable disposition and a great love of nature. He, too, was left in the care of relatives for years while his parents were away doing the nation’s business abroad or in the capital. When Thomas was 12, Abigail wrote that he was “a rogue who loves his birds and doves.” Yet his parents continued to pressure him to enter the family business of law and politics, despite the objections of John Quincy and others. A particularly unjust reprimand from Abigail, who assumed Thomas was being lazy and rowdy, brought a rare rebuttal from John Quincy, who had taken to refusing to answer his parents’ overbearing missives. In her equally rare “apology,” Abigail claimed to have been misunderstood. But she gratuitously added her fervent wish to be spared “the blight of undutiful and vicious children” and ended the letter with a sermon on virtue.

Thomas was shy, gentle and wholly unprepared for the rough-and-tumble life of law and politics. He was also burdened by many physical ailments. Despite some promising early successes, his failure at law brought alcoholism and total dependence on his parents. Thomas, his wife and seven children (none of whom ever married) all moved in with John and Abigail, and they stayed in the family home until Thomas’ death from alcoholism at the age of 59. By then what had once been described as his affable disposition had soured to the point that his nephew Charles Francis Adams called Thomas “one of the most unpleasant characters in this world…a brute in manners and a bully in his family.” Yet unlike Charles, he was buried without any overt hint of disgrace or secrecy. eSource: http://www.historynet.com/abigail-adams ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------- Ken's notes: "Had 7 children"

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Thomas Boylston Adams's Timeline

1772
September 15, 1772
Braintree, Norfolk, Massachusetts
1805
May 16, 1805
Age 32
Haverhill, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
1806
1806
Age 33
Quincy, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States
1807
1807
Age 34
Quinton, Norfolk, MA
1808
1808
Age 35
Quincy, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States
1809
1809
Age 36
Quincy, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States
1811
June 22, 1811
Age 38
Quincy, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States
1811
Age 38
Quincy, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States
1813
1813
Age 40
Quincy, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States
1815
1815
Age 42
Quincy, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States