COLLECTION GUIDES

1775-1856

Guide to the Collection

Restrictions on Access

Access to the originals is restricted. Users must use photocopies in the MHS Reading Room.


Collection Summary

Abstract

This collection consists of correspondence mostly written to John Adams during his vice presidency and presidency and a small number of letters written by Abigail Adams.

Collection Description

The Adams-Hull collection, 1775-1856, consists of correspondence mostly written to John Adams during his vice presidency and presidency and a small number of letters written by Abigail Adams. Subjects include political matters, replies to dinner invitations, and letters of introduction. Correspondents include Louisa Catherine Adams, John Quincy Adams, Elias Boudinot, John Jeffries, John Paul Jones, Robert Morris, Henry Knox, Benjamin Lincoln, James Madison, Roger Sherman, Baron De Kalb, George Washington, and other notable political figures.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged chronologically.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mrs. Catherine A. Hull, Dec. 2006.

Restrictions on Access

Access to the originals is restricted. Users must use photocopies in the MHS Reading Room.

Item List

[24 July] 1775

Samuel Chase to John Adams introducing George Lux. Chase was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

2 Jan. 1778

Baron De Kalb to John Adams forwarding letters for Count DeBroglie at Valley Forge Camp. Count DeBroglie, a monarchist, unsuccessfully tried to convince Lafayette not to come and assist the colonists in their fight for liberty. He then, through De Kalb, introduced Lafayette to Silas Dean in Paris. Lafayette was commissioned a major-general in the Continental Army, as was De Kalb. De Kalb served under General Washington for a brief period during the winter at Valley Forge. De Kalb was wounded and captured by the British at the Battle of Camden, S.C., in 1780 and died three days later.

[5 Apr.] 1778

Prince de Poix, Philippe Louis Marc Antoine de Norilles to John Adams and Benjamin Franklin wishing to see them. He was eager to see Adams who was kind enough to bring him a letter from Lafayette. (In French).

7 Aug. 1779

Chevalier de la Luzerne to John Adams discussing individuals and hoping to see Adams at home or on the frigate where they will dine. Two months later, De La Luzerne arrived in the United States and replaced Gerard de Rayneval as French minister to the United States.

28 Feb. 1780

Captain John Paul Jones to John Adams acknowledging a letter of approbation.

9 Oct. 1780

DeMolans to John Adams discussing the raising of a regiment of Hussars. (In French).

19 Aug. 1782

Pieter van Blieswyck, Conseiller Pensionnaire of Holland, to John Adams inviting him to his house in the morning. John Adams was in France at the time preparing to negotiate a loan from the Dutch based on apprehension and mistrust of French intentions in support of American independence.

[1783-1784]

[Gabriel de Mably] to "Monsieur le Comte [de Vergennes]", who was writing a small work on the Constitution of the United States of America, "Septentrionale."

12 Jan. 1783

Duc de la Vauguyon to John Adams stating he'd be happy to meet before he leaves Paris. He states that he had read a letter from John Jay that was recommended to him. Vauguyon was the French ambassador to the Hague, 1781-1783. (In French).

2 Feb. 1783

Phillip Mazzei to John Adams enclosing letters. Mazzei was a secret agent for the state of Virginia.

9 Feb. 1783

Joseph Reed to John Adams introducing Andrew Pettit. General Joseph Reed was, at one point during the Revolutionary War, aide-de-camp and secretary to General Washington. He fought in every northern engagement of the war, refusing a commission and maintaining his volunteer status.

24 Feb. 1783

Count Sarsfield to John Adams wanting to change the date of a dinner that they had scheduled to a different date. Three weeks prior to this letter, Adams sent Sarsfield a letter that contained a famous statement.

1 Mar. 1783

Antoine Court de Gebelin to John Adams offering the addressees tickets to the assembly at the Museum of Paris. Court de Gebelin wanted to introduce Adams to the assembly. Gebelin was a freemason and one of the leading occultists of the time. He contributed to the design of the Great Seal of the United States. (In French).

