James "Grizzly" Adams
American mountain man
James "Grizzly" Adams
John "Grizzly" Adams (1812–1860) was a famous California mountain man and trainer of grizzly bears and other wild animals that he captured for menageries, zoological gardens and circuses. When Theodore H.
Biography
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Friday night South Siskiyou sports update - Mount Shasta Herald
Google News - over 5 years
Receiving: Justin DeClusin 3-50, 2TD; CJ Palmer 3-38; Daniel Ballard 2-29; Brian Taylor 1-18; Skylar Padula 1-11; James Adams 2-14; Cody Hagedon 1-5. Tackles: Jake Mekeel 15; CJ Palmer 12; Mason Mekeel 11; James Adams 10; Brian Taylor 9; Jacob Greeno 8
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Man in custody over burglary charge - Wahpeton Daily News
Google News - over 5 years
Austin James Adams was charged with burglary and criminal mischief in connection with a forced entry into Prante's Fine Dining in Wahpeton Sept. 3, said Ron McBeth, Richland County assistant state's attorney. There was $2000 in damage and a few bottles
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Video shows protesters interrupt first super committee meeting - Yahoo! News Blogs (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
The two groups are not associated and did not coordinate, Our DC spokesman James Adams told The Ticket. SnakemanJeffss 9 hours ago "More jobs"? asked one puzzled super commitee member who wished to remain annonymous, after wetting his pants when
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Family Book Club: Robert Muchamore - Telegraph.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
It happened to Alex Rider, Anthony Horowitz's teen hero; and now it's happened to James Adams, who survived 12 successive novels in the Cherub series but has finally had to say goodbye to the junior-secret-agent academy where he was brought up,
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Governor Names Woman To Nassau School Board - WJXT Jacksonville
Google News - over 5 years
Fahlgren, 40, of Hilliard, will fill the District 4 vacancy that was created by the resignation of James Adams. Her term is effective immediately and will run through Nov. 19, 2012. Fahlgren has been an occupational therapist with Kimberly's Personal
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UK Journo Completes LA-to-New-York Run - mediabistro.com
Google News - over 5 years
In record-book terms, Daily Telegraph reporter James Adams (pictured) now belongs to the 260th officially recorded foot crossing of the United States. But thanks to Hurricane Irene, his 70-day run from LA
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Astrophoto: Noctilucent Clouds by James Adams - Universe Today
Google News - over 5 years
This picture was taken by James Adams on the morning of July 3rd, 2011. “I was looking at the NE horizon from the beach at Hayle in Cornwall UK. At about 3.00am I saw a brightening, and as the rain clouds dissipated I saw the unmistakable glow of
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Death notices - Opelousas Daily World
Google News - over 5 years
Arrangements for James Adams, 60, are incomplete at this time. Williams Funeral Home of Opelousas is in charge of arrangements. MAMOU — A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for Helen Belle Gary, 67, at 11 am today at St. Ann Catholic Church
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Hulu, Morgan Spurlock Unite for Documentary Series - Reuters
Google News - over 5 years
Hulu's first long-form original production will debut this summer with the help of documentarian Morgan Spurlock and subjects like Richard Branson and Williams James Adams Jr. (better known as willi.i.am.)
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YOUTH CRICKET: Nondies sink rivals - Oxford Mail
Google News - over 5 years
The day's best bowling display came from Thame's James Adams against Hors-path. Thame set 164-4, thanks to skipper Ed Goggs (66) and Will Sutcliffe (43no). Jack Biggs led Horspath's reply, keeping them in the hunt with 60. But Adams was introduced in
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Commissioners delay decision - Ely Daily Times
Google News - over 5 years
White Pine County Commissioners on Wednesday delayed a decision on a claim by Ely Jet Center owner James Adams that the county owes over $8000 for services provided last year. The commissioners previously rejected the same bills for
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A salute to longtime Coast Guard Auxiliary member James Adams, WWII veteran - TCPalm
Google News - over 5 years
STUART — The US Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 59 and their members have been a valuable part of the community in Martin County since 1942. Located in Sandsprit Park, residents especially boaters are very familiar with the park just off St. Lucie
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The star-spangled runner: New Mexico blues - Telegraph.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
James Adams winds up in a New Mexico hospital – and fears for the first time this might be the end of the road in the LA to NY Footrace 2011, an epic 3220-mile run across America. By James Adams It was on a long, winding section of New Mexico road,
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Wardens face a backlash - Ashbourne News Telegraph
Google News - over 5 years
James Adams manages parking enforcement across the county and explained how parking regulations are enforced in Derbyshire at a meeting of Ashbourne and district 50+ forum on Friday. Mr Adams, a former infantryman who served in Northern Ireland,
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of James "Grizzly" Adams
    FORTIES
  • 1860
    Age 48
    Died in 1860.
