Below is a list of in-print works in this collection, presented in series order or publication order as applicable.Sort by title, author, format, publication date, or price » Sort by title, author, format, publication date, or price »
Below is a list of in-print works in this collection, presented in series order or publication order as applicable.Sort by title, author, format, publication date, or price »
The Adams Family Correspondence, L. H. Butterfield writes, “is an unbroken record of the changing modes of domestic life, religious views and habits, travel, dress, servants, food, schooling, reading, health and medical care, diversions, and every other conceivable aspect of manners and taste among the members of a substantial New England family.”
The letters in these volumes, written from both sides of the Atlantic, chronicle the nearly five years in which John Adams—in successive missions to Europe, accompanied first by one son, then by two—initiated what would be a continuing role for Adamses in three generations: representing their country and advancing its interests in the capitals of Europe. If the letters of John and Abigail are central, those written by others are hardly less interesting: the concerns of young John Quincy at school in Leiden and his observations of St. Petersburg at age fourteen; the adventure-filled return voyage of Charles, aged eleven, to America; and the interests of the younger Abigail, maturing in Braintree.
With the summer of 1784, most of the family reunited to spend nearly a year together in Europe. These volumes document John Adams’s diplomatic triumphs, his wife and daughter’s participation in the cosmopolitan scenes of Paris and London, and his son John Quincy’s travels in Europe and America.
In their myriad letters to one another the Adamses interspersed observations about their own family life—births and deaths, illnesses and marriages, new homes and new jobs, education and finances—with commentary on the most important social and political events of their day, from the scandals in the British royal family to the deteriorating political situation in Massachusetts that eventually culminated in Shays’ Rebellion.
By early 1787, as this latest volume of the award-winning series Adams Family Correspondence opens, John and Abigail Adams, anticipating a quiet retirement from government in Massachusetts, were quickly pulled back into the public sphere by John’s election as the first vice president under the new Constitution. With their characteristic candor, the Adamses thoughtfully observe the world around them, from the manners of English court life to the politics of the new federal government in New York during this crucial historical period.
1790–1793 marked the beginning of the American republic, a contentious period as the nation struggled to create a functioning government amid bitter factionalism. As usual, the Adams family was in the midst of it all. This volume offers insight into the family and the frank commentary on life that readers have come to expect from the Adamses.
The Adams family comments on national and international events, from America’s growing tensions with Britain and France to virulent domestic political factionalism and the Whiskey Rebellion. The most significant event for the Adamses was John Quincy’s appointment as U.S. minister resident at The Hague, the beginning of a long diplomatic career.
The letters in this volume of Adams Family Correspondence span the period from July 1795 to the eve of John Adams’s inauguration, with the growing partisan divide leading up to the election playing a central role. The fiery debate over funding the Jay Treaty sets the political stage, and the caustic exchanges between Federalists and Democratic-Republicans only grow as rumors surface of George Washington’s impending retirement. John’s equanimity in reporting to Abigail and his children on the speculation about the presidential successor gives way to expectation and surprise at the voracity of electioneering among political allies and opponents alike. Abigail offers keen, even acerbic, commentary on these national events. From Europe, John Quincy and Thomas Boylston shed light on the rise of the French Directory, the shifts in the continental war, and the struggles within the Batavian government, and John Quincy’s engagement to Louisa Catherine Johnson in London opens the next great collection of correspondence documenting the Adams family saga.
Volume 12 opens with John Adams’s inauguration as president and closes just after details of the XYZ affair become public in America. Through private correspondence, and with the candor and perception expected from the Adamses, family members reveal their concerns for the well-being of the nation and the sustaining force of domestic life.
The candid letters of John, Abigail, and the Adams children offer a rich perspective on life in America during its infancy. The almost 300 letters in volume 13 of Adams Family Correspondence were written during seventeen tumultuous months of John Adams’s presidency, when he depended on surrogates for much of his family correspondence.
John and Abigail Adams’s reflections on an emerging nation as they move into the new President’s House in Washington are a highlight of the nearly 280 letters in volume 14. The volume opens with the Adamses’ public and private expressions on the death of George Washington and concludes with John’s defeat in the presidential election of 1800.
John and Abigail Adams remained engaged in political life after they left Washington for retirement in Quincy, Mass. A highlight of Volume 15 is a series of letters between Abigail and Thomas Jefferson that debated fundamental questions of the nation’s tumultuous early years. Equally compelling family stories emerge in the volume’s 251 letters.
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