Elizabeth Fisher Adams

Elizabeth_Adams_photograph_Womens_Army_Auxiliary_Corps_uniformA descendant of former presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, Elizabeth Fisher Adams graduated from Skidmore in 1929 as an English major. Her fierce anti-isolationist views led her to leave a safe career as an English teacher to become an ambulance driver in France during World War II, two years before the attack on Pearl Harbor. The collection consists of, among other things, photographs and letters to her family, some of which eloquently describe the dark cloud of uncertainty hovering over a country on the brink of war. Take a look at “Midnight Thoughts” written in Paris on March 18, 1940, just weeks before the Germans invaded France. “At the Front,” written from the Belgian Front on May 14, 1940, describes what it was Elizabeth_Adams_photograph_gas_maskslike to actually be right in the thick of it, bombs dropping and gunfire blaring. Elizabeth had a unique perspective as an American woman, a volunteer, far away from home and family. It’s clear that she cared deeply for all the people affected. Her letters are passionate, sometimes beautiful, and sometimes funny. She went on to join the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) and later, after the war, went back to France to help that country rebuild.


Browse the Elizabeth Adams Collection.

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