John and Abigail Adams in Times of Change: the Battle of Bunker Hill and the Smallpox Epidemic during the American Revolution

Developed by Michael Barton, Greater Lowell Technical High School, Lowell, Mass.

These two curriculum units examine life in Boston, Massachusetts during the American Revolution as experienced through the letters of John and Abigail Adams. Between 1762 and 1801, John and Abigail wrote more than 1,100 letters to each other, recounting some of the most important events in American history. They are personal narratives that relate to John's political challenges and Abigail's day-to-day struggles, most significantly during the Battle of Bunker Hill and the smallpox epidemic. Both units are designed to be taught in an interdisciplinary fashion, with emphasis on Language Arts and Social Studies skills. They include assignments and questions for discussion and comprehension. In addition to the transcriptions of primary source documents included with each lesson plan, links to digital images of documents have been provided where available.

Upcoming Events

Author Talk

Under the Starry Flag: How a Band of Irish Americans Joined the Fenian Revolt and Sparked a Crisis ...

24Sep 6:00PM 2018
There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30.

In 1867 forty Irish-American freedom fighters, outfitted with guns and ammunition, sailed to Ireland to join the effort to end British rule. Yet they never got a chance ...

Modern American Society and Culture Seminar

Radical Nonviolence and Interracial Utopias in the Early Civil Rights Movement

25Sep 5:15PM 2018

This paper examines how radical pacifists refined nonviolent direct action to challenge racial segregation and inequality in the United States. These activists adopted ...

Author Talk

Race Over Party: Black Politics and Partisanship in Late Nineteenth-Century Boston

27Sep 6:00PM 2018
There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30.

In late 19th-century Boston, battles over black party loyalty were fights over the place of African Americans in the post–Civil War nation. Party politics became ...

From our Blog

This Week @MHS

Join us for a program at the MHS. Here is a look at what is going on this week. - Monday, 24 September, 6:00 PM: Under the Starry Flag: How a Band of Irish Americans Joined the Fenian Revolt ...

Of Adamses & Ancestry

John A. Grace, Memoranda Respecting the Families of Quincy and Adams, 1841 For historian Henry Adams, the morning mail meant a fresh round of research questions. “Here comes your troublesome ...

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