NOTES

The notes below represent my attempt to provide documentation for all quotations in the text, the vast majority of which come from the published and yet unpublished correspondence between Abigail and John. When the story I try to tell crosses over contested historical terrain that has spawned a formidable scholarly literature, I have tried to cite books and articles that strike me as sensible and seminal. But my accounting on this score is far from exhaustive, in part because such a standard would burden the book with notes that outweighed the text itself, in part because I think the conversation between Abigail and John should take precedence over the conversation among several generations of historians.

That said, previous biographers of John and Abigail have blazed the trail in ways that have influenced my reading of the primary sources and, therefore, deserve mention at the start. For John there are three distinguished predecessors: Page Smith, John Adams, 2 vols. (New York, 1962); John Ferling, John Adams: A Life (Knoxville, 1995); and David McCullough, John Adams (New York, 2001). For Abigail there are also three biographical pioneers: Lynn Withey, Dearest Friend: A Life of Abigail Adams (New York, 1981); Phyllis Lee Levin, Abigail Adams: A Biography (New York, 1987); and Edith Gelles, Portia: The World of Abigail Adams (Bloomington, 1992). A new biography by Woody Holton, Abigail Adams (New York, 2009), appeared just in time to influence my final draft.

Because the relationship between Abigail and John was so seamless, any biographer of one almost automatically ends up writing about both. And all the biographers mentioned above do just that. But there is a difference between a biographer who leans in the direction of the partner and a historian of the partnership itself. I aspire for the latter.

P.S.—While this book was being copyedited, a study appeared of the Adams partnership, entitled Abigail & John: Portrait of a Marriage (New York, 2009), by Edith B. Gelles. Gelles is a distinguished student of Abigail and a friend. I look forward to comparing her version of the story with mine.

ABBREVIATIONS
TITLES

AFC

Lyman H. Butterfield et al., eds., Adams Family Correspondence, 9 vols. to date (Cambridge, Mass., 1963–).

AJ

Lester G. Cappon, ed., The Adams-Jefferson Letters, 2 vols. (Chapel Hill, 1959).

AP

The Microfilm Edition of the Adams Papers, 608 reels (Boston, 1954–59).

DA

Lyman H. Butterfield et al., eds., The Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, 4 vols. (Cambridge, Mass., 1961).

EDJA

Lyman H. Butterfield, ed., The Earliest Diary of John Adams (Cambridge, Mass., 1966).

HP

Harold Syrett, ed., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, 26 vols. (New York, 1974–92).

JCC

Worthington C. Ford, ed., The Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, 34 vols. (Washington, D.C., 1904–37).

JM

James Morton Smith, ed., The Republic of Letters: The Correspondence Between Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, 1776–1826, 3 vols. (New York, 1995).

JP

Julian Boyd et al., eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 28 vols. to date (Princeton, 1950–).

NEQ

New England Quarterly

PA

Robert J. Taylor et al., eds., The Papers of John Adams, 11 vols. to date (Cambridge, Mass., 1983–).

UFC

Unpublished correspondence of the Adams family transcribed by the editors of the Adams Papers.

WMQ

William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd series.

Works

Charles Francis Adams, ed., The Works of John Adams, 10 vols. (Boston, 1850–60).

PERSONS

AA

Abigail Adams

AA(2)

Abigail Adams Smith

AS

Abigail Smith (before marriage to John)

CA

Charles Adams

CFA

Charles Francis Adams

JA

John Adams

JQA

John Quincy Adams

LCA

Louisa Catherine Adams

TBA

Thomas Boylston Adams

TJ

Thomas Jefferson

WSS

William Stephens Smith

CHAPTER ONE. 1759–74

1. DA 1:108.

2. DA 1:109, for the derogatory quotation about the Smith sisters.

3. JA to AS, 4 October 1762, AFC 1:2.

4. JA to AS, 14 February 1763, AFC 1:3.

5. AS to JA, 11 August 1763, AFC 1:6.

6. JA to AS, 30 December 1761, AFC 1:1; AS to JA, 12 September 1763, AFC 1:8.

7. AS to JA, 19 April 1764, AFC 1:44–46; JA to AS, 9 May 1764, AFC 1:46–47.

8. AS to JA, 4 October 1764, AFC 1:50–51.

9. DA 3:256–61, for John’s autobiographical account of his family history and childhood.

10. All of John’s biographers cover these early years, but see David McCullough, John Adams (New York, 2001), 37–53, for the most recent and comprehensive account.

11. DA 3:272–76, for the start of his legal career and the decision to delay marriage.

12. Phyllis Lee Levin, Abigail Adams: A Biography (New York, 1987), 3–9.

13. DA 1:21.

14. DA 1:26–27, 57.

15. DA 1:63, 95.

16. DA 1:6–8.

17. DA 1:13–14.

18. DA 1:25.

19. DA 1:33.

20. EDJA, 73; John Ferling and Lewis E. Braverman, “John Adams’s Health Reconsidered,” (January 1998), 82–104.

21. Edith B. Gelles, “The Abigail Industry,” WMQ 45 (October 1988), 656–83, for a cogent assessment of the scholarly literature on Abigail’s primary identity as a traditional wife and mother.

22. For Abigail’s upbringing, I find Lynn Withey, Dearest Friend: A Life of Abigail Adams (New York, 1981), 1–10, most sensible. The “wild colts” quotation is from a letter to John Quincy in 1804, when Abigail recalled her grandmother’s advice.

23. JA to AA, 20 April 1763, AFC 1:4–5, for John’s clearest acknowledgment that Abigail possessed a personal serenity that he envied and would never be able to match.

24. Editorial note on the smallpox epidemic in Boston, AFC 1:14; JA to AS, 11 April 1764, AFC 1:22.

25. AS to JA, 12 April 1764, AFC 1:25–27.

26. AS to JA, 8 April 1764, AFC 1:19.

27. The best and most recent synthesis of the scholarship on the constitutional crises is Gordon S. Wood, The American Revolution: A History (New York, 2002), 3–62.

28. AA to JA, 14 September 1767, AFC 1:62; JA to AA, 23 May 1772, AFC 1:83; JA to AA, 29 June 1774, AFC 1:111.

29. PA 1:46–48, for the moralistic essays; DA 1:172–73, for John’s diary account of tavern life.

30. PA 1:58–94.

31. DA 3:284, for the composition of Dissertation.

32. PA 1:103–28.

33. PA 1:132–35, 152.

34. DA 1:263.

35. JA to AA, 6 July 1774, AFC 1:128–29; AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 31 January 1767, AFC 1:60–61.

36. DA 3:294–95.

37. AA to Isaac Smith Jr., 20 April 1771, AFC 1:76–77.

38. DA 3:276.

39. PA 1:155–73.

40. PA 1:174–211.

41. PA 1:252–309.

42. DA 1:324, JA to William Tudor, 15 May 1817, AP, reel 123. For a more sympathetic portrait of Hutchinson, see Bernard Bailyn, The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson (Cambridge, Mass., 1974).

43. DA 3:287–88; JA to AA, 9 July 1774, AFC 1:135.

44. JA to AA, 1 July 1774, AFC 1:119.

45. DA 3:291–94; the authoritative study is Hiller B. Zobel, The Boston Massacre (New York, 1970); on the role of Sam Adams behind the scenes, see Mark Puls, Samuel Adams: Father of the American Revolution (New York, 2006), 99–111.

46. JA to AA, 7 July 1774, AFC 1:131; DA 3:292.

47. JA to Isaac Smith Jr., [1771?], AFC 1:82.

48. JA to AA, 12 May 1774, AFC 1:107.

49. JA to AA, 6 July 1774, AFC 1:126–27, for John’s sense that there was no turning back.

50. JA to AA, 2 July 1774, AFC 1:121; also JA to AA, 12 May 1774, AFC 1:107.

51. Editorial note, AFC 1:136–37.

52. JA to AA, 23 June 1774, AFC 1:108–9.

53. Editorial note, AFC 1:140.

CHAPTER TWO. 1774–78

1. AA to JA, 22 October 1775, AFC 1:310; JA to AA, 23 October 1775, AFC 1:311–12.

2. AA to JA, 29 August 1776, AFC 2:112–13.

3. JA to AA, 28 April 1776, AFC 1:400; JA to AA, 22 May 1776, AFC 1:412.

4. JA to William Tudor, 7 October 1774, PA 2:188.

5. AA to JA, 16 July 1775, AFC 1:247, 250.

6. JA to AA, 2 June 1776, AFC 2:3.

7. JA to James Warren, 25 June 1775, PA 2:99. See also, in the same vein, DA 2:134–35.

8. DA 2:150.

9. DA 2:121, 173, 182; JA to AA, 25 September 1774, AFC 1:163. See also JA to AA, 9 October 1774, AFC 1:166.

10. JA to William Tudor, 29 September 1774, PA 2:177.

11. On Macauley’s view of English history, see Lucy M. Donnelly, “The Celebrated Mrs. Macauley,” WMQ 6 (April 1949), 173–207.

12. On Mercy Otis Warren, see Katherine Anthony, First Lady of the Revolution: The Life of Mercy Otis Warren (New York, 1958).

13. AA to Catharine Sanbridge Macauley, [1774], AFC 1:177–79; AA to Mercy Otis Warren, 2 May 1775, AFC 1:190–91. See also AA to Mercy Otis Warren, 14 August 1777, AFC 2:313–14.

14. JA to AA, 17 June 1775, AFC 1:216.

15. See the editorial note on John’s role in the First Continental Congress, PA 2:144–52. For his own somewhat melodramatic version of his role, see DA 2:124–54. His contribution to the Declaration of Rights and Grievances is recorded in JCC 1:54–55.

16. See the editorial note on Novanglus, PA 2:216–26. For the thirteen essays, see PA 2:226–387.

17. JA to AA, 2 May 1775, AFC 1:192; JA to AA, 8 May 1775, AFC 1:195–96.

18. AA to JA, 18 June 1775, AFC 1:22–24.

19. See the editorial note on John Quincy’s latter-day recollections in 1843, AFC 1:224; JA to AA, 7 July 1775, AFC 1:242; AA to JQA, 13 March 1802, UFC.

20. AA to JA, 8 September 1775, AFC 1:276–78; AA to JA, 16 September 1775, AFC 1:278–79. See also Elizabeth A. Fenn, Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775–82 (New York, 2001).

21. AA to JA, 3 June 1776, AFC 2:4; AA to Mercy Otis Warren, January 1776, AFC 1:422.

22. JA to AA, 26 September 1775, AFC 1:285–86; JA to AA, 19 October 1775, AFC 1:302.

23. JA to AA, 7 October 1775, AFC 1:295.

24. AA to JA, 12 November 1775, AFC 1:324.

25. Paul C. Nagel, Descent from Glory: Four Generations of the John Adams Family (New York, 1983), is the best survey of the subject, though I find his treatment of Abigail unduly harsh. See also David F. Musto, “The Youth of John Quincy Adams,” American Philosophical Society Proceedings 113 (1969), 269–82.

26. JQA to JA, 13 October 1774, AFC 1:167; AA to JA, 5 November 1775, AFC 1:322.

27. AA to JA, April 1777, AFC 2:229.

28. JA to TBA, 6 May 1774, AFC 1:234; AA to JA, 7 May 1776, AFC 1:403.

29. JA to AA, 22 May 1776, AFC 1:412–13.

30. JA to AA, 8 July 1777, AFC 2:277.

31. DA 3:355; the fellow delegate was none other than Thomas Jefferson, quoted in my American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson (New York, 1997), 242.

32. JA to Moses Gill, 10 June 1775, PA 3:21.

33. JA to AA, 1 October 1775, AFC 1:290.

34. JA to AA, 17 June 1775, AFC 1:215; AA to JA, 16 July 1775, AFC 1:246.

35. JA to AA, 15 April 1776, AFC 1:383.

36. JA to John Trumbull, 13 February 1776, PA 4:22; for the arrival of news about the Prohibitory Act, see Jack N. Rakove, The Beginnings of National Politics: An Interpretive History of the Continental Congress (New York, 1979), 91–92.

37. AA to JA, 27 November 1775, AFC 1:329–30.

38. PA 4:65–73, for the text and an editorial note on John’s later comments on Thoughts. I have discussed the significance of Thoughts at greater length in American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic (New York, 2007), 46–49.

39. AA to JA, 31 March 1776, AFC 1:370.

40. JA to AA, 14 April 1776, AFC 1:382.

41. AA to Mercy Otis Warren, 27 April 1776, AFC 1:396–98; AA to JA, 7 May 1776, AFC 1:402.

42. AA to JA, 14 August 1776, AFC 2:94; JA to AA, 25 August 1776, AFC 2:108.

43. JA to James Sullivan, 26 May 1776, PA 4:208–12.

44. For the style and message of Common Sense, see Eric Foner, Tom Paine and Revolutionary America (New York, 1776). For Paine as the ultimate advocate for implementing the radical implications of the revolutionary agenda, see Harvey J. Kay, Thomas Paine and the Promise of America (New York, 2005).

45. AP 4:185; JA to James Warren, 15 May 1776, AP 4:186.

46. JA to AA, 17 May 1776, AFC 1:410.

47. AA to JA, 2 March 1776, AFC 1:352–56; AA to JA, 16 March 1776, AFC 1:358.

48. JA to AA, 3 July 1776, AFC 2:27–31. He wrote Abigail two separate letters on this day.

49. For a longer exegesis of this point, as well as the primary sources on which it was based, see my Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams (New York, 1991), 64.

50. JA to AA, 3 July 1776, AFC 2:30.

51. For the best synthesis of this crowded moment, see Pauline Maier, American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence (New York, 1997), 97_153.

52. JA to Benjamin Rush, 21 June 1811, quoted in Ellis, Passionate Sage, 64.

53. For John’s appointment as chair of the Committee on War and Ordnance and the difficult logistical and strategic problems he faced, see JA to AA, 26 June 1776, AFC 2:23–24.

54. AA to JA, 20 September 1776, AFC 2:129.

55. JA to AA, 16 July 1776, AFC 2:50–51.

56. AA to JA, 29 July 1776, AFC 2:65–67; AA to JA, 14 August 1776, AFC 2:93; AA to JA, 17 August 1776, AFC 2:98.

57. AA to JA, 19 August 1776, AFC 2:101; JA to AA, 27 July 1776, AFC 2:63.

58. JA to AA, 28 August 1776, AFC 2:111.

59. AA to JA, 1 August 1776, AFC 2:72–73; AA to JA, 25 August 1776, AFC 2:106.

60. JA to AA, 30 August 1776, AFC 2:114–15; JA to AA, 8 October 1776, AFC 2:140.

61. AA to JA, 2 September 1776, AFC 2:116; AA to JA, 29 September 1776, AFC 2:134–36.

62. JCC 5:723–35, for the conference with Howe. See also the editorial note in AFC 2:124–25.

63. John’s latter-day recollection of the episode with Franklin is in DA 3:414–30.

64. PA 4:260–302, for the Plan of Treaties.

65. Ira D. Gruber, The Howe Brothers and the American Revolution (New York, 1972), 127–57, and Kevin Phillips, The Cousins’ Wars: Religion, Politics, and the Triumph of Anglo-America (New York, 1999), 291–99, provide different but compatible interpretations of Howe’s fateful decision.

66. JA to AA, 7 October 1776, AFC 2:139; JA to AA, 11 October 1776, AFC 2:141.

67. JA to AA, 10 February 1777, AFC 2:159; JA to AA, 3 February 1777, AFC 2:152–53.

68. AA to Mercy Otis Warren, [January?] 1777, AFC 2:150–51; all previous accounts are superceded by David Hackett Fischer’s Washington’s Crossing (New York, 2004).

69. AA to JA, 8 February 1777, AFC 2:157; JA to AA, 3 April 1777, AFC 2:199–200.

70. AA to JA, March 1777, AFC 2:173.

71. JA to AA, 22 May 1777, AFC 2:245; JA to AA, 21 February 1777, AFC 2:166.

72. JA to JQA, 16 March 1777, AFC 2:177–78; JA to TBA, 16 March 1777, AFC 2:178; JA to AA, 17 March 1777, AFC 2:178–79; JA to CA, 17 March 1777, AFC 2:179–80.

