1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Adams, Henry

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ADAMS, HENRY (1838–), American historian, son of Charles Francis Adams and grandson of John Quincy Adams, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on the 16th of February 1838. He graduated at Harvard in 1858, and from 1861 to 1868 was private secretary to his father. From 1870 to 1877 he was assistant professor of history at Harvard and from 1870 to 1876 was editor of the North American Review. He is considered to have been the first (in 1874–1876) to conduct historical seminary work in the United States. His great work is his History of the United States (1801 to 1817) (9 vols., 1889–1891), which is incomparably the best work yet published dealing with the administrations of Presidents Jefferson and Madison. It is particularly notable for its account of the diplomatic relations of the United States during this period, and for its essential impartiality. Adams also published: Life of Albert Gallatin (1879), John Randolph (1882) in the “American Statesmen Series,” and Historical Essays (1891); besides editing Documents Relating to New England Federalism (1877), and the Writings of Albert Gallatin (3 volumes, 1879). In collaboration with his elder brother Charles Francis Adams, Jr., he published Chapters of Erie and Other Essays (1871), and, with H. C. Lodge, Ernest Young and J. L. Laughlin, Essays in Anglo-Saxon Law (1876).

His elder brother, John Quincy Adams (1833–1894), a graduate of Harvard (1853), practised law, and was a Democratic member for several terms of the Massachusetts general court. In 1872 he was nominated for vice-president by the Democratic faction that refused to support Horace Greeley.

Another brother, Charles Francis Adams, Jr. (1835–), born in Boston on the 27th of May 1835, graduated at Harvard in 1856, and served on the Union side in the Civil War, receiving in 1865 the brevet of brigadier-general in the regular army. He was president of the Union Pacific railroad from 1884 to 1890, having previously become widely known as an authority on the management of railways. In 1900–1901 he was president of the American Historical Association. Among his writings are: Railroads, Their Origin and Problems (1878); Three Episodes of Massachusetts History (1892); a biography of his father, Charles Francis Adams (1900); Lee at Appomattox and Other Papers (1902); Theodore Lyman and Robert Charles Winthrop, Jr., Two Memoirs (1906); and Three Phi Beta Kappa Addresses (1907).

Another brother, Brooks Adams (1848–), born in Quincy, Massachusetts, on the 24th of June 1848, graduated at Harvard in 1870, and until 1881 practised law. His writings include: The Emancipation of Massachusetts (1887); The Law of Civilization and Decay (1895); America’s Economic Supremacy (1900); and The New Empire (1902).