30 Sep. 1783

[Alice] Izard to Abigail Adams enclosing a letter given to her by John Adams for Abigail while he was minister to Great Britain. Alice Izard was the wife of Ralph Izard, a member of the Continental Congress and senator from South Carolina.

13 Nov. 1783

Samuel Mather to John Adams accompanying a pamphlet. Samuel Mather was the son of Cotton Mather and was a clergyman.

30 Nov. 1783

Benjamin Lincoln to John Adams regarding Major Jackson.

[1784]

Benjamin Vaughan to Mr. Wall requesting admission to Shelburne House for Abigail Adams and her son and daughter. Vaughan practiced medicine in Maine.

[1784]

Mrs. Bingham to Abigail Adams announcing a call.

20 Mar. 1784

Thomas Mifflin circular letter sent to a committee transmitting an act of Congress. Mifflin was a distinguished signer of the federal constitution from Pennsylvania. This is a manuscript copy and not signed by Mifflin.

19 June 1784

Pierpont to John Adams requesting a loan while in England.

14 Mar. 1785

Marquis de Lafayette to John and Abigail Adams inviting them to dinner. On a printed invitation.

8 Apr. 1785

John Frederick Sackville, 3rd Duke of Dorset, to John Adams declining a dinner invitation. Sackville was the English ambassador to France, 1784-1789.

10 May 1785

Marquis de Lafayette to John and Abigail Adams inviting them to dinner. On a printed invitation.

21 Aug. 1785

Abigail Adams to Thomas Jefferson regarding William Loughton Smith about European and American politics, and the departure of Benjamin Franklin.

[Oct. 1785]

[Richard] Price to John Adams accompanying an insurance policy.

23 Dec. 1785

David Ramsay to John Adams introducing Captain Coupar, who was carrying 1,500 copies of Ramsay's recently published work, The History of the Revolution of South Carolina.

11 Feb. 1786

[Lucy] Paradise to Abigail Adams acknowledging a present.

22 July 1786

Robert Morris, J. Swanwick, and Thomas Willing to John Adams in legal documents relating to the death of Samuel Inglis. Willing, Morris, and Swanwick was one of Philadelphia's leading merchant companies.

4 Nov. 1787

[Thomas] Brand Hollis to Abigail Adams accompanying a set of prints. Thomas Brand, a noted art collector, bibliophile, and antiquarian, was often a host to John Adams when Adams was minister to England, 1786-1787.

24 Nov. 1787

John Rutledge to John Adams introducing his eldest son. Rutledge was a delegate to the Continental Congress, established the state government of South Carolina, served as its governor, and was the second chief justice of the United States, 1795.

7 Apr. 1788

Thomas Brand Hollis to Abigail Adams regarding her departure.

[May 1788]

Abigail Adams to Mrs. Byag recommending Ann Reynolds, a servant.

[1789]

[Aedanus] Burke to John Adams declining an invitation to dinner.

[1789]

[George] Clymer to John Adams declining an invitation to dinner. George Clymer was a signer of the Declaration of Independence from Pennsylvania.

[1789-1790]

[Peter] Silvester to John Adams declining an invitation to dinner.

[1789-1797]

[Thomas Tudor] Tucker to John Adams making an appointment.

15 June 1789

Richard Peters to John Adams regarding an invitation, the new government, the residence of Congress, and Montesquieu. Peters was a member of the Continental Congress and state legislator and judge from Pennsylvania.

28 July 1789

Robert Morris to John Adams declining an invitation. Morris was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a financer of the war.

3 Aug. 1789

[Jeremiah] Wadsworth to John Adams accepting an invitation to dinner. Wadsworth was a Revolutionary War general and member of Congress.

15 Aug. [1789]

[Benjamin] Huntington to John Adams accepting an invitation to dinner.

15 Aug. 1789

[James] Schureman to John Adams declining an invitation to dinner.

16 Aug. [1789]

[Roger] Sherman to John Adams declining an invitation to dinner. Sherman was a member of the Continental Congress and worked on drafting the Declaration of Independence. Adams had great admiration for him, stating he was "an old Puritan, as honest as an angel and as firm in the cause of American Independence as Mount Atlas."

