John Bailey Adger, Jr. (3 Dec. 1848-3 Feb. 1880)

John Bailey Adger, Jr., was the youngest and only son who survived to adulthood of the Rev. John Bailey Adger (1810-1899), from Charleston, SC, and his wife, Elizabeth Keith (Shrewsbury) Adger (1813-1890). John B. Adger the elder was a noted Presbyterian minister, missionary to Armenia, and professor at the Columbia Theological Seminary in Columbia, SC from 1856-1874. (N.B. There were several men of the same name in the Adger family in addition to this father and son; John Bailey Adger, Jr. (1848-1880) is sometimes confused with an older brother of the same name, who was born in 1839 and died in 1849, as well as a cousin identically named John Bailey Adger (1858-1940), who also attended the University of Virginia, graduating in session 56 (1879-1880).)

Adger, Jr. (1848-1880) attended the University of South Carolina for a short time, and then attended the University of Virginia in sessions 46-48 (1869-1872), where he was a member of Chi Psi Fraternity. He was a graduate in the schools of chemistry, applied chemistry, and moral philosophy. After his graduation, he studied in Germany, returning to the United States in August 1873. For a short time, he was a professor of chemistry at the University of Mississippi, then returned to Germany for further study.

After this second trip to Germany, Adger, Jr. lost his eyesight and became a planter (farmer) in the Pendleton, SC area, where his extended family resided. He died on 3 Feb. 1880, of septecemia from injuries received during a runaway horse incident. The death certificate states that he died at Rivoli, a plantation near Pendleton, where he and his family (father, mother, and sister) lived at that time. John Bailey Adger, Jr. was buried in the Second Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Charleston, SC.

(My thanks to B. Powell Harrison III, a first cousin six times removed to John B. Adger, Jr., who shared his research with me. This includes materials from the Adger-Smyth Family Papers, held by the South Caroliniana Library at the University of South Carolina; The Diary of Clarissa Adger Bowen, Ashtabula Plantation, 1865. Pendleton, SC, 1973; and the Margaret H. Adger Manuscripts and the baptismal records kept by the Rev. Thomas Smyth, held by the South Carolina Historical Society.)


  • Adger, John Bailey. My life and times, 1810-1899. Richmond, VA, 1899. Accessed via
  • Adger, John Bailey, Jr., death certificate (Feb. 3, 1880), in South Carolina Death Records, 1821-1955 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: South Carolina. South Carolina death records. Columbia, SC, USA: South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
  • Chi Psi Fraternity. The Sixth decennial catalogue of the Chi Psi Fraternity, 1902. Auburn, NY, 1902, p. 393. Accessed via
  • “John Bailey Adger” in Snowden, Yates, comp. History of South Carolina. New York, 1920, v. 3, p. 105-106. Accessed via
  • Passenger manifest (26 Aug. 1873) of the S. S Canada, in New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. (Year: 1873; Arrival: New York , United States; Microfilm Serial: M237; Microfilm Roll: M237_381; Line: 8; List Number: 902.)
  • Tombstones of John Bailey Adger, Elizabeth Adger,  and John Bailey Adger, Jr., on [website] (accessed 4/9/2011).
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