Adams Mission today is an important educational institution.


Dr Newton Adams arrived in Port Natal together with his wife and other missionaries on 6 February 1835. Adams was 29 years old at the time and had been in practice in New York State for about two years.

Dr and Mrs Adams first established a station at the Umlaas River, which survived plundering by Dingaan's warriors in 1838. In 1844 he moved his mission to the Amanzimtoti Reserve, to the site of the present day Adams College - named in his honour. Dr Adams encouraged development and concentrated on education and religious work. He was regarded as an exceedingly skillful physician and surgeon by colonists and Boers, who often travelled long distances to see him.

Teacher with three coats

He was given a Zulu nickname, 'the teacher with three coats', which arose from his putting on a different costume for each task, a white one which he put on after breakfast each day to receive his patients, the black frock coat in which he took services and short lumber jacket which he wore when chopping down trees.

Adams died in 1851, aged 45, deeply respected by Blacks and Whites alike. Military officers and the majority of Durban's residents rode out to attend his funeral.