Adams National Historical Park

Adams National Historical Park, formerly Adams National Historic Site, in Quincy, Massachusetts, preserves the home of Presidents of the United States John Adams and John Quincy Adams, of U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain, Charles Francis Adams, and of the writers and historians Henry Adams and Brooks Adams.

The national historical park's eleven buildings tell the story of five generations of the Adams family (from 1720 to 1927) including Presidents, First Ladies, U.S. Ministers, historians, writers, and family members who supported and contributed to their success. In addition to Peacefield, home to four generations of the Adams family, the park's main historic features include the John Adams Birthplace (October 30, 1735), the nearby John Quincy Adams Birthplace (July 11, 1767), and the Stone Library (built in 1870 to house the books of John Quincy Adams and believed to be the first presidential library), containing more than 14,000 historic volumes in 12 languages.

There is an off-site Visitors Center less than a mile (1.6 km) away. Regularly scheduled tours of the houses are offered in season (April 19 to November 10), by guided tour only, using a tourist trolley provided by the Park Service between sites. Access to United First Parish Church, where the Adamses worshipped and are buried, is provided by the congregation for which they ask a small donation. The church is across the street from the Visitors Center.

Adams National Historic Site
John Adams birthplace, Quincy, Massachusetts
John Adams birthplace
Adams National Historical Park is located in the United States
Adams National Historical Park
Location135 Adams St., Quincy, Massachusetts
Coordinates42°15′23″N 71°0′41″W / 42.25639°N 71.01139°WCoordinates: 42°15′23″N 71°0′41″W / 42.25639°N 71.01139°W
Area8.5 acres (3.4 ha) (NRHP listing) 13.82 acres (5.59 ha) (9.17 acres (3.71 ha) federal)
Architectural styleGeorgian, Federal
Visitation253,656[2] (2009)
WebsiteAdams National Historical Park
NRHP reference #66000051[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPOctober 15, 1966
Designated NHSDecember 9, 1946
Designated NHP1998

John Adams Birthplace

This house is a National Historic Landmark, the birthplace of John Adams. In 1720 it was purchased by Deacon John Adams, Sr., the father of the future second president. The younger Adams lived here until 1764, when he married Abigail Smith. It is a few feet from the John Quincy Adams Birthplace home, where John and Abigail Adams moved.

John Quincy Adams Birthplace

John Quincy Adams birthplace, Quincy, Massachusetts
John Quincy Adams birthplace

The house where John and Abigail Adams and their family lived during the time he was working on the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War is also the 1767 birthplace of their son, John Quincy Adams. The younger Adams grew up in the home, and he and his family lived in it for a time later in life.

The Old House at Peacefield

Old House, Quincy, Massachusetts

The Old House was originally constructed in 1731 for Leonard Vassall, a sugar planter, and was used as his summer house. The house stood empty for some time before it, along with 75 acres (30 ha), was purchased by Adams on September 23, 1787, for 600 pounds. The Adams family moved in the next year and occupied it until 1927, when it was sold to the Adams Memorial Society. The National Park Service acquired it in 1947, and has been a National Historic Site ever since.

Stone Library

The Stone Library

The Stone Library, completed in 1870 on the grounds of Peacefield, houses personal papers and over 14,000 books which belonged to John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Charles Francis Adams, Henry Adams, and Brooks Adams. In his will, John Quincy Adams requested that the library be built out of stone so that it would be fireproof.

The Library holds John Adams' copy of George Washington's Farewell Address as well as the Mendi Bible, a bible presented to John Quincy Adams in 1841 by the freed Mendi captives who had mutinied on the schooner La Amistad and who Adams had successfully defended before the United States Supreme Court.[3][4]

Henry Adams wrote his nine volume The History of the United States of America 1801–1817 in the library.

United First Parish Church

United First Parish Church (exterior), Quincy, Massachusetts
United First Parish Church

The church where both Presidents and their First Ladies are entombed in the Adams Crypt has never been administered by the National Park service. It is owned by the active congregation of Unitarian Universalists. In the past ten years, the congregation has used almost $2 million of its own resources to preserve the building.

