Marian (Hooper) Adams
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Marian (Hooper) Adams (1843 - 1885)

Marian "Clover" Adams formerly Hooper
Born in Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Wife of — married 27 Jun 1872 (to 6 Dec 1885) in Beverly, Massachusettsmap
Died at age 42 in Washington City, District of Columbia, United Statesmap
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Profile last modified | Created 14 Dec 2008
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Massachusetts state seal
Marian (Hooper) Adams was born in Massachusetts.
Marian volunteered for the Boston Sanitary Commission during the Civil War.
Marian was greatly admired as one of the earliest portrait photographers; kept extensive notes on her darkroom process.
Marian (Hooper) Adams was interred in Washington, D.C..

Marian "Clover" Hooper Adams (September 13, 1843 – December 6, 1885) was an American socialite, active society hostess and arbiter of Washington, D.C., and an accomplished amateur photographer. She was the wife of Henry Adams, historian.

Marian was the youngest of three children born to Robert William Hooper and Ellen Surgis Hooper. Her family was a wealthy and prominent Bostonian family. Her father was a surgeon and her mother a poet. She was called "Clover" by friends and family.

Clover volunteered for the Sanitary Commission Boston during the Civil War, joining the organization of women promoting clean and healthy conditions in the Union Army camps, raising money, providing supplies to the troops, and organizing medical services. At the end of the war, she traveled to Washington to watch Uylsses S. Grant's army pass in review.

She married Henry Adams on June 27, 1872 in Boston. After they settled in Boston, their home became a gathering place for the city's intellectuals. When they moved to Washington, DC in 1877 their home across from the White House in Lafayette Square became the center of the city's social scene.

Clover became interested in photography in the mid-1880's and kept careful notes about her darkroom and the people she photographed. Her work chronicled life in Washington, DC and the place of women in the later years of the 19th century. While she was greatly admired for her photography, her husband refused to allow her to become professional and discouraged the publication of her photos.

Clover committed suicide by ingesting potassium cyanide in December, 1885, just a few months after her father had died. After her death, her husband commissioned sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens and architect Stanford White to create a memorial to mark her grave in Rock Creek Cemetery. The haunting Adams Memorial is probably the most famous of all monuments in the cemetery and is generally considered to be Saint-Gaudens' most famous sculpture.

Research Notes

Some genealogists and family trees show Marian in the 1880 Census in Holliston, Middlesex, Massachusetts. This Census shows Henry C. Adams, Marian B. Adams, and three children. According to sources listed below describing her life, Clover and her husband moved to Washington, D.C. in 1877 and had no children.[1]


  1. 1880 Census "United States Census, 1880", citing Volume: 1; Affiliate Name: The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Affiliate Publication Number: T9; Affiliate Line Number: 00056; Digital film/folder number: 005160800; FHL microfilm: 1254539; Image number: 42; Sheet number: 279; Sheet letter: D; Packet letter: A; Indexing batch: C56803-7, FamilySearch Record: MH6R-326 (accessed 1 November 2023) FamilySearch Image: 33SQ-GYB3-BVG, Marion B Adams (37), wife, Keeps House, in household of Henry C. Adams (41 years) in Holliston, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States. Born in Massachusetts, United States.
  • 1850 Census "United States Census, 1850", citing Affiliate Name: The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Affiliate Publication Number: M432; Line: 39; Digital film/folder number: 004200022; FHL microfilm: 443556; Image number: 247; Packet letter: A; Indexing batch: N01123-1, FamilySearch Record: MDSD-BR8 (accessed 1 November 2023) FamilySearch Image: S3HT-XK5H-H6W, Marian Hooper (6) in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States. Born in Massachusetts, United States.
  • 1860 Census "United States Census, 1860", citing Page: 35; Affiliate Name: The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Affiliate Publication Number: M653; Digital film/folder number: 005170103; FHL microfilm: 803521; Image number: 677; Packet letter: A; Indexing batch: N01737-1, FamilySearch Record: MZCC-DZ2 (accessed 1 November 2023) FamilySearch Image: 33SQ-GBSS-5N9, Marian Hooper (17) at 6th Ward Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States. Born in Massachusetts.
  • Marriage "Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001", citing Digital film/folder number: 007011630; Image number: 14, FamilySearch Record: ZDYQ-M62M (accessed 1 November 2023) FamilySearch Image: 3QS7-8979-X9NQ, Marian Hooper (28) marriage to Henry B Adams (34) on 27 Jun 1872 in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.
  • Death "District of Columbia Deaths, 1874-1961", citing Digital film/folder number: 004024881; FHL microfilm: 2135788; Image number: 558; Packet letter: B; Indexing batch: B01130-3, FamilySearch Record: F7RT-8Z8 (accessed 1 November 2023) FamilySearch Image: 3QS7-89ZR-NCHJ, Marion Adams death 6 Dec 1885 (age 41) in District of Columbia, United States.
  • Memorial Find a Grave (has image), Find A Grave: Memorial #5755017 (accessed 1 November 2023), Memorial page for Marian “Clover” Hooper Adams (13 Sep 1843-6 Dec 1885), citing Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, USA (plot: Section E, Lot 202); Maintained by Find a Grave.
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