Clover Adams

Clover Adams s In biographies, Marian “Clover” Hooper Adams (1843-1885), born Marian Hooper, was an American socialite, from a wealthy Bostonian family, who in 1872 became the wife of American physical humanities historian Henry Adams and who on 6 Dec 1885 died (dereacted) by her own hand (suicide) via potassium cyanide ingestion exactly one year to the date that Henry had secretly declared his love, in letter and poem, to another women (Elizabeth Cameron) and eight months after Henry had consoled to Clover in letter that his daily study was the new subject that he called “social chemistry”, which he defined as the mutual attraction of "equivalent" human molecules, and that it was his “only satisfaction in life”.

Overview | Depression
Clover seems to have had a death wish (see also: death drive), or desire to die by her own hand before she went insane, as she believed would eventually happen to herself.

Suicide seems to have run in her family. Both Clover’s mother, Ellen Sturgis Hooper, and Grandmother Sturgis had a tendency toward depression. As a child, Clover was present when her aunt, Susan Sturgis Bigelow, had taken arsenic that ended her life and that of her unborn child. [4]

Clover was five when her mother died of tuberculosis. Her subsequent affection for and life-imbibing attachment to her father, Dr. Robert Hooper, remained throughout her marriage. As girls, Clover and her sister Ellen had accompanied their father on his charitable professional visits to Worcester Asylum for the mentally ill, so they were aware of the terrors that lay within those walls. In subsequent letters, they revealed their vulnerabilities and fears of confinement in these institutions. Clover’s letters also make it clear that she regarded suicide as preferable to becoming a burden for family or friends, and confinement would be avoided. She had once remarked on learning of the suicide of William Morris Hunt, who had painted a portrait of Henry’s father, “He has put an end to his wild, restless, unhappy life. Perhaps it has saved him years of insanity which his temperament pointed to.” [5]

On 27 Jun 1872, Clover married Henry Adams, in Beverly, Massachusetts, and spent their honeymoon in and around Europe; during which time, in her first long separation from her father, when Clover was on her honeymoon along the Nile, she apparently suffered a brief nervous breakdown. [2] The following are third party perspective quotes relevant to the reaction path that Clover seems to have been on:

“Heavens! – No – they’re crazy as coots. She’ll kill herself like her aunt!”
— Charles Adams (c.1871), comment to his younger brother Henry upon hearing about his intended betrothal [6]

“My dear, I dislike auctions very much, but I mean to go to yours after you die.”
— Elizabeth Bliss Bancroft (c.1880), comment to Clover [1]
Adams puzzle
A depiction of the so-called "Henry Adams love triangle" (see: love thought experiment), in 1885, wherein, seemingly, the introduction of molecule B (Elizabeth Cameron), into the reaction system of Henry Adams, seems to have worked to precipitate the dissolution or detachment of molecule A (Clover Adams) from the AC marriage bond (Henry-Clover relationship), via the action of suicide, on 6 Dec 1885.

Cameron | Equivalent human molecules
In Jan 1881, Henry Adams met American a 24-year-old Elizabeth Cameron, for the first time, in the drawing room of the house of John Hay can Clara Hay. [1] On 19 May 1883, when Cameron and her husband departed for Europe, Adams initiated a correspondence with Cameron, expressing unhappiness with her departure and his longing for her return.

On 7 Dec 1884, exactly one year before the suicide of Clover Adams, Henry Adams wrote to Cameron:

“I shall dedicate my next poem to you. I shall have you carved over the arch of my stone doorway. I shall publish your volume of extracts with your portrait on the title page. None of these methods can fully express the extent to which I am yours.”

On 12 Apr 1885, Adams, while on an extended work stay-over in Washington, wrote Clover the following:

Social chemistry—the mutual attraction of equivalent human molecules—is a science yet to be created, for the fact is my daily study and only satisfaction in life.”

It would seem, here, to be the case, speculatively speaking, that the three human molecules Adams had in mind in this statement, subsequently, would have been himself, his side love affair (or interest) Elizabeth Cameron, and his wife Clover Adams.

