A Biography of Adam Cartwright
Written by Hart4Ben, January 2016

Far beyond the borders of the Ponderosa, Adam Cartwright is known for his intelligence, hard work, education, sophistication, and charm. The firstborn son of Ben Cartwright, a wealthy and respected rancher from Virginia City, Nevada, Adam is recognized by many as a very capable representative and shrewd negotiator for his family’s business endeavors. He is unswervingly honest in his dealings with people and advocates equality for all regardless of race or status. His idealism and sense of justice is often met with resistance, especially on matters relating to Indians and warfare. The Cartwright heir will occasionally leverage the family name; however, Adam always contributes his share of the work. His mental and physical fortitude and stamina surpass that of most men, and being told that a task is impossible only serves as incentive for Adam to prove the doubter wrong.

Though he has the means to dress fashionably, Adam’s customary, understated black attire demonstrates his self-confidence. His very masculine good looks turn the heads of the ladies and cause some hearts to skip a beat with just a smile or the mere tip of his hat. He appears as comfortable atop a bucking bronco as he does seated by the fireplace with a book of Shakespeare in his hands. Generally a man of few words, he has a lightening quick wit that is paired with an endearing and engaging smirk. Adam finds an evening out on the town at the opera house or the theater thoroughly enjoyable, but he is just as content with a quiet night at home singing and playing his guitar. However, when necessary, those gifted hands have a reputation for being very good in a fight and with a gun. Adam strikes fear in the hearts of men who face his steely gaze and fast draw.

Whether by nature or because of losses early in his life, Adam keeps a tight grip on his emotions. Gentle, tender, and even sometimes silly with children, he finds it easier to let down his guard with them, especially with those who have also experienced loss. He is very happy to share the company of a lovely lady and would like to marry and have a family, but finding a woman who complements his intellect and temperament is challenging for him.

Adam’s tendency to brood can put a strain on the Cartwright family’s strong bond of love, making it difficult at times for his father and younger brothers, Hoss and Joe, to understand him. Though neither one wants to admit it, Adam and his father irritate each other with their similarities. Still, Ben is proud that his son puts great thought and consideration into his decision-making, especially when the wellbeing of the ranch or his community is at stake. Whether it is ranching, mining, timber management, construction, or engineering, his knowledge is extensive. Privileged to receive an education at an eastern university, Adam believes in himself and his ideas and finds it difficult to accept the status quo. As the dedicated, hard working, and responsible eldest son and brother, he grapples with his deep love for his family and his intense desire to see and experience the world beyond the Ponderosa.

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson