‘Clover Adams’ by Natalie Dykstra
Rethinking the artistic life and tragic death of Clover Adams
On a dreary Sunday morning in December, 1885, Henry Adams, historian, novelist, grandson of John Quincy Adams, and great-grandson of John Adams, returned home from a dental appointment to find his wife dead. Clover had drunk a vial of potassium cyanide, which she’d used in photographic processing, then a popular hobby among members of the upper classes. For more than a century since her suicide, Clover Adams has been better known for her death than for her life.