73. JA to AA, 13 April 1777, AFC 2:209.

74. JA to AA, 16 March 1777, AFC 2:175–77.

75. JA to AA, 15 May 1777, AFC 2:238–39.

76. AA to JA, 1 June 1777, AFC 2:250–51.

77. AA to JA, 30 July 1777, AFC 2:295.

78. JA to AA, 6 April 1777, AFC 2:201; JA to AA, 10 July 1777, AFC 2:278.

79. AA to JA, 9 July 1777, AFC 2:278.

80. JA to AA, 18 July 1777, AFC 2:284–85; JA to AA, 30 July 1777, AFC 2:296–97.

81. AA to JA, 10–11 July 1777, AFC 2:278–80; AA to JA, 16 July 1777, AFC 2:282–83; AA to JA, 23 July 1777, AFC 2:287.

82. JA to AA, 28 July 1777, AFC 2:292.

83. AA to JA, 5 August 1777, AFC 2:301; JA to AA, 25 October 1777, AFC 2:360.

84. JA to AA, 30 September 1777, AFC 2:349–50.

85. JA to AA, 14 November 1777, AFC 2:366.

CHAPTER THREE. 1778–84

1. Mercy Otis Warren to AA, 8 January 1778, AFC 2:379.

2. AA to James Lovell, 15 December 1777, AFC 2:370–77.

3. AA to John Thaxter, 15 February 1778, AFC 2:390; see also the editorial note on the question of Abigail’s thinking prior to John’s departure.

4. DA 4:6–35, for John’s diary account of the voyage.

5. AA to Hannah Quincy Lincoln Storer, 7 March 1778, AFC 2:397–98; AA to JA, 8 March 1778, AFC 2:402; AA to JA, 18 May 1778, AFC 2:22–24; AA to JA, 18 June 1778, AFC 3:46–47.

6. AA to JA, 30 June 1778, AFC 3:51–53.

7. This is a very rough guess. More letters were lost during the early stage of their separation than during the latter.

8. JA to AA, 2 December 1778, AFC 3:124–26; AA to JA, 30 June 1778, AFC 3:51–53; AA to JA, 12–23 November, AFC 3:118–20.

9. AA to JA, 15 July 1778, AFC 3:59–62; AA to John Thaxter, 19 August 1778, AFC 3:76–77; AA to JA, 29 September 1778, AFC 3:94–96; AA to JA, 21 October 1778, AFC 3:108–9; AA to JA, 27 December 1778, AFC 3:139–40.

10. AA to JA, 25 October 1778, AFC 3:110–11; AA to JA, 2 January 1779, AFC 3:146–47.

11. DA 1:288, for a sketch of Lovell. There is some evidence that Lovell’s quarters in Philadelphia were located in a brothel.

12. On the correspondence between Abigail and Lovell, see the editorial note in AFC 3:xxxiv; James Lovell to AA, 13 June 1778, AFC 3:43–44.

13. AA to James Lovell, February-March 1779, AFC 3:184–86.

14. DA 4:36, for the Adam and Eve story.

15. DA 4:47.

16. JA to AA, 25 April 1778, AFC 3:17.

17. DA 4:69–71; for John’s assessment of Arthur Lee and Silas Deane, DA 4:86–87; see the correspondence John generated while performing all the mundane diplomatic duties in DA 4:36–172.

18. JA to AA, 9 February 1779, DA 2:347.

19. See Walter Isaacson, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (New York, 2003), 333–36, for the most recent account of the spy nest in Franklin’s household. His documentation of Bancroft’s inspired duplicity (ibid., 550–51) includes an unpublished case study done by the CIA.

20. JA to AA, 27 November 1778, AFC 3:122–23, where John recounts his recommendation to the Continental Congress; for the debate in the congress, see JCC 12:908.

21. JA to AA, 21 February 1779, AFC 3:176–78; the “wedged in the Waiste” quotation is from AFC 3:229.

22. Three recent biographies of Franklin have informed my interpretation: Isaacson, Benjamin Franklin; Edmund S. Morgan, Benjamin Franklin (New Haven, 2002); and Gordon S. Wood, The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin (New York, 2004).

23. DA 4:69, 77, 118.

24. AA to JQA, 10 June 1778, DA 4:37.

25. JQA to AA, 20 February 1779, DA 4:175–76.

26. For the voyage home, see the editorial note in DA 4:183, and JA to AA, 14 May 1779, DA 4:195–96.

27. See the long editorial note on John’s role in drafting the Massachusetts Constitution in DA 4:225–33. The quotation is in DA 4:228.

28. Another lengthy editorial note, in PA 8:228–36, provides more context on the contents of the document, which is reproduced in PA 8:237–61. The quotation is in PA 8:237.

29. JA to Elbridge Gerry, 4 November 1779, PA 8:276.

30. These are my interpretive conclusions, indebted to the work of earlier scholars, most especially Robert J. Taylor, “Construction of the Massachusetts Constitution,” American Antiquarian Society Proceedings 90 (1980), 317–46.

31. JCC 13:487, for the official reprimand of Dean and the absolution of Franklin and John; Henry Laurens to JA, 4 October 1779, PA 8:188–91.

32. PA 8:199–201, for letters urging speed from James Lovell and Benjamin Rush.

33. JA to Henry Laurens, 4 November 1779, PA 8:279.

34. JA to AA, 13 November 1779, AFC 3:224.

35. AA to JA, 14 November 1779, AFC 3:233–34.

36. John described the overland journey through Spain and southern France in DA 2:415–33 and 4:218–38; JA to AA, 11 December 1779, AFC 3:243–44.

37. JA to AA, April-May, 1780, AFC 3:332–33; JA to AA, 12 May 1780, AFC 3–342.

38. JA to AA, 6 April 1780, AFC 3:319; AA to JA, 13 April 1780, AFC 3:320–21.

39. AA to JA, 23 August 1780, AFC 3:400–1; AA to Mercy Otis Warren, 1 September 1780, AFC 3:402–3; AA to JA, 25 December 1780, AFC 4:40; JA to AA, 2 December 1781, AFC 4:251.

40. AA to JA, 10 April 1782, AFC 4:305–8.

41. The effort by Vergennes to have John recalled is summarized in two editorial notes, AFC 3:390–95 and 4:174–76. For John’s version, see DA 3:103–5. The quotation is in DA 2:446. The debate and vote in the Continental Congress is in JCC 20:746.

42. Benjamin Franklin to Continental Congress, 9 August 1780, AFC 3:395; Benjamin Franklin to R. R. Livingston, 23 July 1780, reproduced in AFC 5:251–52.

43. Elbridge Gerry to JA, 30 July 1781, AFC 4:189.

44. AA to James Lovell, 30 June 1781, AFC 4:165.

45. AA to JA, 17 March 1782, AFC 4:293.

46. AA to JA, 25 May 1781, AFC 4:128–31; JA to AA, 14 May 1782, AFC 4:323. John’s Dutch initiative, if recounted fully, would require a separate volume of its own. My account here is, and only intends to be, a brief summary, its brevity necessitated by the need to sustain the focus on the relationship between Abigail and John. The editorial note in AFC 3:390–95 describes John’s multiple movements and machinations in the Netherlands during 1780 and 1781.

47. AA to JA, 9 December 1781, AFC 4:255–61; AA to JA, 5 August 1782, AFC 4:356–59.

48. AA to JQA, 19 January 1780, AFC 3:268–69.

49. JA to AA, 18 December 1780, AFC 4:34–35.

50. John’s rather terrifying injunction to John Quincy dates from a later time, though it represents his consistent paternal posture. Obviously, when he was a young boy, John Quincy was not expected to become president, because no such office existed. But he was expected to lead a life of public service that culminated at the top. See Ellis, Passionate Sage, 195; AA to JQA, 26 December 1783, AFC 5:284. For a psychiatric interpretation of the pressure placed on John Quincy, see David F. Musto, “The Youth of John Quincy Adams,” American Psychological Society Proceedings 113 (1969), 269–82.

