William Taylor Adams (1822-1897) was a noted academic, author, and Massachusetts state legislator. He was born in Medway, Massachusetts. He became a teacher in the Boston, Massachusetts public schools in 1845, and remained in that capacity through 1865. He served as a member of the School Board of Dorchester, Massachusetts, for 14 years. In 1869, he became a member of the Massachusetts General Court. He wrote many books of fiction for boys under the pseudonym "Oliver Optic," including All Aboard; or, Life on the Lake (1855), Poor and Proud; or, The Fortunes of Katy Redburn (1858), The Soldier Boy; or, Tom Somers in the Army (1863), The Birthday Party: A Story for Little Folks (1864), Outward Bound; or, Young America Afloat (1867), Now or Never; or, The Adventures of Bobby Bright (1872), Taken by the Enemy (1888), Little by Little; or, The Cruise of the Flyaway (1888), On The Blockade (1890), Within the Enemy's Lines (1890), Stand by the Union (1891), Fighting for the Right (1893), A Victorious Union (1893), Haste and Waste; or, the Young Pilot of Lake Champlain (1894), and Across India; or, Live Boys In The Far East (1895).