Charles, Jr. Adams by Rev. W. R. Cochrane

It appears from the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. VII., and also from Drake's History and Antiquities of Boston, folio edition, 1854, that "Ap Adam (the Welsh for Adams) came out of the Marches of Wales." Their descendants appear to have lived for many generations in the English shires of Lancaster, Gloucester, and Devon. From the latter, Henry Adams, the first of this family in America, emigrated, and settled in that part of Braintree which is now Quincy, Mass., about 1630. He died there in 1646. Twenty-four generations in the male line are given below, the first seventeen of which are copied from the authorities cited above.

1. Sir John Ap Adam, Knt., Lord Ap Adam, member of Parliament from 1296 to 1307.
2. Sir John Ap Adam Kt.
3. Sir John Ap Adam.
4. William Ap Adam.
5. Sir John Ap Adam.
6. Thomas Ap Adam.
7. Sir John Ap Adam, Knt.
8. Sir John Ap Adam, alias Adams.
9. Roger Adams.
10. Thomas Adams.
11. John Adams.
12. John Adams.
13. John Adams.
14. Richard Adams.
15. William Adams.
16. Henry Adams who settled in Braintree, (now Quincy), Mass., and died 1646.
17. Edward Adams, of Medfield, Mass.
18. John Adams, of Medway, Mass.
19. Abraham Adams, of Brookfield, Mass.
20. Jesse Adams, of Brookfield, Mass.
21. Dr. Charles Adams, of Antrim, N. H.
22. Hon. Charles Adams, Jr., A. M., North Brookfield, Mass.
23. Charles Woodburn Adams, North Brookfield, Mass.
24. Charles Joseph Adams, North Brookfield, Mass.

From Henry Adams (16), who settled in Braintree, descended the presidents. He had a large family besides the Edward named above, and among them a son Joseph, born in 1626, who married Abigail Baxter. These last had a son Joseph, born December 24, 1654. Of this second Joseph, the second son was Dea. John Adams of Braintree. Dea. John married Susanna Boylston, of Brookline, Mass., and their oldest son was John Adams, born October 19, 1735, second President of the United States. His oldest son was John Quincy Adams, sixth President of the United States, and father of Hon. Charles Francis Adams.

Dr. Charles Adams, the twenty-first generation from Ap Adam of Wales, was son of Jesse and Miriam (Richardson) Adams, of Brookfield, Mass., and was born in that place, February 13, 1782. His early years were spent on the farm with his father. His education was chiefly acquired in the district school and Leicester Academy. He then taught some two years in Half Moon, N. Y. On his return, in 1803, he commenced the study of medicine with Dr. Asa Walker, of Barre, Mass., with whom he remained in practice one year after completing his studies. He came to Antrim, N. H., and began practice in the early summer of 1807, coming to take the place of Dr. Nathan W. Cleaves, whose early and much lamented death occurred in April of that year. Dr. Adams married, February 13, 1809, Sarah McAllister, of Antrim, daughter of James and Sarah (McClary) McAllister. She was a woman of excellent tastes and superior mind, of rare patience in toil and trial, and of a sweet and winning Christian spirit,—all of which made her conspicuously worthy and attractive. She was of pure Scotch descent and strict Presbyterian opinions. She was a mother whose children might well "rise up and call her blessed." Dr. Adams was a favorite in Antrim; was early in town office; was a successful physician; was a great reader, full of information; and was looked upon by contemporaries as an original and able man. He moved from Antrim to Oakham, Mass., in 1816, where he died of old age, March 6, 1875.

Hon. Charles Adams, Jr., A. M., the subject of this sketch, was born in Antrim, January 31, 1810; in that part of the town then known as "Woodbury Village," having only eight or ten houses all told, now the large and flourishing village of South Antrim. Here he had his first schooling, under charge of Fanny Baldwin and Daniel M. Christie, afterwards Hon. Daniel M. of Dover. Of those early school-days he retains a vivid remembrance; and he is the last of that group of scholars, or nearly the last, now living. After removal from Antrim, he continued and completed a common-school education at Oakham; was at a select school six months under Rev. John Bisbee, of Brookfield, Mass.; then he studied eight months with Rev. Josiah Clark, of Rutland, Mass.; and this was the limit of his opportunity for education. Then, though quite young, he was in a store about five years in Petersham, Mass., obtaining much practical knowledge in the course of his work. He is what called a self-made man. Few men can be found better versed in literary matters, or political economy, or the history of our land. He has been familiar with distinguished men, and is one we count winsome in the social hour, with a fund of information on most topics of conversation; with apt quotation, or vigorous repartee ever ready on his tongue. Hence he is one of the most agreeable, genial, and gentlemanly of men. He was some years book-keeper, and afterwards partner, in the immense boot and shoe-manufacturing establishment of North Brookfield (now employing from twelve hundred to fifteen hundred hands), from which company he retired just before the war.

With singular continuance, Mr. Adams has been kept in offices of trust by the people of his adopted town and state. He was clerk of North Brookfield (now of about forty-five hundred inhabitants) ten years; representative in the Massachusetts house four years; on the executive council of Massachusetts four years; treasurer of the state of Massachusetts five years; and member of the senate of that state four years. And in all these cases the office sought the man, not the man the office. The writer of this knows that some of his friends were almost angry with him because he would not consent to run for congress, when the way was clear and an election sure. It is simply the truth to say that he has been in public life more than a quarter of a century; that he is a man of fixed principles and irreproachable character, a vigorous hater of shams and corruption, and held in honor throughout his adopted state.

During his administration as treasurer and receiver-general of the commonwealth, it became necessary, in arranging its financial matters, to negotiate, sign, and deliver in England, a large amount of its bonds, and Mr. Adams was commissioned by the governor and council to go to London for that purpose. After having successfully accomplished the objects of his mission, he took the opportunity of traveling for a short time on the continent of Europe, as well as in Great Britain, and especially in Scotland. In the latter country he had an ardent and loving interest, which was increased by travel there, and has lost nothing in subsequent years. He is a Scotch antiquarian of much reading and research.

Mr. Adams has always been greatly attached to his native town, Antrim,—cherishing with undiminished love the rocks and the hills upon which he looked in childhood. His visits are frequent to the old town; he still retains his membership in the old Presbyterian church; clearly remembers the old faces; loves the old ways; was a great helper in preparing the recent History of Antrim, and was a willing contributor to its embellishment. With all the rest, he has been something of a musician, being a member of the church choir (North Brookfield, Mass.,) more than forty years,—for many years its leader. And in these traits his children follow him, as they are gifted with rare musical taste and skill.

Mr. Adams married, May 8, 1834, Eliza, daughter of Hon. Joseph Cummings, of Ware, Mass.; and they have three surviving children,—Charles Woodburn and George Arthur, of North Brookfield, and John Quincy, of Boston. An only daughter, Ellen Eliza, married Frank A. Smith, and died at West Brookfield in 1866.

The degree of A. M. was conferred on Mr. Adams by Dartmouth College in 1878. And it may be added that such men as Mr. Adams are continually reflecting honor upon our rocky New Hampshire, from which they went forth. Their success goes to prove, that, with an eager mind, good ready common sense, persevering application, and inflexible honesty, the boys of the Granite State may win high places among men. We see by this biography, that, if the man be good enough, the place will seek the man. Truth and uprightness, backed by good abilities, are pretty sure to be appreciated.