51. JA to JQA, 14 May 1781, AFC 4:114.

52. JQA to AA, 21 December 1780, AFC 4:38–39; JA to JQA, 23 December 1780, AFC 4:47; JA to JQA, 28 December 1780, AFC 4:55.

53. AA to CA, 26 May 1781, AFC 4:135; JA to AA, 16 March 1780, AFC 3:305; JA to AA, 25 September 1780, AFC 3:424.

54. JA to AA, 2 December 1781, AFC 4:249.

55. AA to JA, 23 December 1782, AFC 5:54–59; AA to JA, 30 December 1782, AFC 5:61–63.

56. JA to AA, 22 January 1783, AFC 5:75–76; JA to AA, 4 February 1783, AFC 5:88–89; AA to JA, 7 May 1783, AFC 5:151–52.

57. Royall Tyler to JA, 13 January 1784, AFC 5:297–98; JA to Royall Tyler, 3 April 1784, AFC 5:316–17.

58. G. Thomas Tanselle, Royall Tyler (Cambridge, Mass., 1967).

59. JA to AA, 22 March 1782, AFC 4:300; JA to AA, 29 March 1782, AFC 4:303.

60. JA to AA, 22 March 1782, AFC 4:301.

61. JA to AA, 15 August 1782, AFC 4:360–61.

62. It is possible, indeed probable, that John’s account of the number of letters lost at sea was inflated.

63. JA to AA, 12 October 1782, AFC 5:15–16.

64. JA to Edmund Jenings, 20 July 1782, AP 13:188–90.

65. JA to AA, 8 November 1782, AFC 5:28–29, in which John describes how he and Jay pressured Franklin to accept the concept of a separate peace.

66. DA 3:81. The story of the negotiations leading up to the Treaty of Paris has more twists and turns than this brief summary can possibly capture. The authoritative history is Richard B. Morris, The Peacemakers: The Great Powers and American Independence (New York, 1965). See also Ronald Hoffman and Peter J. Albert, eds., Peace and Peacemakers: The Treaty of 1783 (Charlottesville, 1986). The scholarship on this auspicious moment in American diplomatic history tends to divide along pro-Franklin or pro-Adams lines, with the former position enjoying a clear hegemony, invariably at the expense of Adams’s reputation. See, for example, James H. Hutson, John Adams and the Diplomacy of the American Revolution (Lexington, Ky., 1980). More recently, however, Adams advocates have become more numerous. See, for example, John Ferling, “John Adams, Diplomat,” WMQ 51 (April 1994), 227–52. While, like Ferling, I lean in the Adams direction, my deepest conviction is that the scholarly debate needs to free itself of the partisan prejudices of the participants and recognize that the success of the American negotiating team depended on the complementary strengths of both Franklin and Adams, but also on the extremely weak hand that history had dealt the British side.

67. The correspondence and draft articles that paved the way for the Provisional Treaty are in PA 14:2–102. The treaty itself is in PA 14:103–9.

68. AA to JA, 7 April 1783, AFC 5:116–17; JA to AA, 4 December 1782, AFC 5:46–47.

69. JA to AA, 30 May 1782, AFC 5:167.

70. JA to AA, 7 April 1783, AFC 5:119–21; JA to AA, 11 April 1783, AFC 5:121; JA to AA, 16 April 1783, AFC 5:125–27.

71. AA to JA, 30 June 1783, AFC 5:188–90.

72. JA to AA, 11 April 1783, AFC 5:121–22; DA 3:41–43, 50.

73. JA to AA, 16 April 1783, AFC 5:125–27.

74. AA to JA, 15 December 1783, AFC 5:280.

75. AA to JA, 7 December 1783, AFC 5:276–78.

76. JA to AA, 8 November 1783, AFC 5:265–66; AA to JA, 20 November 1783, AFC 5:271.

77. AA to Elbridge Gerry, 19 March 1784, AFC 5:311–12; Elbridge Gerry to AA, 16 April 1784, AFC 5:320–21.

78. AA to JA, 3 January 1784, AFC 5:291–92; AA to JA, 11 February 1783, AFC 5:302–3.

79. Editorial note, AFC 5:350–51, for the voyage and arrival in London; DA 4:154–67, for Abigail’s diary. See also Levin, Abigail Adams, 167–73.

CHAPTER FOUR. 1784–89

1. Abigail kept a journal of her voyage and early weeks in London, written in the form of a long letter to her sister Mary Smith Cranch. The Copley portion of her commentary is in AFC 5:373–74.

2. AFC 5:382; JA to AA, 1 August 1784, AFC 5:416; JA to JQA, 1 August 1784, AFC 5:416–17; AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 30 July 1784, AFC 5:382.

3. AFC 5:430, 433–35, 439–40; AA to Cotton Tufts, 8 September 1784, AFC 5:456–59. Howard C. Rice, The Adams Family in Auteuil, 1784–1785 (Boston, 1956).

4. AA to Elizabeth Smith Shaw, 14 December 1784, AFC 6:29.

5. AA to Mercy Otis Warren, 5 September 1784, AFC 5:446–51.

6. AA to Lucy Cranch, 5 September 1784, AFC 5:436–38.

7. AA to Hannah Quincy Lincoln Storer, 20 January 1785, AFC 6:65.

8. AFC 6:66–67.

9. AA to Elizabeth Smith Shaw, 13 December 1784, AFC 6:5–6; AA to Cotton Tufts, 2 May 1785, AFC 6:103–9.

10. AA to JQA, 20 March 1786, AFC 7:97.

11. AA to Elizabeth Smith Shaw, 11 January 1785, AFC 6:56–57; AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 20 February 1785, AFC 6:67; AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 15 April 1785, AFC 6:84.

12. AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 20 February 1785, AFC 6:67–68.

13. AA to Cotton Tufts, 3 January 1785, AFC 6:43; AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 15 April 1785, AFC 6:84.

14. My effort here to recover the daily interactions of the Adams family at Auteuil represents a distillation of multiple letters from Abigail in 1784–85, in which the ordinary conversations are usually mentioned as asides. The last scene is described in AA to Royall Tyler, 4 January 1785, AFC 6:45. The fact that Abigail’s fullest account of a domestic scene was written to Tyler suggests that she still, at this stage, regarded him as a potential member of the Adams family.

15. JA to James Warren, 27 August 1784; JA to Elbridge Gerry, 12 December 1784, PA 7:382–83.

16. AA to TJ, 6 June 1785, AFC 6:169–73; JA to TJ, 22 January 1825, AJ 2:606.

17. More specific documentation of Jefferson’s visionary views of international trade appears in subsequent notes. This preliminary assessment of his mental habits is based on my earlier effort (in American Sphinx, 64–117) to capture his mentality at this stage of his career.

18. JA to TJ, 4 September 1785, AJ 1:61.

19. Lord Dorset to American Commissioners, 13 April 1785, JP 7:55–56; JA to TJ, 6 June 1786, AJ 1:133–34.

20. TJ and JA to American Commissioners, 28 March 1786, JP 9:357–59.

21. Editorial note, “Jefferson’s Proposed Concert of Powers Against the Barbary Pirates,” July-December 1786, JP 10:560–66.

22. JA to TJ, 3 July 1786, AJ 1:142–43; JA to John Jay, 15 December 1784, Works 8:217–19; JA to TJ, 6 June 1786, AJ 1:133.

23. JA to TJ, 31 July 1786, AJ 1:146; JA to TJ, 17 February 1786, AJ 1:121.

24. The extensive correspondence between Abigail and Jefferson that documents my interpretation here can be found in AFC 6:223–24, 262–65, 333–34, 346–47, 390–92, 414–15, 422–23, 437–39, 441–42, 466–68, 488–89, 495–97.

