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Silas Adams

Historical marker to Adams in Liberty, Kentucky

Silas Adams (February 9, 1839 – May 5, 1896) was a lawyer and politician from Kentucky.


He was born in Pulaski County, Kentucky on February 9, 1839, and moved to Casey County with his parents in 1841. He attended Kentucky University at Harrodsburg, Transylvania University, and Lexington Law School.

Civil War

He entered the Union Army during the Civil War as a first lieutenant, First Regiment, Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry and was later promoted to captain, lieutenant colonel, and colonel of the regiment. He was mustered out December 31, 1864.

His experiences in the cavalry are recorded in the book The Wild Riders of the First Kentucky Cavalry by Eastham Tarrant.

Postwar life

Following the war he entered Lexington Law School in 1867; he was admitted to the bar and practiced law.

He served two terms as county attorney and later served as a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1889-1892. He led an unsuccessful campaign as a Republican candidate for the United States Senate in 1892. He was later elected as a Republican to the 53rd US Congress (March 4, 1893 – March 3, 1895). He was an unsuccessful independent candidate for reelection in 1894 to the 54th US Congress, and thereafter returned to the practice of law.

He died in Liberty on May 5, 1896 and was buried in Brown Cemetery in Humphrey. His legacy continues with his family as today some hold an Honorary Kentucky Colonelship. Known descendants currently live in Kentucky and California.


  • Silas Adams at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  • Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771–Present
  • Who Was Who in America: Historical Volume 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who, 1963.
  • Find-A-Grave site

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