US GenWeb

This biography is from ANNALS of the Medical Society of the County of Albany, 1806-1851, by Sylvester D. Willard, M. D.

Frederick C. Adams

Frederick C. Adams was a son of the Hon. John Adams of Catskill. John Adams was a native of that town, and there he spent the most of his life, a lawyer occupying a prominent position at the bar, a man of industry and ardent devotion to his profession, a leader in the courts of his circuit, occupying severally, the positions of surrogate, member of congress, and of the state legislature, a National Democrat, exercising an important influence in convention and in the party, a father tenderly devoted to his children, who was solicitous for their welfare, and who died full of years and full of honors, in 1854. Such was Mr. Adams.

Frederick was born on the 25th of May, 1823. His mother died in 1837. She was a woman of many virtues, who led a life of unobtrusive kindness, affection and good works; exemplifying the doctrine of the cross in faith and duty.

Frederick pursued his studies at Catskill, until he was fitted for, and entered Williams College, where he continued until his health failed. Subsequently he entered Union College, and graduated in 1843. His sisters were, one the wife of Edwin Crowswell Esq., and the other the wife of the late Sherman Croswell Esq., formerly both of Albany; with the latter he came to reside, and began the study of medicine with Dr. Alden March, whose ready and accomplished student assistant he became, both in his private surgical practice, and in his cliniques, winning at the same time, the esteem and friendship of his fellow students. He brought the patients before the class, with a cheerfulness that tended to make them forget that they were about to suffer, and his aid was rendered with rapid and easy movements, while he was ever thoughtful for the patient, and to obtain a position that could not inconvenience those who desired to witness the operations. He graduated at the Albany Medical College in January, 1847. On the 29th of April following, Dr. Adams married Mary, daughter of Marcus T. Reynolds Esq., and immediately removed to Catskill, where he began practice. Here, and in the surrounding country, he engaged in active business, which he continued until 1852, when the labor incident to it began to wear upon his constitution, never very vigorous. He accepted a position as Surgeon, on the Mail Steamer Illinois, running to Panama. His health was so much better on the ocean, that he continued in this service for two or three years, being in the meantime transferred to the Ohio and Empire City. Several of the trips were made to New Orleans. The position was at one time relinquished on account of an attack of Chagres fever. He removed to Albany in 1853. His health had already suffered, and unmistakable evidence of pulmonary disease began to be manifest.

In June, 1860, in order to again avail himself of the benefits of an ocean voyage he sailed for England, visited London, and some of the rural districts in England. He spent a short time in Paris, and returned home after a few months temporarily benefited. The two or three subsequent years were passed quietly, husbanding his gradually waning strength; the summer months being mostly spent at the sea-shore.

Dr. Adams held the appointment of ward physician, from a choice to do all that his strength would allow in his profession, and he continued his kind and faithful ministrations to the poor, until a short time prior to his death. His strength gradually diminished, and he fell asleep on the 22d day of September, 1862, in the fortieth year of his age.

Pulmonary disease had slowly, but steadily progressed through several years in Dr. Adams, and while its termination was perfectly understood by his friends, he had never for a moment shut his eyes against its certain fatality. Yet in view of the great uncertainty of his life, he was never melancholy or depressed. He possessed energy, cheerfulness, and unusal vivacity, and notwithstanding the progress of his malady, these never forsook him. He met his friends with the same cordiality, and interests of a man in health, and never repined that the period of usefulness, and of life with so mauy delightful social relations to make it attractive, were so soon to close. He was well educated in his profession, and situated to occupy a prominent position in it had he enjoyed health, but he never mourned because his professional ambition was to be never realized.

Dr. Adams was a genial companion, a sincere friend, playful in conversation, candid, open hearted, without malice, and above every shade of meanness. In social as in professional intercourse he was truthful and always honorable. Himself a friend who could be trusted, he held a warm place in the hearts of his friends and associates. His friendships were sincere and lasting, and evinced not only in words, but in acts of kindness.

Dr. Adams death was the gentlest "loosing of the silver chord." He fell asleep. He died in the communion of the Episcopal church, and the last act of his life was to partake of its Holy Communion, the renewed "pledge of that faith which was the earnest of his future and eterual happiness."

Dr. Adams left one son, James Dexter Adams.

Send comments or suggestions to:
Debby Masterson

Go Back to Albany County Biographies
Go Back to Home Page