Henry Adams
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Henry Brooks Adams (1838 - 1918)

Henry Brooks Adams
Born in Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 27 Jun 1872 (to 6 Dec 1885) in Beverly, Massachusettsmap
[children unknown]
Died at age 80 in District of Columbia, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 14 Dec 2008
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Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918) was the grandson of John Quincy Adams, sixth U.S. President.

He was an historian, a political biographer and a philosopher, living in Washington, DC. Son of Charles Francis Adams (1807-86), ¤ grandson of John Quincy Adams (1767-1848). ¤

Although born into a tradition of elite political, social, and intellectual leadership and activism, Henry Adams remained essentially an observer rather than a participant in the robust American life of the 1860-1912 period.

When his wife committed suicide in 1885, Adams commissioned the well-known sculptor, Saint-Gaudens, to create a most unusual work to be placed at her grave site in Washington, DC. It is a slightly larger than life bronze of a robed woman, seated, with eyes closed, perhaps in meditation. A deeply personal work, it is untitled. There are no markings even to identify who is buried there.

Henry Adams, was born in Boston, Massachusetts 16 Feb 1838. He was the grandson of John Quincy Adams and the great-grandson of John Adams, and wrote several books on American history, including the nine-volume History of the United States of America During the Administrations of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison (1889-91).

He's best known for his dark and pessimistic autobiography, The Education of Henry Adams (1918). He said he felt more at home in 17th- and 18th-century America than he did in 20th-century America. He wrote that most Americans he had encountered "had no time for thought; they saw, and could see, nothing beyond their day's work; their attitude to the universe outside them was that of the deep-sea fish."

Grandson of 6th US President John Quincy Adams. Best known for two books: The Education of Henry Adams,and Mont-Saint-Michel & Chartres.


  • Ernst Breisach, Historiography: Ancient, Medieval, & Modern, 3rd ed. (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2007), 289.

Ernest Samuels's exemplary biography in three volumes is the standard authority: The Young Henry Adams (1948), Henry Adams: The Middle Years (1958), and Henry Adams: The Major Phase (1964). J. C. Levenson, The Mind and Art of Henry Adams (1957), is rigorous and thorough. George Hochfield, Henry Adams: An Introduction and Interpretation (1962), is also useful.

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Please merge the two Henry Adams !

Maggie , US President's Project Leader


posted by Maggie N.