In 1896 Adams entered the junior class at South Carolina College (later the University of South Carolina), after graduating from Leesville College in 1892. She was awarded a bachelor of arts degree in 1898, the first woman to graduate from South Carolina College.

Educator. Adams was born on September 16, 1873, in Utopia, Newberry County, the daughter of Thomas Hill Adams and Eliza Kelley. In 1896 she entered the junior class at South Carolina College (later the University of South Carolina), after graduating from Leesville College in 1892. She was awarded a bachelor of arts degree in 1898, the first woman to graduate from South Carolina College. In 1913 Adams married Professor Lawson B. Haynes, then president of Leesville College.

Adams established herself as a leader in the field of education. For eighteen years she served as the head of the Department of English at Meridian College in Meridian, Mississippi. From 1900 to 1903 she took leave from Meridian to serve as organizer of the South Carolina Women’s Christian Temperance Union. She traveled extensively throughout Europe in 1909 and contributed articles on her travels to the State newspaper in Columbia. She also attended Oxford College in Oxford, England. She received a master of arts degree from Columbia University in New York City, and later taught for five years at the Teacher’s College in Livingston, Alabama. In 1918 Adams was awarded an honorary doctorate from Meridian College. She died in Hendersonville, North Carolina, on December 26, 1947.

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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Adams, Mattie Jean
  • Author Mary Baskin Waters
  • Website Name South Carolina Encyclopedia
  • URL http://www.scencyclopedia.org/sce/entries/adams-mattie-jean/
  • Access Date December 17, 2018
  • Publisher University of South Carolina, Institute for Southern Studies
  • Original Published Date April 15, 2016
  • Date of Last Update October 12, 2016