Adams Express Company
|Traded as||NYSE: ADX|
|Mark E. Stoeckle (CEO)
James P. Haynie
(Executive Vice President)
Adams Diversified Equity Fund, Inc., formerly Adams Express Company, is a publicly traded diversified equity fund. It was founded in 1854 and traces its roots to a 19th-century freight and cargo transport business. The Adams Express Building was constructed in 1911 and Adams Express is one of the oldest companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ADX). It is one of only five companies that has continued to operate as a closed-end fund since 1929. The company has paid dividends continuously since 1935.
Adams Funds uses a conservative investment philosophy and its portfolio is managed with the expectation that it will generate solid returns with lower-than-market risk for long-term investors. Investments are made with an eye toward protecting investors’ original investments and generating dividends and capital gains that can be used as a source of income or reinvested to increase investor holdings in the Fund.
In 1839, Alvin Adams, a produce merchant ruined by the Panic of 1837, began carrying letters, small packages and valuables for patrons between Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts. He had at first a partner named Burke, who soon withdrew, and as Adams & Company, Adams rapidly extended his territory to New York City, Philadelphia and other eastern cities. By 1847, he had penetrated deeply into the South, and by 1850 he was shipping by rail and stagecoach to St. Louis.
Adams Express was used by abolitionist groups in the 1840s to deliver anti-slavery newspapers from northern publishers to southern states; in 1849, a Richmond, Virginia slave named Henry "Box" Brown shipped himself north to Philadelphia and freedom via Adams Express. In 1855, the company was reorganized as the Adams Express Company.
A subsidiary, Adams & Company of California, had been organized in 1850 and offer express service throughout the Pacific Coast. The enterprise was led by Isaiah C. Woods. Not being under Adams' personal management, Woods badly handled it, and it failed on February 23, 1855.
By the time the Civil War started in 1861, Adams had operations throughout the American South, operating as Southern Express, led by Henry B. Plant. The company served as paymaster for both the Union and Confederate sides.
The parent company held a strong position from New England and the mid-Atlantic coast to the far Western plains. In 1910, it was the second largest stockholder in the Pennsylvania Railroad and the third largest in the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, besides owning large blocks of American Express, Norfolk & Western Railroad and other shares.
The company's antebellum employment of Allan Pinkerton to solve its robbery problems was a large factor in building up the noted Pinkerton National Detective Agency. Along with the other express shipping companies, Adams' shipping interests were forcibly merged by President Woodrow Wilson into the American Railway Express Company, which later became the Railway Express Agency.
Since 1929, Adams Express has operated as a closed-end fund, (NYSE: ADX), located in Baltimore, Maryland. As of 2015[update], it had paid a dividend every year for 80 years (since 1935). Effective March 31, 2015, the company changed its name to Adams Diversified Equity Fund in recognition of the fact that its express activities had long ended; it continues to operate as a closed-end fund traded on the New York Stock Exchange under its previous symbol.
Adams Express is mentioned as former slave Jourden Anderson's preferred form of payment in Letter from a Freedman to His Old Master
- Kate Warne
- William F. Harnden
- Adams Express during the Civil War
- Civil War mail with Adams' postmark
- Petroleum & Resources Corporation
- Dictionary of American History by James Truslow Adams, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1940
- Hollis Robbins, "Fugutive Mail: The Deliverance of Henry Box Brown." American Studies, 50:1/2 (Spring/Summer 2009): 5-30
- About Archived 2007-01-25 at the Wayback Machine
- Corporation, Adams Express Company; Petroleum & Resources. "The Adams Express Company and Petroleum & Resources Corporation Announce Name Changes and New Branding". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
- Freedman's Book, pg 265
- Adams Funds
- Digitized images of Adams Express Company Journal, 1855-1863 housed at the University of Kentucky Libraries Special Collections Research Center