Part of the American History & Genealogy Project

Hannah Adams 1755 ~ 1832


Hannah Adams

Miss Adams is believed to be the first woman in the United States to make literature a profession. She was born in Medfield, Massachusetts, in 1755, and died in Brookline, Mass., November 15, 1832. She was the daughter of a well-to-do farmer, of good education and culture. In her childhood she was very fond of writing and a close student, memorizing the works of Milton, Pope, Thomson, Young and others. She was a good Latin and Greek scholar and instructed divinity students who made their home in her family. In 1772, her father losing his property, the children were forced to provide for themselves.

During the Revolutionary War, Miss Adams had taught school and after the close of the war she opened a school to prepare young men for college, which was very successful. She wrote quite extensively. One of her books, ''A View of Religious Opinions" appeared in 1784, and passed through several editions in the United States and was also published in England and became a standard work.

In 1799 she published her second work, "A History of England," and in 1801 "Evidences of Christianity." In 1812, her "History of the Jews" appeared, being followed by "A Controversy with Dr. Morse," and in 1826 "Letters on the Gospels." She spent a quiet, secluded life, and it is said her only journeys were trips from Boston to Nahant and from Boston to Chelmsford. Notwithstanding the many books which she published, her business abilities seemed to have been very limited and in the last years of her life she was supported by an annuity settled upon her by three wealthy residents of Boston.

She was buried at Mount Auburn, being the first person buried in that beautiful cemetery.

Women of America

Source: The Part Taken by Women in American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.


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