    More Details Hide Details
    Curiously, when Grizzly Adams toured in Connecticut with the circus during the summer of 1860, his brother (the real) James Capen Adams and his family were living in Norfolk, Connecticut at the time.
    More Details Hide Details John "Grizzly" Adams in his few years of hunting, accomplished astonishing feats. He is considered to be "the greatest California mountain man of them all," by Dillon and the "Fabulous Mr. 'Grizzly' Adams," by McCracken. Modern hunters with high-powered precision weapons rarely get up close and personal with their game the way Adams did. He never hesitated to resort to hand-to-paw or knife-to-claw combat when necessary. He captured more grizzlies alive in those few years than any other man has. In addition, he captured a wide variety of other wild animals, totaling in the hundreds, for menageries and zoos. Although Grizzly Adams did kill a number of bears, including grizzlies, he did so for food or their furs and hides. He was not a conservationist as the term is used in modern times. He did, however, genuinely love the outdoors and its wildlife and unspoiled nature; he hated waste. The Western Hall of Fame honored Adams in 1911 with the "Heroes of California" honor. This included James Capen Adams.
    He continued to perform with his bears and other trained animals until late October, 1860.
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    On April 30, 1860, Adams and Barnum opened the California Menagerie in a canvas tent on the corner of Broadway and Fourth Street in New York City The show ran for six weeks.
    More Details Hide Details Adams health was failing, and he sold the remaining interest in the menagerie to Barnum. Adams then went on a summer tour of Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire as part of Nixon & Company's Circus.
    When Adams arrived in New York City in April 1860, he discovered while talking with P.T. Barnum, that Barnum had bought the one-half interest of Adams' California Menagerie, (possibly from Tanner).
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    In 1860, after Adams had relocated to New York, Theodore H. Hittell published his book, The Adventures of James Capen Adams, Mountaineer and Grizzly Bear Hunter of California, in San Francisco, and then later that year, in Boston.
    More Details Hide Details In 1833, John Adams hired on as a wild animal collector with a group of showmen. Several menageries were active in the New England area at this time, probably the largest was the June, Titus Company's National Menagerie aka, Grand National Menagerie. Boston, Massachusetts was the venue for many such menageries while Adams was living there, so he had the opportunity to meet and interact with the proprietors and performers. There were also circuses and menageries on the Pacific Coast when John reached California, one of which was the Joseph A. Rowe Olympic Circus that performed in San Francisco and Sacramento, California at the time he arrived. On two occasions, Adams told Hittell he had contact with an acquaintance from New England. This person most likely was in some way connected to the circus/menagerie business. Adams told Hittell that the man was his brother, "William," although Adams didn't have a brother by that name. According to Earle Williams, the property that Adams ranched near Stockton, California in 1852 was the same land that was later acquired by Henry C. Lee and John R. Marshall, proprietors of the Lee and Marshall Circus. Lee hired a man by the name of David Howard to run the ranch which was about eight-miles southeast of Stockton, on Mariposa road. Grizzly Adams often left his stock and captured animals at "Howard's Ranch" to be cared for by Howard and Lee's circus people.
    It was said the injury was further aggravated while Adams was on tour with the circus in New England in the summer of 1860, when a monkey Adams was attempting to train purportedly bit into the open wound.
    More Details Hide Details After more than four months performing with his California Menagerie, complications from the wound eventually led to Adams' inability to continue on with the show. After completing his contract with Barnum, he retired to Neponset, Massachusetts, where he died of his illness (possibly meningitis) just five days after arriving at the home of his wife and daughter. Upon hearing of Adams' death, Barnum was deeply grieved. John "Grizzly" Adams was buried in the Bay Path Cemetery, Charlton, Massachusetts. It is believed P.T. Barnum commissioned the creation of his tombstone. Also buried there nearby are his mother, father, a sister, his wife, his son and one of his two daughters. During Grizzly Adams' exhibition of his grizzly bears and other trained animals in San Francisco, he was working with Hittell from July, 1857 until December 1859. Hittell listened to Adams narrate his adventures almost daily for an hour or so and took careful notes, cross-questioning Adams to assure he had it straight. Adams knew, and was apparently flattered by the fact Mr. Hittell intended to write a book based upon Adams' talks. Also, during this time, the artist Charles C. Nahl took an interest in Adams' grizzlies and, working with Hittell, prepared illustrations (one of which is at the head of this article) that would be used in Hittell's forthcoming book. One of his paintings eventually became the model for the grizzly bear on California's state flag.
