This simple yet handsome bookplate of Charles Francis Adams appears in some of his early diaries and in those books he bought or was given. “Life without letters is death” was surely a dramatic embellishment for his nameplate, but the young Adams loved literature, history, and biography, and believed his real education would come from books. While at Harvard he not only read omnivorously but purchased books beyond his means. When in Washington or Quincy he read his father’s or grandfather’s volumes, and he regretted that John Adams had deeded his library to the town of Quincy, for Adams felt he was losing a part of his heritage. In later years it was Charles Francis Adams who built the beautiful Stone Library next to the Adams Mansion in Quincy so that the family’s books could be gathered and preserved.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2007.