25. TJ to AA, 9 August 1786, AFC 7:312–13; AA to TJ, 19 October 1785, AFC 6:437–39.

26. TJ to AA, 25 September 1785, AFC 6:390–92; AA to TJ, 7 October 1785, AFC 6:414–15.

27. TJ to AA, 9 August 1786, AFC 6:312.

28. TJ to AA, 22 February 1787, AFC 6:468–69; AA to TJ, 29 January 1787, AFC 6:455.

29. AA to TJ, 26 June 1787, AFC 8:92–93.

30. AA to TJ, 6 July 1787, AFC 8:107–9.

31. AA to TJ, 10 July 1787, AFC 8:109–10.

32. TJ to JA, 21 June 1785, AJ 1:34; JA to TJ, 22 May 1785, AJ 1:21.

33. AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 24 June 1785, AFC 6:192.

34. DA 3:184.

35. JA to John Jay, 2 June 1785, Works 8:255–59.

36. AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 24 June 1785, AFC 6:190; AA to JQA, 26 June 1785, AFC 6:196.

37. AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 24 May 1786, AFC 7:197–98; AA to Elizabeth Smith Shaw, 19 July 1786, AFC 7:264.

38. AA to Elizabeth Smith Shaw, 2 September 1785, AFC 6:327–30; DA 3:184–86.

39. AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 30 September 1785, AFC 6:393.

40. DA 3:187, 193, where an editorial note provides the Jefferson quotation.

41. AA to Elizabeth Smith Shaw, 21 November 1786, AFC 7:392.

42. Jefferson’s correspondence to American friends after meeting with John provides the most succinct statement of the diplomatic futility for an American ambassador in London: “With this nation nothing is done; and it is now decided that they intend to do nothing with us.” See TJ to James Madison, 25 April 1786, JP 9:433–34.

43. AA to TJ, 6 September 1785, AFC 6:346–47.

44. AA to Charles Storer, 23 March 1786, AFC 7:113–14.

45. AA to JQA, 20 March 1786, AFC 7:98.

46. JA to AA, 25 December 1786, AFC 7:412.

47. JA to TJ, 22 May 1785, AJ 1:21; Jefferson’s analysis of African American inferiority in Notes is most conveniently available in Merrill Peterson, ed., The Portable Jefferson (New York, 1975), 186–93.

48. AA to JQA, 16 February 1786, AFC 7:62–63.

49. AA to WSS, 18 September 1785, AFC 6:366.

50. AA to JQA, 21 July 1786, AFC 7:276; AA to CA, 1 February 1786, AFC 7:60–61; JA to CA, 2 June 1786, AFC 7:208.

51. JA to JQA, 26 May 1786, AFC 7:205; JA to JQA, 23 January 1788, AFC 8:219–20.

52. AA to JQA, 28 February 1787, AFC 7:474–75.

53. For a sensitive and sensible discussion of Abigail’s recognition that gender equality was a clear consequence of the ideology used to justify the American Revolution, but that its arrival lay far in the future, see Elaine Forman Crane, “Political Dialogue and the Spring of Abigail’s Discontent,” WMQ 56 (October 1999), 745–74.

54. AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 15 August 1785, AFC 6:276–80; editorial note on the end of the Tyler courtship, DA 3:192.

55. AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 26 February 1786, AFC 7:77–80. See DA 3:183, for an editorial note on William Stephens Smith.

56. WSS to AA, 5 September 1785, AFC 6:340–42; WSS to AA, 29 December 1785, AFC 6:508–9; AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 21 March 1786, AFC 7:101.

57. AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 24 April 1786, AFC 7:147; AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 25 February 1787, AFC 7:471; AA to Mercy Otis Warren, 14 May 1787, AFC 8:47.

58. JA to Cotton Tufts, 27 August 1787, AFC 8:149. For news of the purchase, see Cotton Tufts to AA, 20 September 1787, AFC 8:162–63.

59. AA to AA(2), 15 August 1786, AFC 7:318–20; AA to Cotton Tufts, 10 October 1786, AFC 7:359–64.

60. John Jay to JA, 4 July 1787, quoted in editorial note, AFC 8:153.

61. There is no modern edition of Defence, though there are selections from the text published in several anthologies of John’s political thought. The only place to find the unabridged version is in Works, vols. 4–6.

62. The most favorable modern-day assessment of Defence is C. Bradley Thompson, “John Adams and the Science of Politics,” in Richard A. Ryerson, ed., John Adams and the Founding of the American Republic (Boston, 2001), 257–59.

63. The hostile review in the London Monthly Review is quoted in an editorial note, AFC 8:79.

64. AA to JQA, 20 March 1787, AFC 8:12; Works 4:290, for the quotations from Defence. The scholarly debate over John’s stature as a political thinker, based in part on his arguments in Defence, tends to focus on his dependence on classical categories of analysis (i.e., monarchy, aristocracy, democracy). Gordon S. Wood, in The Creation of the American Republic (Chapel Hill, 1969), 567–92, makes the strongest case for reading Defence as an anachronistic work that was irrelevant to the more egalitarian context of the American republic. John P. Diggins, in The Lost Soul of American Politics: Virtue, Self-Interest, and the Foundations of Liberalism (New York, 1984), 69–99, on the other hand, sees Defence as prescient for its recognition that the absence of hereditary aristocracy in America did not mean the absence of class divisions or the hegemonic influence of political elites. I have offered my own interpretation of the issues at stake in Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams (New York, 1993), 143–73, where I tend to agree with Diggins.

65. AA to Cotton Tufts, 6 November 1787, AFC 8:203.

66. TJ to JA, 20 February 1787, AJ 1:172.

67. TJ to JA, 5 March 1788, JP 12:638.

68. JA to TJ, 12 February 1788, AJ 1:224–25.

69. AA to JA, 23 March 1788, AFC 8:247–48.

70. TJ to JA, 13 November 1787, AJ 1:212; JA to TJ, 10 November 1787, AJ 1:210; JA to TJ, 6 December 1787, AJ 1:213–14.

71. DA 3:215.

CHAPTER FIVE. 1789–96

1. Editorial note, quoting report in the Massachusetts Centennial, AFC 8:216–17.

2. AA to AA(2), 7 July 1788, AFC 8:277–78.

3. AA(2) to JA, 27 July 1788, AFC 8:282; AA(2) to JQA, 28 September 1788, AFC 8:299.

4. JA to AA, 2 December 1788, AFC 8:312.

5. JA to AA(2), 11 November 1788, AFC 8:305; AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 24 November 1788, AFC 8:308.

6. AA to JA, 15 December 1788, AFC 8:318–19; JA to AA, 28 December 1788, AFC 8:325.

7. AA to JA, 3 December 1788, AFC 8:313–14; JA to TJ, 2 January 1789, AJ 1:234.

8. JA to AA, 19 December 1793, AFC, vol. 9. The editors of the Adams Papers granted me access to the unpublished galleys of the forthcoming volume of the Adams Family Correspondence before pagination was finalized. Subsequent references to this volume will provide the date of the letters without pagination.

9. Editorial note, 16 March 1789, AFC 8:340.

10. AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 28 June 1789, AFC 8:379; AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 12 July 1789, AFC 8:391.

11. JA to AA, 14 May 1789, AFC 8:352.

12. AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 9 August 1789, AFC 8:397.

13. Editorial note, 21 April 1789, AFC 8:340; JA to JQA, 9 July 1789, AFC 8:387.

14. Linda Grant De Pauw, et al., eds., Documentary History of the First Federal Congress, 15 vols. (Baltimore, 1972–84) 9:3–13; James H. Hutson, “John Adams’ Title Campaign,” NEQ 41 (January 1968), 30–39.

15. AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 5 January 1790, AFC, vol. 9. There is no modern, easily accessible edition of Discourses on Davila; I have relied on the old edition in Works, vol. 6.

16. JA to AA, 24 November 1792, AFC, vol. 9, where John describes a conversation that he overheard containing these accusations.

17. Works 6:258–62.

18. Works 6:237, 245; see also JA to JQA, 7 May 1794, UFC, and JA to TBA, 19 September 1795, UFC.

19. AA to JA, 31 December 1793, AFC, vol. 9.

20. JA to AA, 12 March 1794, UFC.

21. JA to AA, 11 November 1789, AFC 8:342.

22. AA to Cotton Tufts, 18 April 1790, AFC, vol. 9.

23. Woody Holton, “Abigail Adams, Bond Speculator,” WMQ 64 (October 2007), 821–38; editorial note, AA to Cotton Tufts, 6 February 1790, AFC, vol. 9.

