Charles Francis Adams

Born 8/18/1807 in Boston, Massachusetts
Died 11/21/1886 in Boston, Massachusetts
Ancestry Father: John Quincy Adams (July 11, 1767 – February 23, 1848)
Mother: Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams (February 12, 1775 – May 15, 1852),
Spouse: Abigail Brown Brooks (8/18/1807 - 11/21/1886), married on September 3, 1829
Louisa Catherine Adams (1831-1870)
John Quincy Adams II (1833-1894)
Charles Francis Adams Jr. (1835-1915)
Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918)
Arthur Adams (1841-1846)
Mary Adams (1846-1928)
Brooks Adams (1848-1927)


Charles Francis Adams I (August 18, 1807 – November 21, 1886) was an American lawyer, politician, diplomat and writer.  He was the son of President John Quincy Adams and Louisa Catherine Johnson and the grandson of President John Adams and Abigail Adams.

He was born in Boston, and attended Boston Latin School and Harvard College, where he graduated in 1825.  He then studied law with Daniel Webster, and practiced in Boston.  He wrote numerous reviews of works about American and British history for the North American Review.

Adams was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1841, served in the state senate 1844–1845, founded and edited the journal Boston Whig in 1846, and was the unsuccessful nominee of the Free Soil Party for Vice President of the United States in 1848.  In 1872, he was again nominated for Vice President, this time by the so-called "Straight-Out Democrats," who were Democrats alienated by the Presidential candidacy of Horace Greeley.

As a Republican, Adams was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1858, where he chaired the Committee on Manufactures.  He resigned to become Lincoln's minister (ambassador) to the Court of St. James (Britain) from 1861 to 1868.  Powerful Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner had wanted the position, and became alienated from Adams.  Britain had already recognized Confederate belligerency, but Adams was instrumental in maintaining British neutrality and preventing British diplomatic recognition of the Confederacy during the American Civil War.  Adams and his son, Henry Adams, who acted as his private secretary, also were kept busy monitoring Confederate diplomatic intrigues and the construction of rebel commerce raiders by British shipyards (like the hull N°290 , launched as "Enrica" by John Laird & Sons , and which was soon transformed near the Azores Islands into sloop-of-war CSS Alabama)

Back in Boston, Adams declined the presidency of Harvard University, but became one of its overseers in 1869.  In 1870 Charles Francis Adams built the first presidential library in the United States, to honor his father John Quincy Adams.  The Stone Library includes over 14,000 books written in twelve languages. The library is located in the "Old House" at Adams National Historical Park in Quincy, Massachusetts.  During the 1876 electoral college controversy, he sided with Democrat Samuel J. Tilden over Republican Rutherford B. Hayes for the presidency.

Charles Francis Adams died in Boston on November 21, 1886, and was interred in Mount Wollaston Cemetery, Quincy.