After completing his apprenticeship as a typesetter and a period of travel he settled in Mainz where he married Johanna Gross the daughter of the owner of the Mainkette shipping company. He became active in the workers movement and was appointed editor of the Mainzer Volkszeitung. The following year he was imprisoned in Butzbach for three months for writing an article critical of Kaiser Wilhelm II.
- Brüchert, Hedwig. "Biographie von Bernhard Adelung - regionalgeschichte.net". www.regionalgeschichte.net (in German). Retrieved 15 May 2018.
- "Adelung, Bernhard". www.darmstadt-stadtlexikon.de (in German). Retrieved 15 May 2018.