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"I have a great Deal of Leisure, which I chiefly employ in Scribbling, that my Mind may not stand still or run back like my Fortune."
September 30, 2007 9:25 AM   Subscribe

"John Adams and Abigail Smith Adams exchanged over 1,100 letters, beginning during their courtship in 1762 and continuing throughout John's political career. These warm and informative letters include John's descriptions of the Continental Congress and his impressions of Europe while he served in various diplomatic roles, as well as Abigail's updates about their family, farm, and news of the Revolution's impact on the Boston area." The Adams Electronic Archive has transcripts [example] as well as high-resolution scans [example] of the letters. You may be familiar with some snippets of their correspondence from the movie musical "1776" ("Til Then" and "Yours, Yours, Yours" scenes on YouTube).
posted by amyms (17 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
The letters also form the backbone of the musical 1776.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:40 AM on September 30, 2007


You might also know them from the Doonesbury strips... which, unfortunately, I can't find on the official site.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:14 AM on September 30, 2007


PBS | American Experience -- John & Abigail Adams used the letters throughout the documentary.
posted by ericb at 10:17 AM on September 30, 2007


The John Adams Library at the Boston Public Library [Timeline | Collection Highlights].
posted by ericb at 10:21 AM on September 30, 2007


Adams National Historical Park in Quincy, MA.
posted by ericb at 10:25 AM on September 30, 2007


Looking over the recent reading list at the local HS I found it insipid at best. The students would be better served by reading the Adams. “Letters” is representative of an intellect that quickly leads to the joy of learning. Reading AA Letters offers such a wide breath of knowledge packaged in a delightful book. A plethora of subjects are found in these letters; Women, History, Sociology Anthropology, English, Civics. “Letters” offers a map on a life well lived. Like truffles you think you can eat several but with the first bite you realize that it is so rich and sensual that it's apparent that you will have to slowly and thoughtfully peruse. What a great post this is!
posted by Rancid Badger at 10:40 AM on September 30, 2007


This is excellent! My co-author and I included excerpts from these letters in a chapter for the forthcoming Daring Book For Girls.
posted by mothershock at 10:53 AM on September 30, 2007


The John Adams biography written by David McCullough was fascinating and touching. Adams is my "favorite" Revolutionary era American USian.

As an aside, what an extraordinary group of men the founding fathers were.
posted by maxwelton at 11:21 AM on September 30, 2007


God, 1776. I would like that movie a lot more if I hadn't seen it at least once or twice a year for five or six years straight in three separate schools.
posted by schroedinger at 1:49 PM on September 30, 2007


being a native new englander, i adore john adams. his relationship with thomas jefferson is just as interesting. the recent display of the john adams collection at the boston public library was fascinating.
posted by brandz at 4:29 PM on September 30, 2007


the story i remember about the john adams letters was when he wrote abigail in advance of the declaration of independence, and how he told her it would end up being a fun national holiday in the future nation, and how he missed by two days, as he had predicted it would be july 2, 1776.
posted by bruce at 6:08 PM on September 30, 2007


Amazing thing to contemplate: Adams and Jefferson died within hours of each other, on July 4, 1826.
posted by maxwelton at 6:20 PM on September 30, 2007


I love 1776 but if they were singing about the Declaration of Independence, they really should have danced about the Declaration of Independence, too. There's a joke there about putting the dance in independence but I can't be bovvered.
posted by spec80 at 7:31 PM on September 30, 2007


".....Jefferson lives"
posted by hortense at 7:31 PM on September 30, 2007


I love 1776 but if they were singing about the Declaration of Independence, they really should have danced about the Declaration of Independence, too.

Dance number in 1776. (dancing starts about 2 minutes in)
posted by JanetLand at 6:47 AM on October 1, 2007


Uh... that was not what I was picturing in my head. :( But thank you!

I was hoping something more along these lines (wrong time period, but that kind of jazzy feeling).
posted by spec80 at 8:23 AM on October 1, 2007


One of these may be more of what you were looking for.
posted by concrete at 11:04 PM on October 1, 2007


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