John Watson Adams, D. D. (1796-1850)

A son of the Rev. Roger Adams, John Watson Adams was born in Simsbury, Conn., December 6th, 1796. He graduated at Hamilton College in 1822, having during his collegiate course developed a character, both intellectual and moral, of rare excellence. On leaving college he became the teacher of a select school in Manlius, New York. At the close of this engagement, he went to the city of New York, and commenced his professional studies, availing himself of the instruction of Dr. Spring, and two or three other Presbyterian clergymen of the city. A short time afterward he joined the Middle Class in the Theological Seminary at Auburn, where he took the first rank for talents, and diligent and successful study. He was ordained and installed pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Syracuse, July 28th, 1826, and continued in this relation till the close of his life. In 1841 he was chosen a member of the Board of Overseers of Hamilton College, and continued to hold the office until his death, which occurred April 6th, 1850. “Dr. Adams,” says Dr. R. W. Condit, “was one of the most unambitious men whom I have ever known in the ministry; he was indeed ambitious to do good and promote the honor of his Master, but for the applause of men I never could see that he cared a rush. As a preacher, he had a deservedly high reputation. He could not be considered as eminently popular, but his sermons were always rich in evangelical truth, and written in a style of great perspicuity and precision, so that it was the fault of the hearer if he was not profited.” After Dr. Adams’ death there was published a duodecimo volume of his discourses, which is highly creditable, not only to his talents as a preacher, but to the American pulpit.