Open Access Articles- Top Results for Alvin Adams

Alvin Adams

This article is about the shipping magnate. For the basketball player, see Alvan Adams.
Alvin Adams
File:Alvin Adams.jpg
Born June 16, 1804
Andover, Vermont
Died September 1, 1877(1877-09-01) (aged 73)
Watertown, Massachusetts
Known for founder of Adams and Company

Alvin Adams (June 16, 1804 – September 1, 1877) was the founder of Adams and Company, a forerunner to Adams Express, one of the first companies to act as a carrier for express shipments by rail in the United States. Adams and Company provided shippers with a complete shipping solution, picking up goods at the shipper's location, carrying them to the railroad terminal, and then delivering them from the distant railroad terminal to the recipient's door.


File:Alvin Adams ca1850.jpg
Alvin Adams circa 1850

Alvin Adams was born on June 16, 1804 in Andover, Vermont.[1] A produce merchant ruined by the Panic of 1837, in 1839, Adams began carrying letters, small packages and valuables for patrons between Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts. On May 4, 1840 he established his first express freight route between Boston and New York under the name Adams and Company.[2] The company established offices in Boston and New York, and soon added express routes to Baltimore, Maryland, Norwich, Connecticut, Worcester, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Cincinnati, Ohio, Louisville, Kentucky, and St. Louis, Missouri.[2][3] Adams and Company started out by hauling mail for the nascent postal service, until that business was suspended by the US Government in 1845; in that year the transportation of mail was transferred to solely government-owned entities.

In 1854 Adams and Company merged with three other express agencies, Harnden and Company, Thompson and Company, and Kinsley and Company to form the American Express Company, with Mr. Adams as the president of the new company.[2][4] The company was initially capitalized with $1,200,000.[5] He was succeeded in 1855 by George Washington Cass.[6]

Alvin Adams died September 1, 1877 in Watertown, Massachusetts.[2] The company that he formed still exists, headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland.


  1. ^ Toomey, pp 246.
  2. ^ a b c d Toomey, ibid.
  3. ^ Stimson, pp 55-56.
  4. ^ Depew, pp. 139.
  5. ^ Stimson, pp. 59.
  6. ^ The New York Times, March 22, 1888.


External links

Business positions
Founder of company President of Adams Express
Succeeded by
George Washington Cass