Administrative history

  • December 9, 1946 — The Old House at Peacefield was designated the Adams Mansion National Historic Site
  • November 26, 1952 — The site was renamed Adams National Historic Site and an adjoining parcel of land was added.
  • December 19, 1960 — the birthplaces of both presidents were designated National Historic Landmarks.
  • October 15, 1966 — The entire historic site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (as are all historic areas administered by the National Park Service).
  • December 30, 1970 — The privately owned United First Parish Church was also designated a National Historic Landmark.
  • November 2, 1998 — The historic site was redesignated Adams National Historical Park.[5]

See also


  1. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ "NPS Annual Recreation Visits Report". National Park Service.
  3. ^ Collections - Adams National Historical park
  4. ^ Archived August 19, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Adams National Historic Site" (PDF). National Park Service. 2009-10-17.

Further reading

  • Hugh, Howard; Roger Straus (2007). Houses of the Founding Fathers. Artisan. ISBN 1-57965-275-1.

External links

Abigail Adams

Abigail Adams (née Smith; November 22, [O.S. November 11] 1744 – October 28, 1818) was the wife and closest advisor of John Adams, as well as the mother of John Quincy Adams. She is sometimes considered to have been a Founder of the United States, and is now designated as the first Second Lady and second First Lady of the United States, although these titles were not used at the time.

Adams's life is one of the most documented of the First Ladies: she is remembered for the many letters she wrote to her husband while he stayed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, during the Continental Congresses. John frequently sought the advice of Abigail on many matters, and their letters are filled with intellectual discussions on government and politics. Her letters also serve as eyewitness accounts of the American Revolutionary War home front.

Adams House

Adams House may refer to:

In EnglandAdams House (London), a listed buildingIn the United StatesCaptain Adams House, Daphne, Alabama, listed on the National Register of Historic Places

W. E. Adams House, Phoenix, Arizona, listed on the National Register of Historic Places

James P. and Sarah Adams House, Tucson, Arizona, listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Adams-Leslie House, Warren, Arkansas

Davis-Adams House, Warren, Arkansas

Orman-Adams House, Pueblo, Colorado, listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Joseph T. Adams House, Georgetown, Delaware

Carl G. Adams House, Miami Springs, Florida

Adams-Matheson House, Hartwell, Georgia, NRHP-listed in Hart County

Adams House (Lavonia, Georgia), NRHP-listed in Franklin County

William and Jessie M. Adams House, Chicago, Illinois

Mary W. Adams House, Highland Park, Illinois

Noftzger-Adams House, North Manchester, Indiana, listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Walker Adams House, Davenport, Iowa

Adams-Higgins House, Spencer, Iowa

Adams House (Salvisa, Kentucky), listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Adams House (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Charles P. Adams House, Grambling, Louisiana, listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Archibald-Adams House, Cherryfield, Maine, listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Adams-Crocker-Fish House, Barnstable, Massachusetts

Adams House (Harvard University), Cambridge, Massachusetts

Adams-Clarke House, Georgetown, Massachusetts

Abraham Adams House, Newbury, Massachusetts

Amos Adams House, Newton, Massachusetts

Seth Adams House, Newton, Massachusetts

Adams National Historical Park, Quincy, Massachusetts

John Quincy Adams Birthplace, Quincy, Massachusetts

John Adams Birthplace, Quincy, Massachusetts

Peacefield, the home of U.S. President John Adams and other Adamses, Quincy, Massachusetts

Adams-Magoun House, Somerville, Massachusetts

Charles Adams-Woodbury Locke House, Somerville, Massachusetts

Benjamin Adams House, Uxbridge, Massachusetts

Adams-French House, Aberdeen, Mississippi, listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Adams-Taylor-McRae House, Elwood Community, Mississippi, listed on the National Register of Historic Places

John A. Adams Farmstead Historic District, Warrensburg, Missouri, listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Adams House (Carson City, Nevada)

