Charles Francis Adams III

From The Dreadnought Project
Jump to: navigation, search

Charles Francis Adams III (2 August, 1866 – 10 June, 1954) served as the forty-fourth Secretary of the Navy from 1929 through 1933.

Life & Career

This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

Charles Francis Adams was born on 2 August, 1866 in Quincy, Massachusetts. A scion of the Adams family and a direct descendant of Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, he graduated cum laude from Harvard College in 1888 and from Harvard Law School in 1892. A successful lawyer, business man, outstanding civic leader, and well-known yachtsman and ocean racer, he served as Secretary of the Navy from 1929 to 1933 in the cabinet of President Herbert Hoover. Despite Adams' background as a yachtsman and a member of "a family well acquainted with naval affairs" Hoover rarely sought his advice.[1]

As Secretary, Adams vigorously promoted public understanding of the Navy's indispensable role in international affairs, and worked strenuously to maintain naval strength and efficiency during a period of severe economic depression, at one point coming near resignation because of Hoover's "consistent undermining of the navy."[2] He served at the London Naval Conference in 1930 where he successfully maintained the principle of United States naval parity with Great Britain. Newspaper columnist Drew Pearson wrote that "Charles Francis Adams is God's answer to the admiral's prayer. ... For Charles Francis Adams advocates as big a navy as any admiral, can sail a ship better than most of them, and has reputedly risked his Cabinet job for them."[3]

Adams died in 1954 and is buried in Mount Wollaston Cemetery, Quincy, where the two Presidents who were his ancestors lie with other members of this distinguished American family.

See Also


Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Curtis D. Wilbur
Secretary of the Navy
5 Mar, 1924 – 4 Mar, 1933
Succeeded by
Claude A. Swanson


  1. Hagan. This People's Navy. p. 277.
  2. Hagan. This People's Navy. p. 279.
  3. Quoted in Hagan. This People's Navy. p. 279.