ⓘ John Adams (Virginia politician)
John Adams, the tenth child of Richard and Elizabeth Adams, was born 14 July 1773. He graduated in medicine from the University of Edinburgh in 1796. Although he practiced medicine in Richmond all his life, Adams was also very active in business and politics. A member of the Virginia House of Delegates in 1803-04, he served as mayor of Richmond from 1819 until his death in 1825.
Adams began his medical practice in Richmond as a partner Dr. Cringan, and later became a partner with Micajah Dr Clark - in both cases, advertising services in local Newspapers.
Regarding John Adams work in Richmond, States are in the 19th century:
"No one had more influence or possessed a more vigorous power.He provided an extremely effective police force, and has become the terror of villains in the court of the mayors. He conducted a thorough grading of streets, leveling the hills, filling the valley and giving it the appearance of a living city. He gave impetus to the docks. and started these wonderful improvement of buildings in the Eastern part of the city.He was the owner and Builder of the Union hotel, and many of the largest warehouses and manufacturing, and opened lines of stages in any part of the state. Few men ever exhibited, for his means and opportunities, wider horizons and large enterprises."
Events suggest that a high civil and social intrigue in the history of Richmond occurred in 1825, when General Lafayette returned to Virginia, 43 years after his first visit. Mayor John Adams gave the greeting on arrival of the Department store - saluting a hero as "a citizen of Virginia, and brother by adoption." Parades, fireworks and festivities followed, culminating in a dinner - supposedly greatest ever given in Richmond which lasted until 11 PM.
To note, in the era of 1823, was mayor Adams petition approval 91 of free people of color and slaves in Baptist churches where they could worship together and take the instructions in the letters. The petition States:
The petition the number of people with different skin color, living in the city of Richmond, respectfully represents: that rapid population growth in the city, the number of free people of color and slaves was significant, and although a few of them can boast of any knowledge of letters, but they always wanted, having received such instructions from the public and the service can be given by a reasonable and prudent teachers of religion.
It was the misfortune of your petitioners should be excluded from churches, chapels and other places of worship that are used by white people as a result not appropriate places is vested in them, except for a few houses, and they were forced to look into private homes, where they are very crowded and where the part of their brothers not to hear or accept the worship that takes place. Your Petitioners, consisting of free men and slaves, for some time connected with the Baptist Church. A list of their members, consisting of about 700 people was presented for his inspection the chief of police of this city and there was no objection they made to their moral characters.
Your applicants for these reasons, humbly pray that your honourable body will pass a law allowing them to cause to be erected in this city the house of worship which may be called the Baptist African Church. To such limitations and restrictions that are consistent with the laws now existing or which may be taken for the proper restraint of persons of color and to preserve peace and order in society. our applicants ready to submit most joyfully, and though it would be nice to have a voice in the selection of their teachers, but they would be quite satisfied that any choice made by them, must be approved or rejected by the mayor of this town, they dont ask for the opportunity to continue any preacher who in no way lent themselves unpleasant for the mayor, and they cannot reasonably be expected to spend the night meetings of the Association for the baptism, but with the consent of the Agency. And your petitioners in duty will ever pray.
Adams endorsed the petition:
I am of the opinion that the prayer of their petition, in the case of its adoption, may be productive of benefit to themselves and the white population of Richmond and sincerely wish them success.
The mayor of Richmond
Petitioned the Baptist Institute was established and served until 1831. At this time, six years after the death of Adams, the city fathers reversed the earlier permission, fearing that the literacy will contribute to the spread of the abolitionist movement. Act 7 April 1831, said "All meetings of free Negroes and mulattoes at any school house or other place for teaching them reading or writing either in the day or night, under whatever pretext," were declared illegal assemblies. Even stricter law prohibiting gatherings of blacks for black-led religious cult was adopted in 1842.
When Dr. John Adams died, the following obituary appeared in the Richmond Enquirer of June 28, 1825:
We have the melancholy office of announcing the death of Dr. John Adams, the mayor of this town. This respectable gentleman breathed his last on Friday morning. He was a native of Richmond, where he continues to reside, with the exception of the period when he attended lectures at the University of Edinburgh. He returned, highly qualified doctor and continue to practice until the day of his death. Dr. A. was mayor of this city since the present organization of municipal authorities - in which capacity he displayed a zeal that never tires and qualifications, which are rarely failed. He was present in the tomb of the great body of the citizens, and with all the honors that the municipal authorities of the city and the society of Freemasons could confer. He left a large family to mourn his loss.
At the time of his death, June 23 or 24, 1825, John Adams was the longest mayor in the history of Richmond.
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