John Adams Homestead-Wellscroft, Harrisville, New Hampshire

Dr. Daniel Adams House, Keene, New Hampshire

Adams-Ryan House, Adams Basin, New York

Judge Junius G. Adams House, Biltmore Forest, North Carolina, listed on the National Register of Historic Places

John H. Adams House, High Point, North Carolina, listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Adams-Edwards House, Raleigh, North Carolina, listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Adams-Fairview Bonanza Farm, Wahepton, North Dakota

G. Adams House, Millersburg, Ohio

John and Maria Adams House, Olmsted Falls, Ohio

Adams-Gray House, Trinway, Ohio

George W. Adams House, Trinway, Ohio

Demas Adams House, Worthington, Ohio

Charles F. Adams House, Portland, Oregon

Louis J. Adams House, Silverton, Oregon

John E. Adams House, Pawtucket, Rhode Island

E.C. Adams House, Watertown, South Dakota, listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Joe Chase Adams House, Lewisburg, Tennessee, listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Baptist Female College-Adams House, Woodbury, Tennessee, listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Armstrong-Adams House, Salado, Texas, listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Joseph Frederick Adams House, Bluff, Utah, listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Joseph Adams House (Layton, Utah)

George and Temperance Adams House, Orem, Utah

John Alma Adams House, Pleasant Grove, Utah

Adams political family

The Adams family was a prominent political family in the United States from the late 18th through the early 20th centuries. Based in eastern Massachusetts, they formed part of the Boston Brahmin community. The surname Adams stems from Henry Adams of the county of Somerset in Great Britain.The Adams family is one of only four families to have produced two Presidents of the United States, the others being the Bush, Roosevelt, and Harrison families.

American Primitive

American Primitive is a play by William Gibson about the lives of John and Abigail Adams. Gibson used the correspondence of John and Abigail Adams to create a verse drama about the period of the American Revolution.

American Primitive debuted, unsuccessfully, at the Berkshire Theatre Festival in 1969. The production, directed by Frank Langella, starred Anne Bancroft as Abigail Adams.

Charles Adams (1770–1800)

Charles Adams (May 29, 1770 – November 30, 1800) was the second son of President John Adams and his wife, Abigail Adams (née Smith).

Charles Francis Adams Sr.

Charles Francis Adams Sr. (August 18, 1807 – November 21, 1886) was an American historical editor, writer, politician, and diplomat. He was a son of President John Quincy Adams and grandson of President John Adams, about whom he wrote a major biography.

Adams served two terms in the Massachusetts State Senate before running unsuccessfully as vice-presidential candidate for the Free Soil Party in the election of 1848 on a ticket with former president Martin Van Buren. During the Civil War, Adams served as the United States Minister to the United Kingdom under Abraham Lincoln, where he played a key role in keeping the British government neutral and not diplomatically recognizing the Confederacy.

Adams became an overseer of Harvard University and built Adams National Historical Park, a library in Quincy, Massachusetts honoring his father.

Elihu Adams

Elihu Adams (May 29, 1741 – August 10, 1775) was a soldier in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. He was born in Braintree to John Adams, Sr. and Susanna Boylston; his elder brothers were John Adams, the second President of the United States, and Peter Boylston Adams, who also served as a militia captain during the Revolution. He married Thankful White in 1765, and had at least two children - Susanna, born in 1766, and John, born in 1768.Adams served as captain of the Braintree Company at the Siege of Boston, and as a minuteman who fought on the Concord Green in 1775. He died of dysentery on August 10, 1775, at the age of 34, and was buried at what is today known as the "Old Section" of Union Cemetery in Holbrook, Massachusetts (then still a part of Braintree).

John Adams Birthplace

The John Adams Birthplace is a historic house at 133 Franklin Street in Quincy, Massachusetts. It is the saltbox home in which the second president of the United States, John Adams, was born in 1735. The house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is now administered by the National Park Service as part of the Adams National Historical Park, and is open for guided tours.

John Adams Sr.

