He was born in Westbrook, ME, and the family moved to what was then called Salmon Falls, now part of Hollis or Buxton, ME. He was one of those rare people whose soul mission was clear from a young age. He had the good fortune to be able to study art in Rome and also to make friends and enjoy the company of the writers Longfellow, Hawthorne , and the Brownings. Hawthorne's book, The Marble Faun has a character, a sculptor who created a dead pearl diver. That character was modelled after Akers. He died when he was 36 after being married for only about a year to the writer Elizabeth Allen Akers. The sculpture The Dead Pearl Diver, 1858, is part of the permanent collection at the Portland Museum of Art.