|Birth: ||Mar. 20, 1802|
|Death: ||Apr. 25, 1866|
He was son of John and Elisabeth (Ripley) Adams, was born at Plainfield, Conn., March 20, 1802. His father, John Adams, LL.D., was a graduate of Yale College, New Haven, Conn, (class 1795), and was well known as an eminent scholar and a highly successful teacher; he was for many years principal of the celebrated Phillips' Academy, Andover, Mass. His mother, Elizabeth Ripley, was a lineal descendent of Gov. Bradford, who came to this country in the Mayflower.
Mr. Adams was trained in the genuine New England style; a high degree of Christian culture surrounded him in the home circle, and the best mental training was also bestowed upon him. He graduated at Yale, in 1821, and became a teacher in Phillips' Academy. He subsequently studied divinity in the Andover Theological Seminary, Mass., where he completed his course, in 1826.
He was licensed by a Congregational Association, and ordained by a Congregational Council, in 1826. Soon after, his time was occupied in teaching and in missionary labor in Western New York. Five tears was thus usefully employed, when, in 1831, on accepting a call, he • became pastor of the Congregational _ Church, Londonderry, N. H. He labored there till 1836, when he resigned his charge, and subsequently preached for two years in Great Falls, N. H. His second settlement was in Brighton, Mass., where he remained five years. In 1847 he accepted a call, and became pastor of the Congregational Church in Gorham, Maine. Though thus laboring in churches known as Congregational, he was a member of Londonderry Presbytery.
In 1861 he was appointed chaplain of the Fifth Maine Regiment Infantry Volunteers, and was present at most of the battles of the Army of the Potomac, from the first Bull Run till the surrender of the rebel General Lee. When the term of service of the Fifth Maine Regiment expired, he became chaplain of the One Hundred and Twenty-first New York Infantry Volunteers, being another regiment in the same brigade. He remained with this regiment till its discharge, in July, 1865. On his return from the army he was engaged in the active duties of his profession.
His death, which occurred at Northampton, Mass., April 25, 1866, was caused, as in so many similar cases, by acute inflammation of the brain, consequent on reaction from the excitement of protracted and faithful military service. Of a most vigorous constitution, his life was as truly a sacrifice for his country as though he had died on the field of battle.
He married Miss Mary Anne McGregor, of Londonderry, N. H, in 1833, who, with three children, survives him. One of his sons was graduated at Yale College, in 1862, and served in the Army of the Potomac as a captain in the First New York Mounted Rifles.
Dr. Adams was a man of great energy of character, and those to whom he ministered bear testimony to his faithfulness in all the high and arduous duties of his holy calling, fie was a Christian patriot, and when the leaders of the friends of slavery resolved to attack the Government of the United States, he gave up the comforts and luxuries of a well-ordered home, and entered cheerfully upon the trying and dangerous duties of the active soldier. Dr. Adams not onlv fulfilled his mission to the soldiers in the camp and hospital, and in his official intercourse with his brother-officers,_ but was with the men at "the front," encouraging by his presence and inspiring by his example those noble men upon whom devolved the terrible necessity of fighting, so that the "jewel of Liberty might be kept in the family of nations." This peculiar type of self-forgetfulness on his part is referred to in the following letter from Brevet Major-General Chamberlain, Governor of the State of Maine:
Joseph M. Wilson: My Dear Sir: — My admirable friend, Rev. Dr. John R Adams, was not directly associated with me in the military service. I used to see him, and frequently introduced him to other officers, and could not but be struck with the ease and genial grace with which he would enter upon the "topic dearest to his heart—the salvation of men through the Lord Jesus Christ." He never gave offence, but by his winning manner and his manly bearing he gained at once the respect and affection of all, and was everywhere met by a cordial welcome. He was well known throughout the Army of the Potomac, and probably there has not been any chaplain in the service more highly commended in "the field" and at_ home. I happened to become acquainted with some acts of gallantry on his part "in action"—such as rallying our broken lines and reviving the courage of our men by the noble example of his own—and I felt it my duty to recommend him for a brevet promotion "for meritorious and efficient service in the line of his duty, and for gallant conduct in battle during the war." It was an extraordinary thing to recommend a chaplain, who has no recognized rank as a surgeon has, for a "brevet," and I do not know whether the "War Department" acted in the case. I think it altogether likely they did, as all the other nominations made by me were favorably acted on. Very truly yours,
J. L. Chamberlain,
Brunswick, Me., Nov. 20, 1866. Brevet Major General.