21 Aug. [1789]

[John] Hathorn to John Adams accepting an invitation to dinner.

21 Aug. [1789]

[Roger] Sherman to John Adams confirming an appointment.

21 Aug. 1789

[James] Jackson to John Adams accepting an invitation to dinner.

1 Sep. [1789]

[Paine] Wingate to John Adams declining an invitation to dinner. Wingate was a clergyman, legislator, and jurist from New Hampshire.

1 Sep. [1789]

[Richard] Bassett to John Adams accepting an invitation to dinner. Bassett was one of the first senators from Delaware.

1 Sep. 1789

[William] Maclay to John Adams declining an invitation to dinner.

1 Sep. 1789

[William] Paterson to John Adams accepting an invitation to dinner.

2 Sep. [1789]

[Thomas] Fitzsimons to John Adams accepting an invitation to dinner. Fitzsimmons was active in the Constitutional Convention and was a member of the first House of Representatives.

5 Sep. 1789

[Henry] Wynkoop to John Adams accepting an invitation to dinner.

23 Sep. 1789

Henry Knox to John Adams accepting an invitation. General Knox was responsible for the Continental forces in the northern states, served with Washington at Valley Forge, and was the first secretary of war under Washington.

1 Oct. 1789

[Franco Petrus] Van Berckel to John Adams declining a dinner invitation.

24 Nov. [1789]

Note from George Washington, [in Tobias Lear's hand], to John and Abigail Adams offering a ticket for his box at the theater.

7 Jan. 1790

John Jeffries to John Adams regarding a book and offering his friendship and support. Jeffries was a Massachusetts-born physician and scientist who was a loyalist serving as a surgeon for the British during the Revolutionary War. After the war, he was an early pioneer of ballooning and its use in scientific research.

9 Jan. 1790

[Hannah] Jeffries to Abigail Adams informing her that she is leaving the continent.

[Mar. 1790]

Hannah Jeffries to Abigail Adams regarding a conveyance of letters to England.

22 June [1790]

Count Paolo Andreani to John Adams accepting an invitation to dinner. Andreani wrote the first New York travelogue in 1790, Along the Hudson and Mohawk.

23 June [1790]

[Alexander] Hamilton to John Adams accepting an invitation to dinner with a list of dinner guests attending.

12 Dec. [1790]

Extract from the minutes of Congress in Abigail Adams's hand.

1 Feb. [1791]

[Rufus] King to John Adams accepting an invitation to dinner. King was a member of the Continental Congress.

18 June 1792

John Ewing to John Adams introducing Samuel Miller. Ewing was a Presbyterian minister and served as professor, trustee, and provost of the University of Pennsylvania.

5 July 1793

[Jedidiah] Morse to John Adams presenting a set of his American Universal Geography. Morse is called the father of American geography. (In French).

5 Feb. 1794

Joseph Priestly to John Adams introducing Henry Waney.

7 Oct. 1795

Samuel Otis to John Adams regarding Bachelor's Hall. Otis was a delegate to the Continental Congress and secretary of the United States Congress for the first seventeen years.

12 Nov. 1795

Henry Knox to John Adams introducing Captain Roberts.

17 Aug. 1797

John Briesler to Abigail Adams regarding yellow fever in Philadelphia.

5 June 1798

John Sinclair to John Adams enclosing a copy of his book. Sir John Sinclair was a member of the British House of Commons, economist, financier, and expert on scientific agriculture.

29 Sep. 1798

James Sullivan to John Adams apologizing for the intrusion.

3 Nov. [1798]

Harrison Gray Otis to John Adams regarding Mr. Horry. Otis was a Massachusetts attorney and member of Congress.

3 Dec. 1798

Joshua Johnson to John Adams accompanying a package to be forwarded.

[1800]

Memorials of the citizens of Washington to John Adams recommending William Cranch as commissioner of the city of Washington.

20 June 1800

Justus Henry Christian Helmuth to John Adams accompanying a petition. Helmuth was a Lutheran minister in Philadelphia, served as professor of German at the University of Pennsylvania, and was a member of the American Philosophical Society.