On 13 Apr 1885, Clover’s father died, and this was said to have initiated a period of mourning which evolved into mental depression from which she did not recover. [3]

On 4 Dec 1885, two days before her suicide by cyanide (Dec 6), Clover Adams, visited Elizabeth Cameron, who was then three-months pregnant. [1]

On 6 Dec 1885, Clover died by suicide via swallowing potassium cyanide. [8]

In 1887, two years after Clover’s suicide, her sister Ellen, anguishing over the death of her husband, walked into an oncoming train. Her brother Edward suffered a nervous breakdown for six weeks as a result of that tragedy, and in 1901 he leaped from the third floor of his home, survived briefly, but died two months later of pneumonia in an asylum. [5]

Photos/ letters | Destruction
Though Clover was an accomplished photographer, no close–up picture of her face exists. [8] After her death, Adams destroyed all of her photos at their home, and neither her father nor her family had ever received a picture of Clover’s face. [5]

Adams also destroyed all of his letter correspondence with Clover and in his The Education of Henry Adams famously skips a 20-year period, namely the years following Clover’s death.

References
1. Dykstra, Natalie. (2012). Clover Adams: a Gilded and Heartbreaking Life (Ѻ) (Bancroft comment, pg. prologue). Publisher.
2. (a) Friedrich, Otto. (1979). Clover (pgs. 164-65). Simon and Schuster.
(b) O’Tooke, Patricia. (1990). The Five of Hearts (pg. 21). Ballantine Books.
(c) Kaledin, Eugenia. (1981). The Education of Mrs. Henry Adams (pg. 124). Temple University Press.
(d) Krinsley, Daniel B. (1998). “An Unexpected Rendezvous at the Cosmos Club on Lafayette Square: the Strange Odyssey of the Pirated Copy of the Adams Memorial by Saint Gaudens” (Ѻ), CosmosClub.org.
3. (a) Kaledin, Eugenia. (1981). The Education of Mrs. Henry Adams (pg. 221-22). Temple University Press.
(b) Friedrich, Otto. (1979). Clover (pgs. 313-14). Simon and Schuster.
(c) Krinsley, Daniel B. (1998). “An Unexpected Rendezvous at the Cosmos Club on Lafayette Square: the Strange Odyssey of the Pirated Copy of the Adams Memorial by Saint Gaudens” (Ѻ), CosmosClub.org.
4. (a) Kaledin, Eugenia. (1981). The Education of Mrs. Henry Adams (pg. 34-35). Temple University Press.
(b) Friedrich, Otto. (1979). Clover (pgs. 138). Simon and Schuster.
(c) Krinsley, Daniel B. (1998). “An Unexpected Rendezvous at the Cosmos Club on Lafayette Square: the Strange Odyssey of the Pirated Copy of the Adams Memorial by Saint Gaudens” (Ѻ), CosmosClub.org.
5. Krinsley, Daniel B. (1998). “An Unexpected Rendezvous at the Cosmos Club on Lafayette Square: the Strange Odyssey of the Pirated Copy of the Adams Memorial by Saint Gaudens” (Ѻ), CosmosClub.org.
6. (a) Friedrich, Otto. (1979). Clover (pgs. 138). Simon and Schuster.
(b) Krinsley, Daniel B. (1998). “An Unexpected Rendezvous at the Cosmos Club on Lafayette Square: the Strange Odyssey of the Pirated Copy of the Adams Memorial by Saint Gaudens” (Ѻ), CosmosClub.org.
7. (a) Tehan, Arline B. (1983). Henry Adams in Love: The Pursuit of Elizabeth Sherman Cameron (first meeting, pg. 53; visit, pg. 88). Universe Books.
(b) Krinsley, Daniel B. (1998). “An Unexpected Rendezvous at the Cosmos Club on Lafayette Square: the Strange Odyssey of the Pirated Copy of the Adams Memorial by Saint Gaudens” (Ѻ), CosmosClub.org.
8. Kaledin, Eugenia. (1981). The Education of Mrs. Henry Adams (death date, pg. 222; photo destruction, pg. 100). Temple University Press.

External links
Mariam Hooper Adams – Wikipedia.
Who was Marian ‘Clover’ Hopper Adams? (photos and letters) – MassHist.org.

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