    On January 7, 1860, Adams and his menagerie departed from San Francisco on the clipper ship Golden Fleece on their way to New York City via Cape Horn, a three and one-half month voyage.
    More Details Hide Details In New York City, Grizzly Adams, still representing himself as James Capen Adams, joined with P.T. Barnum to perform his California Menagerie in a canvas tent for six weeks. His health continued to decline and after a doctor told him he had better settle his affairs, Adams decided he would sell his menagerie to Barnum. However, disregarding his doctor's prognosis, he managed to persuade Barnum to agree to let him perform his animals for another ten-weeks for a $500 bonus. The plucky Adams' willpower held out for the full contract, though at the end he could hardly walk onto the stage. From the proceeds of the sale of the menagerie and the bonus, he had accomplished his goal of providing a comfortable sum for his wife.
  • 1859
    Age 47
    In 1859, due to such over extensions, he lost his museum building to creditors.
    More Details Hide Details However, he was able to save most of his menagerie, which he relocated temporarily to another building. Grizzly Adams' health was deteriorating and he knew his life would soon end. Since he had been away from his wife in Massachusetts for over ten years, he wanted to earn enough before he died to leave her a comfortable sum. He made arrangements to relocate his menagerie and collections to New York, in hopes of joining P.T. Barnum as a part of his show.
  • 1858
    Age 46
    By 1858, he was referred to as the "Barnum of the Pacific," in a San Francisco newspaper.
    More Details Hide Details In January, 1858, tragedy struck when noble Ben, John's favorite grizzly, died of an illness for which no remedy could be found. Adams was devastated at the loss, but continued to show his animals daily. He also continuously added more animals and other attractions to his museum.
  • 1856
    Age 44
    In 1856, John retrieved all of his animals from Howard's Ranch near Stockton, California where he had left them to be cared for while he was absent.
    More Details Hide Details He then opened the Mountaineer Museum in a basement on Clay Street in San Francisco. Due to notices T. H. Hittell printed in the San Francisco daily Evening Bulletin, Adams' show drew many more patrons. Soon thereafter, Adams was able to move his menagerie and museum, now called the Pacific Museum to a better location. The new building could accommodate larger audiences and house more animals and displays.
  • 1855
    Age 43
    In an 1855 grizzly attack in the Sierras of California, Adams suffered head and neck injuries.
    More Details Hide Details His scalp was dislodged and he had an impression about the size of a silver dollar above his forehead. The wounds healed but the skull indentation remained. He made pets of several grizzlies and often wrestled with them while training them and in exhibitions. His most delinquent grizzly, named General Fremont (for John C. Fremont), during a playful wrestling match, struck Adams in the head, cracking open the previous injury like an eggshell. The wound healed somewhat, only to be reopened by the "General," several times, eventually leaving his brain tissue exposed.
    During 1855, Adams and his companions hunted and trapped game in the California Coast Range mountains, journeyed to the Kern River mines, then proceeded southward to the Tehachapi Mountains and Tejon Pass.
    More Details Hide Details Returning from the Tejon Pass area, Adams followed the Old Spanish Route via San Miguel and San Jose. Due to interest of the curious people the group met, John set up impromptu shows of his bears and other animals he had collected on his summer excursion. These shows, a precursor to his circus career, were conducted in San Miguel, Santa Clara, San Jose, the redwoods and finally San Francisco.
    Ben saved John's life a year later in 1855, when a mother grizzly attacked Adams.
    More Details Hide Details John and Ben both bore the scars of that attack the rest of their lives. The head injury John received in the attack led to his demise five years later. In the summer of 1854, John traveled to the Rocky Mountains to hunt and collect more live animals. He and his hunting companions sold meat, hides and some live animals to the emigrants along the Emigrant Trails near where the Oregon Trail and the Mormon Trail split away from each other (southwestern Wyoming). They also sold and traded at Fort Bridger, Wyoming and Fort Supply. During this expedition, Lady Washington had an amorous encounter with a Rocky Mountain grizzly. The mating resulted in a male cub that was born the next year when she was with Adams in Corral Hollow on the eastern side of the California coastal mountains. Adams christened her cub General Fremont, in honor of John C. Fremont.
