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Thomas Boylston Adams (1772 - 1832)

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Thomas Boylston Adams
Born in Penns Hill Farm, Braintree, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USAmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married in Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusettsmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Quincy, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United Statesmap
Adams-13 created 14 Dec 2008 | Last modified
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Categories: Children of US Presidents | Siblings of US Presidents.



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 University 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 the Netherlands and Prussia from 1794 to 1798, serving as his secretary. In 1805, he married Ann Harrod of Haverhill and the couple produced seven children in only eleven years. They settled in Quincy, which he represented in the Massachusetts legislature in 1805-06. Adams was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1810.[1] In 1811, he was appointed chief justice of the Circuit Court of Common Pleas for the Southern Circuit of Massachusetts. Like his brother Charles, Thomas had problems with alcoholism. He died in Quincy in 1832, deeply in debt.

While he would prove to be an affectionate son, husband, father, brother and uncle, he began to struggle with the same alcohol demons and melancholy that had destroyed his Uncle William and his brother Charles. It is also hinted that he had begun to gamble as well.

Some years later, when the elderly John and Abigail made their wills, Thomas Boylston Adams’ share of the inheritance was put into a trust. They did not believe their forty-five-year-old son could handle the responsibilities.


"Thomas Boylston Adams son of John Adams Esq & Abigail his wife born September 15th. 1772."[1]


"Thomas Boylston. int.], Esq., of Quincy, and Ann Harrod, May 16, 1805.*"[2]


"[1832] Mar. 12 Thomas B. Adams Esq. Aged 59 years [Thomas Adams Esq. son of Hon. John late Pres. of U. S. -CR1]"[3]


Massachusetts Historical Society online at

Find A Grave Memorial# 40460791

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