By David Waldstreicher

A spouse to John Adams and John Quincy Adams provides a set of unique historiographic essays contributed via best historians that disguise varied facets of the lives and politics of John and John Quincy Adams and their spouses, Abigail and Louisa Catherine.

  • Features contributions from best historians and Adams’ scholars
  • Considers sub-topics of curiosity reminiscent of John Adams’ position within the overdue 18th-century dying of the Federalists, either Adams’ presidencies and efforts as diplomats, faith, and slavery
  • Includes chapters on Abigail Adams and one on Louisa Adams

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Extra info for A Companion to John Adams and John Quincy Adams

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First, Abigail’s frail health and her dislike for the capital had confined her to Braintree for weeks. Second, on November 30, 1800, their son Charles died at the age of 30 from alcoholism, leaving a wife and two small children. Humiliated by his defeat, embittered by what he saw as Hamilton’s dangerous ambition and Jefferson’s deviousness, and heartbroken by his son Charles’s death, Adams spent the first years of his retirement writing his Autobiography, though he never finished it. O. F. Adams, 1878a).

Though often insightful, his book is also flawed by chronological errors and eccentric interpretations undermining its reliability. Diggins also published a volume of selection from Adams’s writings, The Portable John Adams (2004). As a contribution to the commemoration of the American Revolution’s bicentennial, the leading Jefferson biographer Merrill D. Peterson delivered an elegant set of lectures (1975) on John Adams’s relationship with Thomas Jefferson. Peterson characterized their correspondence as “a Revolutionary dialogue,” and traced their lifelong argument about the meaning of the Revolution in their time and for posterity (see also Allison, 1966; Koch, 1963).

Washington wanted three men to serve under him: Alexander Hamilton, his most trusted advisor; Henry Knox, who had commanded artillery under Washington during the Revolution and had been secretary of war under the Confederation and the Constitution; 20 R. B. BERNSTEIN and Charles C. Pinckney. Though Adams bridled at including Hamilton, the real issue was the order of seniority of the officers’ commissions. Adams preferred to put Knox or Pinckney first; Washington made it clear that Hamilton was his first choice; Pinckney graciously offered to serve without regard to seniority; and Knox was so hurt by the controversy that he withdrew his name.

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