Guide to the Photograph Collection
This collection consists of seven volumes of photographs, encompassing the years 1891-1901, taken and collected by Abigail Adams Homans and her mother, Frances Crowninshield Adams. Most of the photographs depict members of the Adams family, the Adams family home and grounds in Quincy, Mass., and family activities at the Glades Club in Scituate, Mass.
Frances Crowninshield Adams was born in Boston on 15 October 1839 to George Caspar and Harriet Sears Crowninshield. She married John Quincy Adams (1833-1894) on 29 April 1861 and was the mother of his six children, including Abigail Adams Homans (1879-1974). She died on 16 May 1911.
Abigail Adams Homans was born on 6 September 1879 in Quincy, Mass. to John Quincy Adams (1833-1894) and Frances Crowninshield Adams (1839-1911). On 10 June 1907, she married Boston lawyer Robert Homans (1873-1934). Homans was the niece of Henry Adams (1838-1918), Brooks Adams (1848-1927), and Charles Francis Adams (1835-1915) and wrote a memoir detailing their influence on her early life, Education by Uncles (Houghton Mifflin,1966). She died in February 1974.
The Adams-Homans family photographs contain seven bound albums, covering the years 1891-1901. The earliest three albums, covering 1891-1894, appear to have been taken and collected by Abigail Adams Homans. The later four albums, covering 1893-1901, were taken and collected by her mother, Frances Crowninshield Adams. All of the photographs were taken by Adams and Homans with an early Kodak snapshot camera, and the images mostly depict members of the Adams family and their circle. Many were taken at the summer resort that the Adams family frequented, the Glades Club in Scituate, Massachusetts, and show their subjects sailing, riding horses or playing on the club grounds or shore.
The Adams-Homans family photographs were given to the Massachusetts Historical Society by Susan Homans Elias in July 2001.
Detailed Description of the Collection
I. Abigail Adams Homans albums
A: Volume 1: Abigail Adams Homans album, 11 Jul. 1891 - 20 Sep. 1891
This volume contains 139 photographs, most taken by Abigail Adams Homans (unless otherwise noted). Subjects include views of the Glades Club, the Minot's Ledge Lighthouse, and sailboats. Individuals pictured include Abigail Adams Homans, Frances Crowninshield Adams, John Quincy Adams, Louisa Catherine Adams Perkins, Charles Francis Adams II, and other members of the Adams and Lovering families.
B: Volume 2: Abigail Adams Homans album, 13 Feb. 1892 - Oct. 1892.
This volume contains 127 photographs, most taken by Abigail Adams Homans (unless otherwise noted). Subjects include exterior views of Homans' childhood home and its grounds in Quincy, Massachusetts, horses, the tennis lawn at the Glades Club, steamer boats, and friends and family members enjoying such activities as sailing, riding horses, and returning from a fishing trip.
C: Volume 3: Abigail Adams Homans album, Jul. 1893 - Sep. 1894
This volume contains 48 photographs, most taken by Abigail Adams Homans (unless otherise noted). Homans' handwriting in the third volume shows a marked difference from its appearance in the earlier two volumes. Captions originally written as 1894 have been amended and appear to read either 1893 or 1899. Volume 4, collected by Frances Crowninshield Adams, contains some pictures seemingly taken of the same events and clearly dated 1894. Individuals pictured include Abigail Adams Homans, Louisa Catherine Adams Perkins, Frances Lovering Adams, Charles Francis Adams II, and other members of the Adams and Lovering families. Apart from a few pictures of individual sailboats, most photos are of friends and family sailing. There is also a series showing Homans and Louisa Catherine Adams Perkins riding horses.
II. Frances Crowninshield Adams albums
A. Volume 4: Frances Crowninshield Adams album, 30 Jun. 1893 - Jul. 1894
This volume contains 96 photographs, most taken by Frances Crowninshield Adams (unless otherwise noted). Individuals include Frances Crowninshield Adams, John Quincy Adams, Abigail Adams Homans, Arthur Adams, Samuel Hammond, Jr., and Frederic Russell Nourse. Friends and family are seen sailing, canoeing, riding horses and playing baseball. Subjects include Abigail Adams Homans' family home, the Old House, the Glades Club, and the family sailboats.
B. Volume 5: Frances Crowninshield Adams album, 2 Jun. 1895 - Aug. 1896
This volume contains 80 photographs, probably taken by Frances Crowninshield Adams (unless otherwise noted). Subjects are mostly individuals, including George Caspar Adams, Arthur Adams, and Abigail Adams Homans. There are also several childhood photographs of Henry Livermore Abbott, Mary Ogden Abbott, and members of the Chapin and Thayer families. A few pictures show Abigail Adams Homans' family home.
C. Volume 6: Frances Crowninshield Adams album, 4 Sep. 1897 - 3 Feb. 1898
This volume contains 92 photographs, probably taken by Frances Crowninshield Adams. This album contains views of Abigail Adams Homans' family home and grounds, as well as photos of stables, barns, area farmhouses, and surrounding woods. Individuals pictured include Abigail Adams Homans, George Caspar Adams, Arthur Adams, Charles Francis Adams II, and members of the Hunnewell family.
D. Volume 7: Frances Crowninshield Adams album, ca. 1901
This volume contains 100 photographs, probably taken by Frances Crowninshield Adams. The majority of the photos in the seventh volume are unidentified and undated. Individuals pictured include Abigail Adams Homans and Arthur Adams, as well as members of the Hunnewell and Lovering families. Subjects include friends and family members swimming, sailing, fishing, and riding horses, and several views of the Concord home of Charles Francis Adams II.
Adams-Homans family photographs, Photo. Coll. 41, Massachusetts Historical Society Photo Archives.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.