Born in Massachusetts on October 12, 1812, Adams first worked as a shoemaker before becoming a hunter in New England’s forests. When gold was discovered in California in 1858, Adams, along with thousands of others, made his way west.
The buckskin clad trapper became a well-known figure when he took his bears to New York City and later became involved in P.T. Barnum’s Circus.
John C. “Grizzly” Adams (1812-1860)
Adams died on October 25, 1860 from meningitis from an open head wound that resulted from an accident while training a monkey on tour with P.T. Barnum.
Barnum paid for his tombstone.