Evangeline Smith Adams was born on 8 February 1868 in Jersey City, New Jersey, USA. She is best known for her work in the field of astrology, running a thriving astrological consulting business and penning a number of popular books about prediction. Adams has been described as ‘America’s first astrological superstar’, and gained widespread notability for successfully defending her astrological practice in court in 1914. The New York Judge acquitted Adams ‘of all wrong doing’, and highly praised her skill. After the verdict, she gave him an astrology reading describing the character of his new born baby boy. Thousands of people subscribed to Adam’s astrological newsletter, especially after the high-profile court case, and many followed Adams’s advice to invest in the Stock Market, during the run-up to the Crash of 1929. The results were, predictably, disastrous.
It was only towards the end of her career that Adams really took to publishing books and raising her profile within the popular media. For a number of years, her output was so great that she employed Aleister Crowley (an English occultist, poet, and mountaineer, responsible for founding the religion of Thelema) as a ghost writer. Their business relationship eventually soured however, with various copyright cases being brought to the fore. Debates over ‘who really wrote what’ with regards to Crowley’s General Principles of Astrology took centre stage.
Adams was arrested three times in New York for fortune telling, in 1911, 1914 and 1923. Although practicing astrology was not legalized at that time, all the cases brought against her were unsuccessful. She died in November 1932, at the age of sixty-four.