The testimony of General Chamberlain is to the fact that amid the perplexities of camp-life Dr. Adams never forgot that he was an ambassador of God; and this is more fullv referred to in the following letter from General O. O. Howard, Chief of the Bureau of Refugees, Freednicn and Abandoned Lands:
Joseph M. Wilson: Dear Sir:—I knew Mr. Adams well; had many delightful interviews with him while in the service, and always found him diligent in his proper work, "fervent in spirit, serving the Lord." He ever evinced a deep solicitude for the officers and soldiers of his regiment He urged the claims of his Savior with great earnestness, and, I believe, with success. I loved him as a Christian brother—or I had better say as a Christian father. He always cheered me, when we met, with a Christian affection and sympathy not easily expressed. If I get there, I shall surely meet him in the better land. He was much bejoved, but only God knows all hjs labors of love, the strength of his patriotism and the self-sacrifices of his life. With kind regard, I am yours truly,
O. O. Howard,
Washington, D. C, Nov. 17, 1866. Major General.
George L. Prentiss, D.d., of New York, writes as follows:
"I take great pleasure in complying with the request to give you a brief estimate of the character of the late Rev. John R. Adams, D.D. And I do not know how to begin better than by transcribing the following passage of a letter addressed to me, under date of March 28. 1804, by my lamented friend—eminent alike as a jurist, a patriot and a Christian philanthropist— the late William Curtis Noyes: 'Among all my attached friends of the standing of the third of a century, I have none more esteemed or dearer to me than the Rev. John Ripley Adams, now the active, useful, self-denying and pious chaplain of the fifth Maine Regiment. I know him to be a person of large acquirements, of cultivated tastes, of excellent scholarship and a most humble and devoted follower of his divine Master.' Such was the estimate of Dr. Adams, given while he was alive, by one of his oldest and most intimate friends. My own acquaintance with liim was comparatively slight until five or six years before his death; but during this closing period of his life I had ample opportunity to prove the justice of Mr. Noyes testimony. All my intercourse with him impressed me with a deep sense of his warm and whole-hearted devotion to the cause and kingdom of our blessed Lord. I never heard him in the pulpit, but have understood that he was an earnest, instructive, edifying preacher; while as a pastor he was a model of the diligent, wise, sympathizing and faithful servant of Christ. His last settlement was in my native town, where his name is still held in great and universal esteem and honor. He was a man of uncommonly sound and clear judgment, and he knew how to carry out its decisions with rare determination. He seems to have inherited some of the best qualities of his venerated father, who was one of the most remarkable and useful men of his generation. But he will be remembered most of all for the noble spirit of Christian loyalty and self-sacrifice which he exhibited during our country's great struggle. One of the very first to enter the army after the breaking out of the rebellion, he left it only when the battle was fought and won. He was in all the principal engagements from Bull Run to Appomattox CourtHouse; and I know from personal observations, as well as from the testimony of those who served with him, that he was unwearied in his labors for the temporal and spiritual good of the soldiers under his care. Brave as a lion, he yet had the heart of a child. Long will it be before the 'boys' of his regiment who survive him, or the families of those whom he watched over when sick or wounded, and buried when killed in battle, will forget the name or the Christian kindness and sympathy and love of Chaplain Adams. He was a truly good minister of Jesus Christ, a man of most estimable domestic and social virtues, dear to all his friends, and as true a patriot as lived in his day. The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance."
John Adams (1772 - 1863)
Elizabeth Ripley Adams (1776 - 1829)
Mary Anne McGregor Adams (1800 - 1883)*
Elizabeth McGregor Adams Dwight (____ - 1879)*
John McGregor Adams (1834 - 1904)*
Albert Egerton Adams (1840 - 1896)*
Mary Adams Hemenway (1799 - 1873)*
Gamaliel Adams (1800 - 1802)*
John Ripley Adams (1802 - 1866)
Elizabeth Ripley Adams Cowles (1805 - 1837)*
William Adams (1807 - 1880)*
Harriet Hannah Adams (1809 - 1810)*
Arby Ann Adams (1811 - 1812)*
Emily Jane Adams Bancroft (1813 - 1900)*
Henry Adams (1813 - 1816)*
Phoebe Phillips Adams Campbell (1817 - 1843)*
Phillips Academy Cemetery
Created by: dran
Record added: Dec 04, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 62531378