He was a founder of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, and made the town's first treasurer at the first town meeting.
Family legend, unsubstantiated, states that James Adams won land in Littleton, Vermont in a singing contest. (Fairbanks, The Town of St. Johnsbury, VT)
"It is further said that James Adams ... won land in Littleton (i.e.Waterford), in a singing contest. The first choice of land was put up as a prize to the man who could sing best. James won by singing a song "Brave Wolfe" which was written by his son Jonathan. Mrs. Hannah Adams Hudson owns a copy of this song, in it's original handwriting. "
St. Johnsbury, Vermont