Thomas Boylston Adams (1772–1832)

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Thomas Boylston Adams
Thomas Boylston Adams (1772-1832) Charles Knight (cropped).jpg
Member of the Massachusetts General Court
In office
Personal details
Born(1772-09-15)September 15, 1772
DiedMarch 13, 1832(1832-03-13) (aged 59)
Quincy, Massachusetts
Ann Harrod
(m. 1805)
RelationsSee Adams family
Parent(s)John Adams
Abigail Smith Adams
Alma materHarvard College

Thomas Boylston Adams (September 15, 1772 – March 13, 1832) was the third and youngest son of the 2nd president of the United States, John and Abigail (Smith) Adams.

Early life[edit]

Adams was the fifth of six children born to John and Abigail (née Smith) Adams.[1] In September 1774, two years after his birth, his father was appointed one of the delegates to the First Continental Congress from Massachusetts Bay. In 1784, his mother traveled to Europe to accompany her husband on his diplomatic missions including his service as U.S. Minister to the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. While both of his parents were abroad, Thomas Adams lived with relatives in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

In 1790, he graduated from Harvard College where he had studied law, according to his family's wishes. His elder brother, John Quincy Adams, however, did not believe he had sufficient skills to practice law successfully.[2]


Adams accompanied his brother John Quincy to the Netherlands and Prussia, serving as his secretary from 1794 to 1798. After marrying in 1805, he settled in Quincy, Massachusetts and Adams served as his town's representative to the Massachusetts legislature from 1805 to 1806. Four years later, Adams was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1810.[3]

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.[4]

Personal life[edit]

In 1805, he married Ann Harrod (1774–1845) of Haverhill,[5] and the relationship produced eight children in only eleven years.[6]

Adams died on March 13, 1832, in Quincy, Massachusetts, deeply in debt.[7]


  1. ^ Bober, Natalie S. (2010). Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution. Simon and Schuster. p. 19. ISBN 9781439115497. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  2. ^ Wead, Doug (2005). The Raising of a President: The Mothers and Fathers of Our Nation's Leaders. Simon and Schuster. p. 89. ISBN 9781416513070. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter A" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 6 April 2011.
  4. ^ Cheever, Susan (2015). Drinking in America: Our Secret History. Grand Central Publishing. p. 3. ISBN 9781455513864. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  5. ^ Treat, John Harvey (1893). The Treat Family: A Genealogy of Trott, Tratt, and Treat for Fifteen Generations, and Four Hundred and Fifty Years in England and America, Containing More Than Fifteen Hundred Families in America ... Salem Press publishing & printing Company. p. 332. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Adams Biographical Sketches". Massachusetts Historical Society. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  7. ^ Parsons, Lynn Hudson (1999). John Quincy Adams. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 220. ISBN 9781442202887. Retrieved 29 January 2019.

External links[edit]

Family tree[edit]