  • 1854
    Age 42
    In the winter of 1854, Grizzly Adams captured a huge California grizzly in the largest cage trap Adams had ever constructed.
    More Details Hide Details John named him Samson. When the monster bear was later weighed on a hay scale, it tipped the beam at 1,500 pounds (one of the largest grizzly bears ever captured alive).
    In 1854, Adams retrieved a pair of two-week old male grizzly cubs from the den of their mother near Yosemite Valley.
    More Details Hide Details He named one of them Benjamin Franklin.
  • 1853
    Age 41
    John didn't stay in California all the time. He traveled great distances from his California base camp on foot, on horse or mule, or in an ox-drawn wagon. In 1853, he made a hunting and trapping expedition some 1,200 miles from his base camp in California to eastern Washington Territory (what is now western Montana).
    More Details Hide Details While there, he caught a yearling female grizzly that he named Lady Washington. Even though she was already a year old and very wild, he managed to tame her and taught her to follow him without restraint. Later, he trained her to carry a pack and then to pull a loaded sled. She even cuddled up near John to keep him warm in freezing conditions. Eventually, Lady Washington allowed John to ride on her back.
  • 1852
    Age 40
    Late in 1852, having lost his ranch outside of Stockton, California to creditors, he took the few items he could salvage and headed into the Sierra Nevada mountains to get away from it all.
    More Details Hide Details With the help of the local Miwok Indians, Adams built a cabin and stable and spent the winter alone in the Sierra. John was an expert hunter and his New England training in shoemaking and leather craft gave him the necessary skills to fashion buckskin clothing and moccasins (the clothing he adopted as normal attire for the remainder of his life). He also made his own harness, pack saddles, snowshoes and other items he needed.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1849
    Age 37
    On his journey via the Santa Fe and Gila trails he twice survived near fatal illnesses, and arrived at the gold fields of California late in 1849.
    More Details Hide Details John Adams tried his luck at mining, hunting game to sell to the miners, trading, and finally, ranching and farming. At times he was rich and then, just as quickly, broke.
    In 1849 with the California Gold Rush in progress, John invested his life savings of over $6,000 to buy a large supply of footwear, and had it shipped to St. Louis, Missouri.
    More Details Hide Details He intended to sell his goods at great profit to the thousands of forty-niners passing through St. Louis. Through no fault of his own, he lost the entire investment in the St. Louis wharf fire. Shortly thereafter, John's father committed suicide - he may also have invested heavily in John's scheme. At this point, John felt he had nothing to lose. He had a touch of gold fever and a yearning for adventure. He knew even if he failed to recoup his lost investment in the mines, he could at least support himself by hunting and trapping in the untapped wilds of California. He left his family and relatives behind in Massachusetts and joined the 49ers on their way to California.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1836
    Age 24
    John married Cylena Drury in 1836.
    More Details Hide Details They had three children: Arabella, Arathusa Elizabeth, and Seymour. His son, Seymour, never married, so there were no male descendants of Grizzly Adams bearing the Adams surname. John's younger brother, James Capen Adams, (the alias used by "Grizzly" Adams), married and fathered seven children.
    In 1836, James married Cylena Drury and they had three children: Arabella, Arathusa, and Seymour.
    More Details Hide Details
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1813
    Age 1
    Information on his Massachusetts death record (Vol. 139, p. 225) also indicates that his name was John and gives an estimated birth year of 1813, based on age at death (48 years).
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  • 1812
    Age 0
    His Find-a-Grave memorial shows his first name to be John, his birth date October 22, 1812. and his date of death as October 25, 1860, age 48 years.
    More Details Hide Details Born and raised in Medway, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts, he received an education typical of the era. Adams began as an apprentice in the footwear manufacturing industry at age fourteen. He was of English ancestry. At age twenty-one, he left that occupation, seeking to satisfy his true love - the outdoors and nature. He signed on with a company of showmen as a zoological collector. James hunted and captured live wild animals in the wildest parts of Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire, where he honed his woodsman, survival, and marksmanship skills. However, Adams told Hittell his hunting and trapping career ended abruptly when he received severe back and spine injuries from a Bengal tiger he was attempting to train for his employers. Not wanting to become a burden on his family, after a year of recuperating he returned to his cobbler’s bench in Boston, Massachusetts.
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