24. AA to Cotton Tufts, 7 March 1790, AFC, vol. 9.

25. AA to JQA, 11 July 1790, AFC, vol. 9; AA to Cotton Tufts, 1 September 1789, AFC 8:405; AA to AA(2), 21 November 1790, AFC, vol. 9.

26. I have discussed the issues surrounding the treaty with the Creek Nation at greater length in American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic (New York, 2007), ch. 4.

27. AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 8 August 1790, AFC, vol. 9.

28. TJ to JA, 10 May 1789, AJ 1:237.

29. JA to TJ, 29 July 1791, AJ 1:247–48.

30. TJ to JA, 17 July 1791, AJ 1:246.

31. JA to TJ, 29 July 1791, AJ 1:249–50. John Quincy’s eleven essays appeared in the Columbia Centinel in June and July 1791.

32. AA to JA, 7 January 1793, AFC, vol. 9.

33. AA to JA, 27 May 1794, UFC; JA to AA, 11 March 1796, UFC.

34. AA to Martha Washington, 25 June 1791, UFC; AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 20 March 1792, UFC.

35. AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 28 April 1790, 25 October 1790, UFC; AA to JQA, 7 November 1790, 5 November 1792, UFC.

36. JA to JQA, 26 April 1795, UFC.

37. JA to AA(2), 31 January 1796, UFC; JA to AA, 28 December 1794, UFC.

38. JA to AA, 13 February 1796, UFC.

39. JA to AA, 2 February 1796, UFC.

40. AA to JA, 26 February 1794, 8 March 1794, UFC; JA to AA, 16 January 1795, UFC.

41. AA to AA(2), 14 December 1795, 21 February 1791, AFC, vol. 9.

42. WSS to JA, 21 October 1791, AFC, vol. 9; JA to AA, 2 March 1793, AFC, vol. 9.

43. JA to AA, 21 January 1794, UFC.

44. JA to JQA, 4 October 1790, AFC, vol. 9; JA to JQA, 8 September 1790, 17 October 1790, AFC, vol. 9.

45. JA to Thomas Welsh, 13 September 1790, AFC, vol. 9; JA to AA, 19 May 1794, UFC.

46. AA to Mary Cranch Smith, 12 March 1791, AFC, vol. 9; JA to AA, 14 January 1794, UFC.

47. JA to JQA, 30 May 1794, UFC; Martha Washington to AA, 19 July 1794, UFC; JA to JQA, 19 September 1795, UFC, in which John provides the quotation from Washington.

48. JA to JQA, 25 August 1795, UFC.

49. AA to JA, 22 April 1789, AFC 8:334; JQA to William Cranch, 27 May 1789, AFC 8:361. See also AA(2) to JQA, 30 March 1789, AFC 8:363.

50. AA to JA, 20 October 1789, AFC 8:427; AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 9 January 1790, AFC, vol. 9; JA to JQA, 8 September 1790, AFC, vol. 9.

51. The correspondence started on 23 December 1793 and ended on 17 May 1794. The early letters are in AFC, vol. 9, the remainder in UFC. The question is from JA to CA, 11 May 1794, UFC.

52. JA to CA, 25 December 1794, UFC.

53. JA to CA, 7 February 1795, UFC. My interpretation here cannot be proved conclusively, but strikes me as the most plausible explanation based on a considerable body of circumstantial evidence.

54. JA to AA, 8 December 1792, AFC, vol. 9. John took offense at the support for Clinton, calling him “a mere cipher, a logroller in New York politics, a man of mere ambition and no virtue.” JA to AA, 19 December 1792, AFC, vol. 9.

55. JA to AA, 4 February 1794, 8 February 1794, AFC, vol. 9.

56. JA to AA, 19 November 1794, UFC; JA to AA, 23 November 1794, UFC; AA to JA, 13 February 1795, UFC.

57. AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 20 April 1792, 25 March 1792, AFC, vol. 9.

58. JA to AA, 26 January 1794, UFC; JA to AA, 14 January 1793, AFC, vol. 9.

59. The best secondary account of this crowded moment is in Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick, The Age of Federalism (New York, 1993), 330–84. See also my American Creation, ch. 5, and CA to JA, 29 July 1793, AFC, vol. 9; JA to AA, 12 December 1793, AFC, vol. 9; JA to AA, 17 February 1793, AFC, vol. 9.

60. JA to AA, 28 December 1792, AFC, vol. 9.

61. JA to AA, 3 February 1793, AFC, vol. 9.

62. JA to JQA, 3 January 1794, UFC. See also JA to AA, 6 January 1794, UFC.

63. Jerald A. Combs, The Jay Treaty: Political Battleground of the Founding Fathers (Berkeley, 1970), is the standard account. Elkins and McKitrick, The Age of Federalism, 406–50, is superb on the diplomatic twists and turns.

64. JA to CA, 13 December 1795, UFC; AA to JQA, 15 September 1795, UFC.

65. JA to AA, 9, 14, 23, and 29 June 1795, UFC, for John’s report on the debate in the Senate. AA to JQA, 10 February 1795 and JA to CA, 20 April 1796, UFC, for the quotations.

66. JA to AA, 21 and 26 April 1796, UFC, for John’s description of the melting Republican majority. JA to AA, 28 April 1796, UFC, for reference to Madison’s condition.

67. JA to JQA, 29 November 1795, UFC.

68. JA to AA, 5, 7, and 20 January 1796, UFC.

69. AA to JA, 21 January and 14 February 1796, UFC.

70. JA to AA, 15 February 1796, 10 February 1796, UFC.

71. AA to JA, 20 February 1796, UFC; JA to AA, 1 March 1796, UFC.

72. AA to JA, 28 February 1796, UFC.

73. JA to AA, 9 April 1796, UFC; AA to JA, 4 December 1796, UFC.

74. JA to AA, 8 December 1796, 7 December 1796, UFC.

75. AA to JA, 1 January 1797, UFC.

76. JA to AA, 27 December 1796, UFC.

77. AA to JA, 31 December 1796, UFC.

78. AA to JA, 15 January 1797, UFC.

CHAPTER SIX. 1796–1801

1. TJ to James Madison, 8 January 1797, JM 2:955; Aurora, 6 March 1797; William Duane, “A Letter to Washington” (Philadelphia, 1796); AA to JA, 23 December 1796, UFC.

2. AA to JA, 15 January 1797, UFC; AA to JA, 31 December 1796, UFC; AA to JA, 28 January 1797, UFC. The standard account of the Adams presidency is Stephen G. Kurtz, The Presidency of John Adams: The Collapse of Federalism, 1784–1800 (Philadelphia, 1957).

3. JA to Elbridge Gerry, 20 February 1797, AP, reel 117; TJ to James Madison, 1 January 1797, 22 January 1798, JM 2:953, 959–60.

4. TJ to JA, 28 December 1796, JM 2:961–62; JA to AA, 1 and 3 January 1797, UFC; AA to JA, 18 March 1797, UFC.

5. James Madison to TJ, 15 January 1797, JM 2:956–58.

6. I have told this story in somewhat greater detail in Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation (New York, 2000), 184; John’s recollection of the episode is in Works 9:285.

7. JA to AA, 13 March 1797, UFC; AA to JA, 2 March 1797, UFC; JA to JQA, 3 November 1797, UFC. On Jefferson’s machinations, see Elkins and McKitrick, The Age of Federalism, 566.

8. JA to AA, 17 March 1797, UFC

9. JA to AA, 5, 9, 17, and 27 March 1797, UFC.

10. JQA to JA, 3 February, 4 March, and 20 May 1797, UFC, for John Quincy’s quite extraordinary analysis of French policy toward the United States.

11. JQA to JA, 21 May 1797, UFC.

12. AA to JA, 26 April 1797, UFC.

13. Alexander Hamilton to James McHenry, 21 April 1797, HP 20:574–75. An excellent account of Hamilton’s behind-the-scenes behavior is in John Ferling, John Adams: A Life (Knoxville, 1995), 343.

14. AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 23 June 1797, UFC.

15. Aurora, 16 June 1798.

16. George Washington to JA, 28 February 1797, Works 8:529–30.

17. JA to JQA, 25 October and 3 November 1797; AA to JQA, 3 November 1797, UFC; JQA to AA, 28 December 1797, UFC.

18. Aurora, 17 May 1797, 26 May 1797.

19. AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 6 June 1797, UFC; AA to Mercy Otis Warren, 1 October 1797, UFC.

20. AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 20 and 27 March 1798, UFC; AA to Hannah Cushing, 9 March 1798, UFC.

21. JQA to AA, 29 December 1797, UFC; JA to Cotton Tufts, 18 November 1797, UFC.

22. AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 20 March 1798, UFC.

23. AA to TBA, 4 April 1798, UFC.

24. AA to TBA, 1 May 1798, UFC.

25. AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 10 May 1798, UFC.

26. JQA to JA, 15 April 1798, UFC.

27. AA to WSS, 8 April 1798, UFC; AA to Norton Quincy, 12 April 1798, UFC; AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 13 April 1798, UFC.

28. AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 22 April and 26 May 1798, UFC; AA to JQA, 26 May 1798, UFC.

29. The standard work is James Morton Smith, Freedom’s Fetters: The Alien and Sedition Laws and American Civil Liberties (Ithaca, 1956). For a somewhat less harsh assessment of Adams, see Elkins and McKitrick, The Age of Federalism, 590–93, which cautions against imposing our modern notion of civil liberties on an era that was still groping toward a more expansive version of First Amendment protections.

30. AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 21 May 1798, UFC; AA to Cotton Tufts, 25 May 1798, UFC; AA to WSS, 20 March 1798, UFC.

31. JA to George Washington, 7 July 1798, Works 8:575.

32. JA to James McHenry, 22 October 1798, Works 8:612–13.

33. HP 21:381–447.

34. Ron Chernow, Alexander Hamilton (New York, 2004), 546–68, provides the fullest and fairest account.

35. Ibid., 568.

36. AA to WSS, 7 July 1798, UFC.

37. AA(2) to JQA, 28 September 1798, UFC, for a description of Abigail’s ailments; AA to JQA, 20 July 1798, UFC.

38. JA to AA, 1 February 1799, UFC.

39. JQA to JA, 25 September 1798, UFC.

40. JA to AA, 25 February 1799, UFC.

41. AA to JA, 27 February 1799, UFC.

42. JA to AA, 22 February 1799, UFC.

43. Pickering’s comment is in HP, 22:494–95.

44. AA to JA, 3 March 1799, UFC.

45. AA to JQA, 15 November 1998; AA to JA, 25 January 1799, UFC.

46. The correspondence with his cabinet during the Quincy seclusion is in Works 8:626–69.

47. JA to Benjamin Stoddert, 21 September 1799, Works 9:32–34.

48. JA to AA, 5 January 1799, UFC.

49. JA to WSS, 22 May 1799, Works 8:652.

50. AA to JA, 14 February 1799, UFC, for the first explicit mention of Charles’s condition, prompted by the loss of John Quincy’s money.

51. JA to JQA, 28 February 1800, UFC.

52. AA to WSS, 6 September 1799, UFC.

53. JA to AA, 12 October 1799, UFC.

54. Works 9:254–55, for John’s recollection in 1809; JA to AA, 30 October 1799, UFC.

55. Works 9:154–55; AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 30 December 1799, UFC.

56. AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 24 April 1800, UFC.

57. Marshall quoted in Elkins and McKitrick, The Age of Federalism, 728; Alexander Hamilton to Charles Carroll, 1 July 1800, UFC.

58. James T. Callender, The Prospect Before Us (Philadelphia, 1800), 12–14, 47–48, 67; TJ to James Monroe, 26 May 1800, quoted in Ellis, American Sphinx, 219.

59. AA to JQA, 1 September 1800, UFC.

60. AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 24 April 1800, UFC.

61. Chernow, Alexander Hamilton, 612–14, provides the fullest treatment of McHenry’s hyperbolic account of the incident. Hamilton was especially upset at the firings because he believed that McHenry and Pickering worked for him.

62. JA to AA, 13 June 1800, UFC.

63. AA to JA, 22 May 1800, UFC.

64. Alexander Hamilton to JA, 1 August 1800, HP 25:51.

65. HP 25:187–88, 190, 208–9.

66. JA to Uzal Ogden, 3 December 1800, HP 25:183; AA to TBA, 12 October 1800, UFC.

67. JA to AA, 2 November 1800, UFC; AA to Mary Smith Cranch, 21 November 1800, UFC.

68. AA to AA(2), 21 and 28 November 1800, UFC.

69. AA to TBA, 13 December 1800, UFC; JA to TBA, 11 December 1800, UFC.

70. JA to TBA, 18 December 1800, UFC.

71. AA to Sarah Smith Adams, 8 December 1800, UFC.

72. AA to TBA, 3 January 1801, UFC; JA to TBA, 25 January 1801, UFC; JA to Cotton Tufts, 26 December 1800, UFC.

73. AA to TBA, 3 January 1801, UFC; A Conversation Between Abigail Adams and Thomas Jefferson [January 1801], UFC.

74. AA to TBA, 3 February 1801, UFC; JA to AA, 16 February 1801, UFC.

75. Aurora, 11 March 1801.

76. Washington Federalist, 21 January 1801.

CHAPTER SEVEN. 1801–8

1. JQA to AA, 14 April 1801, UFC.

2. JA to William Tudor, 20 January 1801, AP, reel 123; JA to William Dexter, 23 March 1801, Works 10:580–81.

3. AA to TBA, 23 April 1801, UFC; AA to WSS, 3 May 1801, UFC.

4. JA to TBA, 12 July and 15 September 1801, UFC.

5. See Nagel, Descent from Glory, 56–135, for the complicated domestic situation at Quincy. In my judgment, Nagel’s work on the Quincy years is simultaneously invaluable and unreliable, in the latter case because he seems to have a vendetta against Abigail, and because he provides no documentation for his judgments.

6. AA to TBA, 26 April and 8 May 1803, UFC; a splendid summary of the legal transactions is in McCullough, Adams, 576.

7. AA to TBA, 12 July 1801, UFC.

8. AA to TBA, 12 June 1801, UFC.

9. AA to TBA, 12 June and 5 July 1801, UFC; JA to Thomas McKean, 21 June 1812, Works 10:16.

10. AA to JQA, 22 March 1816, AP, reel 430.

11. AA to TBA, 27 December 1801, UFC.

12. LCA, The Adventures of a Nobody, AP, reel 269.

13. JA to Benjamin Rush, 17 August 1813, in Alexander Biddle, ed., Old Family Letters (Philadelphia, 1892), 420.

14. JQA to JA, 19 November 1804, UFC; JA to JQA, 6 December 1804, UFC.

15. DA 2:253.

16. DA i:xliv-xlvi.

17. DA 3:435–36.

18. AA to Mercy Otis Warren, 16 January 1803, UFC.

19. Mercy Otis Warren, History of the American Revolution, 3 vols. (Boston, 1805), 3:394–95.

20. JA to Mercy Otis Warren, 11 July, 27 July, and 3 August 1807, in Charles Francis Adams, ed., “Correspondence Between John Adams and Mercy Otis Warren,” reprinted in Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society 4 (1878), 354, 358, 411; Mercy Otis Warren to JA, 15 August 1807, ibid., 422–23, 449.

21. JA to Mercy Otis Warren, 27 July 1807, ibid., 354.

22. JA to William Cunningham, 27 February 1809, [Anonymous], in Correspondence Between the Hon. John Adams … and the Late William Cunningham, Esq. (Boston, 1823), 93; Works 10:310; JA to Nicholas Boylston, 3 November 1819, AP, reel 124.

23. The standard biography of Rush is David F. Hawke, Benjamin Rush: Revolutionary Gadfly (New York, 1971). The Adams-Rush correspondence is available in John A. Schutz and Douglas Adair, eds., The Spur of Fame: Dialogues of John Adams and Benjamin Rush (San Marino, Calif., 1966).