John Adams Sr. (February 8, 1691 – May 25, 1761) was a British colonial farmer and minister. He was the father of the second U.S. President, John Adams Jr., and grandfather of the sixth President, John Quincy Adams. He was the son of Joseph Adams Jr. (1654–1737), the grandson of Joseph Adams Sr. (1626-1694), and the great-grandson of Henry Adams, who emigrated from Braintree, Essex, in England to Massachusetts Bay Colony in about 1638. He was also descended from John and Priscilla Alden. Adams worked as a farmer and cobbler (also called a cord-wainer or shoemaker) for most of his life.Adams' descendants include many prominent persons in American history, and his home is a National Park, the Adams National Historical Park. Not only was he the father and grandfather of presidents; he also was a first cousin, once removed, of Samuel Adams.

John Quincy

Colonel John Quincy (July 21, 1689 – July 13, 1767) was an American soldier, politician and member of the Quincy political family. His granddaughter Abigail Adams named her son, the future President John Quincy Adams, after him. The city of Quincy, Massachusetts is named after him.

John Quincy Adams Birthplace

The John Quincy Adams Birthplace is a historic house at 141 Franklin Street in Quincy, Massachusetts. It is the saltbox home in which the sixth United States President, John Quincy Adams, was born in 1767. The family lived in this home during the time John Adams helped found the United States with his work on the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolutionary War. His own birthplace is only 75 feet (23 m) away, on the same property.

Both houses are National Historic Landmarks, and part of Adams National Historical Park, operated by the National Park Service.

List of National Historic Landmarks in Massachusetts

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has a total of 188 National Historic Landmarks (NHLs) within its borders. This is the second highest statewide total in the United States after New York, which has 256. Of the Massachusetts NHLs, 57 are in the state capital of Boston, and are listed separately. Ten of the remaining 131 designations were made when the NHL program was formally inaugurated on October 9, 1960; the most recent was for the Brookline Reservoir of the Cochituate Aqueduct in Brookline in 2015. Cambridge is the city with the most NHLs outside Boston (at 19), and Middlesex County is home to 43 NHLs (again outside the 58 from Boston, which comprise all but one of the NHLs in Suffolk County). Every county in the state has at least one NHL (Franklin County has exactly one, the Old Deerfield Historic District).

The state's NHLs were chosen for a diversity of reasons. Some of the nation's oldest surviving structures are included: a number of 17th-century houses are listed, including the Fairbanks House (late 1630s) of Dedham, which is the oldest timber-frame house in the nation. The Old Ship Church (1681) of Hingham is the nation's oldest church still used for religious purposes, and Cole's Hill in Plymouth was used in 1620 has a burial ground for the Plymouth Colony. The Nauset Archeological District documents early contact between Europeans and Native Americans, and the Old Deerfield Historic District encompasses a well-preserved colonial frontier village.

Sites associated with the American Revolution and people of the time are on the list. The Lexington Green, Buckman Tavern, and the Hancock-Clarke House all played roles in the Battles of Lexington and Concord that began the American Revolutionary War, as did Wright's Tavern in Concord. The homes of Continental Army generals Benjamin Lincoln, John Glover, and Rufus Putnam are listed. Properties occupied by army officers during the Siege of Boston include the Longfellow House (occupied by George Washington and purchased by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in part because of that association), and the Isaac Royall House, which also has the only known surviving slave quarters in the state.

In addition to the Longfellow site, there are numerous NHLs with literary and artistic connections. Arrowhead in the Berkshires was where Herman Melville did much of his writing, and Concord is home to Walden Pond, the Ralph Waldo Emerson House, The Old Manse (home to Ralph Waldo Emerson's grandfather), Orchard House (childhood home to Louisa May Alcott), and The Wayside (home to Nathaniel Hawthorne). Hawthorne is also represented by the House of Seven Gables district of Salem, which includes his birthplace. Other literary landmarks include the John Greenleaf Whittier House, The Mount (Edith Wharton's Lenox estate), and Redtop, the Belmont home of William Dean Howells which was the site of many literary gatherings.

