Nehemiah Adams

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Nehemiah Adams
Born(1806-02-19)February 19, 1806
Salem, Massachusetts
DiedOctober 6, 1878(1878-10-06) (aged 72)
Alma materHarvard University,
Andover Theological Seminary

Reverend Nehemiah Adams (February 19, 1806 – October 6, 1878) was an American clergyman and writer.


He was born in Salem, Massachusetts,[1] in 1806 to Nehemiah Adams and Mehitabel Torrey Adams. He graduated from Harvard University in 1826, and from Andover Theological Seminary in 1829. That same year, he was ordained as co-pastor, with Abiel Holmes, of the First Congregational Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[2] In 1832, he married Martha Hooper.

In 1834, he became pastor of Union Congregational Church in Boston, Massachusetts. He would remain in that position until his death in 1878.[2] In 1850, he married again, to Sarah Brackett.

In 1854, he took a trip to the American South, and wrote a book entitled A South-Side View of Slavery (Boston, 1854). In the book, he lauded slavery as beneficial to the Negroes' religious character.[1][3] This book was one of several polemic works he wrote. It caused a great sensation, and he received much hostile criticism. The book was attacked by abolitionists for its perceived moderation; the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator called it "as vile a work as was ever written, in apology and defence of 'the sum of all villanies'".[4]

In 1861, Adams wrote a successor volume, The Sable Cloud, a Southern tale with Northern Comments, to answer his attackers, and it was met with a similar response.

He also wrote The Cross in the Cell, Scriptural Argument for Endless Punishment, Broadcast, At Eventide,[2] and a Life of John Eliot.[1] He was a member of the American Tract Society and the American Board for Foreign Missions.[2]

In 1869, in consequence of his failing health, his people procured an associate pastor and gave Adams a long leave of absence. He made a voyage round the world and described it in Under the Mizzenmast (1871).[2]

Adams died in 1878, aged 72. He left nine children.


  1. ^ a b c Gilman, Thurston & Colby 1905.
  2. ^ a b c d e Wilson & Fiske 1900.
  3. ^ Rines 1920, p. 107.
  4. ^ "THE AMERICAN TRACT SOCIETY" (PDF). The Liberator. XXVII (25). June 19, 1957. p. 98. Retrieved August 22, 2017.



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