by Charles Francis Adams
Charles Francis Adams enjoyed a variety of roles during his life. He was born on May 27, 1835 in Boston into a life of prominence, being the grandson of John Quincy Adams. In 1856, Adams graduated from Harvard University. A few years later he served in the Union Army during the Civil War in 1861. He was considered to have served the Union Army well as a lieutenant colonel. After he resigned from the Army in 1865, he began working with the Massachusetts Railroad Commission. He eventually found his way as the president of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1884. Adams pursued policies that supported business rights over those of consumers, feeling that the general public was sometimes hostile or unstable. However, these sentiments backfired while he was the president of Union Pacific, since businesses refused to collaborate and forward Adams’ policies. Adams refused to work with labor unions, like the Knights of Labor, which resulted in a horrific massacre of Chinese workers that Adams brought in. By 1890, owner Jay Gould had Adams forced out of his role.A few years later, Adams began working for the Massachusetts Park Commission, where he primarily assisted with planning park developments across the state. He also focused on historical writing, and became president of the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1895. This particular work is autobiographical, but was published posthumously. Adams passed away on May 20, 1915 and is buried in Quincy, Massachusetts.