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Overview

Two-and-a-half centuries of United States history are covered and brought to life through the papers of the Adams family. From President John Adams (1735-1826) and his famous wife Abigail (1744-1818) through the lives of President John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) and U.S. Minister to England Charles Francis Adams (1807-1886), the more than 300,000 manuscript pages in the collection provide one of the most thorough accounts of history as told by one family.

The contributions of the many Adams family members in the political, social, and economic spheres of public life are documented. Researchers will also benefit from the innermost thoughts and feelings of family members as they correspond with each other over the decades. Included are diaries, letterbooks, autobiographical writings, legal papers, and family letters, plus political essays and speeches.

The collection is organized internally to afford scholars convenient access to the papers. Part I contains the diaries of John, John Quincy, and Charles Francis Adams. Part II follows with the letterbooks of these three statesmen. Part III is organized by generation, and thereafter by individual. Part IV contains letters received by the family and other loose papers, arranged chronologically from 1639-1889.

Titles from the Massachusetts Historical Society Collections may be purchased by individual reel.

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