24. JA to Benjamin Rush, 29 November 1812, in Schutz and Adair, Spur of Fame, 254–55.

25. JA to Benjamin Rush, 22 December 1806, ibid., 72–73.

26. Benjamin Rush to JA, 4 June 1812, ibid., 233; JA to Benjamin Rush, 13 October 1810, ibid., 170; JA to Benjamin Rush, 26 March 1806, ibid., 52.

27. JA to Benjamin Rush, 14 May 1812, 8 January 1812, ibid., 216–17, 204.

28. JA to Benjamin Rush, 11 November 1807, 31 August 1809, ibid., 97–99, 152.

29. JA to Richard Rush, 2 May 1814, AP, reel 95.

30. JA to Benjamin Rush, 23 July 1806, in Schutz and Adair, Spur of Fame, 61.

31. AA to TJ, 20 May 1804, AJ 1:268–69.

32. TJ to AA, 14 June 1804, AJ 1:270–71.

33. AA to TJ, 1 July 1804, AJ 1:271–74.

34. TJ to AA, 22 July 1804, AJ 1:274_76, 279–80.

35. AA to TJ, 25 October 1804, AJ 1:280–82. The marginal note by John is printed at the end of this letter.

36. AA to LCA, 8 December 1804, UFC.

37. LCA to AA, 11 May 1806, UFC.

38. AA to JQA and LCA, 29 November 1805, UFC.

39. JA to JQA, 27 August 1815, AP, reel 122.

40. AA to AA(2), 23 May 1809, UFC.

41. AA to Caroline Amelia Smith, 2 February 1809, UFC; Benjamin Rush to JA, 20 September 1811, AP, reel 412.

42. AA to JQA, 17 November 1811, AP, reel 412.

43. AA to JQA, 17 November 1811, AP, reel 116.

44. AA to JQA, 13 September, 24 September, and 22 October 1813, AP, reel 116.

45. JA to Shelton Jones, 11 March 1809, AP, reel 118; JA to Francis Vanderkemp, 5 July 1814, AP, reel 116; JA to Benjamin Rush, 15 January 1813, AP, reel 116.

46. JA to John Adams Smith, 15 October 1811, UFC.

47. JA to Benjamin Waterhouse, 16 August 1812, in Worthington C. Ford, ed., Statesman and Friend: Correspondence of John Adams and Benjamin Waterhouse, 1784–1822 (Boston, 1927), 81; JA to Josiah Quincy, 9 February 1811, Works 9:630.

48. JA to Francis Vanderkemp, 27 December 1816, Works 10:235.

49. JA to Benjamin Rush, 25 December 1811, in Schutz and Adair, Spur of Fame, 200–202; Benjamin Rush to JA, 17 February 1812, ibid., 211; Benjamin Rush to JA, 16 October 1809, ibid., 156–57.

50. Donald Stewart and George Clark, “Misanthrope or Humanitarian: John Adams in Retirement,” NEQ 28 (1955), 232.

51. Josiah Quincy, Figures of the Past (Boston, 1883), 79–80. It should be noted that this discussion of the Adams-Jefferson correspondence makes no pretense of being a comprehensive account. If this were a biography of John and not a book about the partnership between Abigail and John, the treatment of the Adams-Jefferson letters would be considerably expanded. See, for example, my Founding Brothers, 206–48; American Sphinx, 235–51; and Passionate Sage, 113–42, for fuller treatments.

52. JA to TJ, 15 July 1813, AJ 2:358, where the quote is from Abigail’s appended note.

53. TJ to JA, 21 January 1812, and JA to TJ, 3 February 1812, AJ 2:291, 298.

54. JA to TJ, 15 July 1813, AJ 2:358.

55. TJ to JA, 5 July 1814, and JA to TJ, 16 July 1814, AJ 2:430, 435.

56. JA to TJ, 1 May 1812, and TJ to JA, 27 May 1813, AJ 2:301, 324.

57. TJ to JA, 11 January 1816, AJ 2:458–61.

58. JA to TJ, 3 February 1816, AJ 2:458–61.

59. The key letters are: TJ to JA, 27 June 1813; JA to TJ, 15 July 1813; and JA to TJ, 14 August 1813, AJ 2:335–36, 358, 365.

60. TJ to JA, 28 October 1813, and JA to TJ, 16 July 1814, AJ 2:387–92, 437–38. The subject ignited all of John’s long-suppressed convictions about human inequality and the intractable power of elites in all societies. Virtually all his letters during the summer and fall of 1813, twenty in total, deal with this fundamental disagreement between the two patriarchs.

61. AA to Elizabeth Smith Shaw Peabody, 10 February 1814, 29 December 1811, UFC.

62. While these glimpses into the day-to-day interactions of Abigail and John are partly conjecture on my part, they are based on the few shreds of testimony from visitors and offhand observations in the couple’s correspondence with each other.

63. AA to Elizabeth Smith Shaw Peabody, 18 July 1809, UFC.

64. The best biography of John Quincy is Lynn Hudson Parsons, John Quincy Adams (Lanham, Md., 1998). The quotation is the title for chapter 4, which covers his diplomatic career in St. Petersburg.

65. JA to JQA, 13 November 1816, and 26 November 1816, AP, reel 123.

66. JA to JQA, 10 August 1817, UFC; AA to Harriet Welsh, 18 August 1817, AP, reel 438; McCullough., John Adams, 620–21.

67. Will of Abigail Adams, 18 January 1816, AP, reel 429. You could develop an interpretation of Abigail’s independence on the basis of this final statement, and Woody Holton has done so in his recent biography, Abigail Adams (New York, 2009), which strikes me as superb.

68. JA to JQA, 6 July 1816, UFC.

69. JA to TJ, 20 October 1818, AJ 2:529; John’s remark is reported in Harriet Welsh to Louisa C. A. de Windt, November 1818, AP, reel 445.

70. See Nagel, Descent from Glory, 130–33, for an excellent account of the death scene and the quotation from Louisa Catherine; JA to Francis Vanderkemp, 25 September 1819, AP, reel 124; JA to JQA, 10 November 1818, UFC.

EPILOGUE. 1818–26

1. JA to Caroline de Windt, 15 March 1820, AP, reel 124.

2. JA to LCA, 8 May 1820, AP, reel 124; JA to LCA, 29 January 1820, AP, reel 124.

3. LCA to JA, 16 April 1819, AP, reel 124.

4. LCA, The Adventures of a Nobody, AP, reel 269.

5. JA to Peter de Windt, 15 March 1820, AP, reel 124; JA to Elihu Marshall, 7 March 1820, Works 10:388–89.

6. JA to LCA, 21 October 1820, AP, reel 450.

7. JA to TJ, AJ 2:571–72.

8. TJ to JA, AJ 2:600–601.

9. JA to TJ, AJ 2:601–2.

10. TJ to JA, AJ 2:613–14.

11. JA to CFA, 3 December 1825, AP, reel 473.

12. Josiah Quincy, Figures of the Past (Boston, 1883), 61; Richard McLanathan, Gilbert Stuart (New York, 1986), 187; JA to Charles Carroll, 12 July 1820, AP, reel 123.

13. Quincy, Figures of the Past, 64–65.

14. Ibid., 80–82.

15. JA to LCA, 22 December 1818, AP, reel 123.

16. JA to JQA, 24 December 1818, AP, reel 123; JA to Benjamin Rush, 27 December 1812, in Alexander Biddle, ed., Old Family Letters (Philadelphia, 1892) 432.

17. JA to JQA, 24 December 1818, AP, reel 123.

18. JA to Alexander Johnson, 4 January 1823, AP, reel 124.

19. JA to JQA, 24 May 1815, AP, reel 122.

20. JA to TJ, 17 April 1826, AJ 2:614.

21. JA to TJ, 25 February 1825, AJ 2:610.

22. “The Diary of George Whitney,” AP, reel 475.

23. John Marston to JQA, 8 July 1826, AP, reel 476.

24. There has been some suspicion that the reference to Jefferson was fabricated long after the fact, because it seems so melodramatic. But the written account of two witnesses soon after John’s death confirms the remark. See Susan Boylston Adams Clark to Abigail Louise Smith Adams Johnson, 9 July 1826, A. B. Johnson Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston.

If you find an error please notify us in the comments. Thank you!
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