13 June 1801

Joseph Willard to John Adams inviting him to attend commencement. Willard was president of Harvard University.

22 June 1801

John Sinclair to John Adams.

[16 Dec. 1802]

Abigail Adams letter to a committee regarding tests for vaccinations of smallpox. Undated but probably written after Edward Jenner's discovery of the smallpox vaccination and application in England, 1788.

17 July 1809

Elias Boudinot to John Adams requesting an appointment. Boudinot was a Revolutionary statesman and a member of the Continental Congress.

19 Jan. 1811

George W. Erving to John Adams acknowledging a package to be carried. Erving was an American diplomat during the Jefferson and Madison administrations.

16 Aug. 1811

Benjamin Stoddert to John Adams regarding a call. Stoddert was the first secretary of the Navy.

[post 1814]

[Winthrop] Sargent to John Adams returning the Connecticut pamphlet. Sargent was secretary of the Territory Northwest of Ohio and was appointed by Adams in 1798 as the first governor of the Mississippi Territory.

12 Oct. 1816

James Madison to John Adams regarding Dr. Freeman and his appreciation of Adams's opinion of the Madison administration.

5 Dec. 1816

Abigail Adams to Benjamin Rush introducing Mr. Coleman.

[ante 4 Apr. 1818]

[Nathaniel] Bowditch to John Adams accompanying a pamphlet. Bowditch was a noted astronomer and mathematician.

10 Apr. 1819

Jonas Platt to Alexander Johnson regarding admission to the bar. Jonas Platt was a member of Congress from New York.

18 Dec. 1819

Jacob Brown to John Adams regarding the writings of Josiah Quincy.

28 July 1821

John Adams to Thomas Dawes recalling Adams's education. Thomas Dawes was a judge in Massachusetts.

24 Aug. 1821

John T. Kirkland to John Adams regarding attendance at Harvard commencement. Kirkland was president of Harvard University.

12 Jan. 1822

Edward Everett to John Adams regarding Everett's lectures.

18 July 1822

Mrs. Derby to John Adams accompanying a journal of Mr. Forster Coffin.

June 1825

Samuel L. Southard to John Quincy Adams introducing Mr. Harvey Lindsley. Southard served as a senator, secretary of the Navy, and governor of New Jersey.

6 Sep. 1825

Marquis de Lafayette to Mary Catherine Hellen (Adams) relating to his departure.

8 Nov. 1842

John Quincy Adams to Mrs. Griswold enclosing a poem.

26 Dec. 1846

Louisa C. Adams to Mary Louisa Adams regarding John Quincy Adams's health, with a John Quincy Adams franked signature on an envelope.

29 Oct. 1856

James Buchanan to Mary C. Adams thanking her for her support in the presidential election.

Undated

Abigail Adams to her sister regarding Mrs. Welch.

Undated

Mde. La Mise de Brehan to John Adams declining an invitation due to her health.

Undated

Josiah Quincy to John Adams regarding a celebration at Quincy, July 5. Josiah Quincy III was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, mayor of Boston, and president of Harvard University.

Undated

John Quincy Adams envelopes, all addressed by him and bearing his signature. Two are addressed to his father, John Adams, and the other to Miss Mary Louise Adams.

Undated

Vedro. Unidentified note in Spanish addressed to Colonel stating that a captain in a port has been consulted about a problem. At the end of the letter, Vedro says something about an "embassy held by the enemy."

Preferred Citation

Adams-Hull collection, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.

Persons:

Adams family.
Adams, Abigail, 1744-1818.
Adams, John, 1735-1826.
Adams, John Quincy, 1767-1848.
Adams, Louisa Catherine, 1775-1852.
Boudinot, Elias, 1740-1821.
Jeffries, John, 1745-1819.
Jones, John Paul, 1747-1792.
Knox, Henry, 1750-1806.
Lincoln, Benjamin, 1733-1810.
Madison, James, 1751-1836.
Morris, Robert, 1734-1806.
Sherman, Roger, 1721-1793.
Washington, George, 1732-1799.

Subjects:

United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783.
United States--Politics and government--1775-1783.
United States--Politics and government--1783-1865.