Family Tree Tuesday – Henry Brooks Adams
Henry Brooks Adams was a journalist and was keen on exposing political corruption. He was appointed Professor of Medieval History at Harvard in 1870 and is considered to have been the first to conduct historical seminar work in the United States. One of his students was Henry Cabot Lodge, who worked closely with Adams as a graduate student. Adams wrote two novels, he is credited as the author of Democracy, which was published anonymously in 1880 and the other novel was Esther which he published under the pen name of Frances Compton.
He published The Education of Henry Adams in 1907, in a small private edition for selected friends, but it was made available to the general public in an edition issued by the Massachusetts Historical Society after his death. It ranked first on the Modern Library’s 1998 list of 100 Best Nonfiction Books and was named the best book of the twentieth century by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. It was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1919. Adams suffered a stroke in 1912 which is said to have been brought on by the news of the sinking of the Titanic, for which he had return tickets to Europe.
Henry Brooks Adams was born on February 16, 1838 in Boston, Massachusetts to Charles Francis Adams, Sr. and Abigail Brooks. Charles Adams, Sr. was a lawyer, politician, diplomat and writer. When Adams, Sr. was re-elected to the U.S. House of Representatives he asked Henry to be his private secretary, Henry accepted reluctantly and during this time he was the anonymous Washington correspondent for Charles Hale’s Boston Daily Advertiser. Adams, Sr. was later appointed as United States Minister to the United Kingdom by Abraham Lincoln in 1861. Henry continued to be his private secretary and also became the anonymous London correspondent for the New York Times.
Henry’s brothers were Charles Francis Adams, Jr., he served as a colonel in the Union Army during the American Civil War and was president of the Union Pacific Railroad from 1884 to 1890, and Peter Chardon Brooks Adams was an American historian and critic of capitalism.
His nephews were George C. Adams who was a former head coach of the Harvard University football program from 1890 to 1892 and Charles Francis Adams III was the United States Secretary of the Navy under President Herbert Hoover. Charles Adams III’s son was Charles Adams IV, he served as the first president of the Raytheon Company between 1948-1960 and again in 1962-1964.
Henry Brooks Adams’ paternal grandfather was the 6th President of the United States John Quincy Adams, his great grandfather was the 2nd President of the United States John Adams, his maternal grandfather was wealthy Massachusetts merchant Peter Chardon Brooks and his maternal great grandfather was Nathaniel Gorham, one of the signers of the United States Constitution.
Check out Henry Brooks Adams’ family tree and see how you may be related!