Scientific and academic pursuits are represented in the list. Homes of mathematicians, scientists, and researchers appear on the list, as do sites noted for the events that took place there. The Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory in Milton is home to the nation's longest continuous weather record, and the Goddard Rocket Launching Site in Auburn was where rocketry pioneer Robert H. Goddard performed some of his tests.

Mendi Bible

The Mendi Bible is a Bible presented to John Quincy Adams in 1841 by a group of freed Mendi captives who had mutinied on the schooner La Amistad.Adams, a former President of the United States and a then-U.S. Representative, was given the Bible as a gift in thanks for his representation of the Mende captives in the case of United States v. The Amistad before the Supreme Court, who were freed when the Court ruled in their favor.The Mendi Bible was presented along with a letter of thanks which read in part:

We are about to go home to Africa. We go to Sierra Leone first, and then we reach Mendi very quick. When we get to Mendi we will tell the people of your great kindness. Good missionary will go with us. We shall take the Bible with us. It has been a precious book in prison, and we love to read it now we are free! Mr. Adams, we want to make you a present of a beautiful Bible! Will you please to accept it, and when you look at it or read it, remember your poor and grateful clients?...

For the Mendi people.




Boston, Nov. 6, 1841.

The Mendi Bible is currently curated in the Stone Library at the Adams National Historical Park in Quincy, Massachusetts.The book was stolen from the Adams site in November 1996 and subsequently recovered by the FBI in a gym locker in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in January 1997.Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, the state's first African-American governor, took his oath of office on the Mendi Bible on January 4, 2007, and took his second oath of office on the Mendi Bible on January 6, 2011.

Mutiny on the Amistad

Mutiny on the Amistad: The Saga of a Slave Revolt and Its Impact on American Abolition, Law, and Diplomacy (1987) is a history of a notable slave mutiny of 1839 and its aftermath, written by professor Howard Jones.

The book explores the events surrounding the slave mutiny on the Spanish schooner La Amistad in 1839. The ship was taken into United States custody off the south coast of Long Island, New York. The book discusses the roles and international dynamics of the case, involving Spain, England, and the United States as they related to the 19th-century slave trade. It examines United States v. The Amistad Africans 40 U.S. (15 Pet.) 518 (1841), the United States Supreme Court case that adjudicated the property issues and ultimately the fate of the Mende people who were held captive on Amistad and the ownership of the vessel.


Peacefield, also called Old House, is a historic home formerly owned by the Adams family of Quincy, Massachusetts. It is now part of the Adams National Historical Park.

Presidential library

In the United States, the presidential library system is a nationwide network of 13 libraries administered by the Office of Presidential Libraries, which is part of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). These are repositories for preserving and making available the papers, records, collections and other historical materials of every President of the United States from Herbert Hoover (31st President, 1929-1933) to George W. Bush (43rd President, 2001-2009). In addition to the library services, museum exhibitions concerning the presidency are displayed.

Although recognized as having historical significance, before the mid-20th century, presidential papers and effects were generally understood to be the private property of the president. Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd president, proposed to leave his papers to the public in a building donated by him on his Hyde Park estate. Since then a series of laws have established the public keeping of documents and the presidential library system.

While not officially sanctioned and maintained by the NARA, libraries have also been organized for several presidents who preceded Hoover and the official start of the Presidential Library Office. The library planned for Barack Obama (44th President, 2009–2017) will partner with the NARA in a "new model", digitizing and making available documents, but without NARA running a new separate facility.

Profiles in Courage (TV series)

Profiles in Courage is an American historical anthology series that was telecast weekly on NBC from November 8, 1964 to May 9, 1965 (Sundays, 6:30-7:30pm, Eastern). The series was based on the Pulitzer Prize winning book, Profiles in Courage by U.S. President John F. Kennedy, who had been assassinated the year before.

Susanna Boylston

Susanna Boylston Adams Hall (March 5, 1708 – April 17, 1797) was a prominent early-American socialite, mother of the second U.S. President, John Adams and grandmother of the sixth President, John Quincy Adams.

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