An oil painting of Henry Joseph Adams, painted by George M. Stone. Adams came to Kansas in March, 1855, settled in Leavenworth, and became active in free-state causes. In the winter of 1855, he was elected to the free-state Legislature. In the spring of 1857, Adams was elected the first free-state mayor of Leavenworth and served two terms. In the 1858 Territorial Legislature, he was appointed chairman of the committee to investigate the Oxford, Kickapoo and other election frauds under the Lecompton Constitution. Under an act of the 1859 Territorial Legislature, Adams was appointed to a committee to audit the claims against the Federal Government by citizens of the Territory for losses sustained through the plunder and destruction of private property by pro-slavery forces. Shortly after the Civil War started, Adams was appointed an army pay master and he held this post until near the war's end.