Adams, Marian Hooper

Adams, Marian Hooper (“Clover”)

(1843–85) hostess, photographer; born in Boston, Mass. Her mother died when she was five and she would remain extremely close to her wealthy physician father. Privately educated in Cambridge, Mass., she volunteered for the Sanitary Commission during the Civil War, then traveled abroad (1866), where she met young Henry Adams in London. Back in Cambridge, she and Henry married in 1872, and their home in Boston soon became an intellectuals salon. In 1877 she and Henry moved to Washington, D.C., and now their home on Lafayette Square, across from the White House, again became the gathering place for a lively circle of intellectuals, politicians, and all who aspired to be among the elite. (Her gossipy letters to her father provide a superb view of the Washington of the day.) She had by this time taken up photography and did her own developing. She and Henry were planning a new home on Lafayette Square when her father died in 1885; profoundly depressed, she took her own life with a developing chemical. Henry Adams commissioned Augustus Saint-Gaudens to sculpt the brooding figure that marks her (and his) burial place in Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.