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

Box 1Folder 1
[24 July] 1775

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

Box 1Folder 2
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.

Box 1Folder 3
[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).

Box 1Folder 4
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.

Box 1Folder 5
28 Feb. 1780

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

Box 1Folder 6
9 Oct. 1780

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

Box 1Folder 7
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.

Box 1Folder 8
[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."

Box 1Folder 9
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).

Box 1Folder 10
2 Feb. 1783

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

Box 1Folder 11
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.

Box 1Folder 12
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.

Box 1Folder 13
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).

Box 1Folder 14
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.

Box 1Folder 15
13 Nov. 1783

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

Box 1Folder 16
30 Nov. 1783

Benjamin Lincoln to John Adams regarding Major Jackson.

Box 1Folder 17
[1784]

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

Box 1Folder 18
[1784]

Mrs. Bingham to Abigail Adams announcing a call.

Box 1Folder 19
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.

Box 1Folder 20
19 June 1784

Pierpont to John Adams requesting a loan while in England.

Box 1Folder 21
14 Mar. 1785

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

Box 1Folder 22
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.

Box 1Folder 23
10 May 1785

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

Box 1Folder 24
21 Aug. 1785

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

Box 1Folder 25
[Oct. 1785]

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

Box 1Folder 26
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.

Box 1Folder 27
11 Feb. 1786

[Lucy] Paradise to Abigail Adams acknowledging a present.

Box 1Folder 28
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.

Box 1Folder 29
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.

Box 1Folder 30
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.

Box 1Folder 31
7 Apr. 1788

Thomas Brand Hollis to Abigail Adams regarding her departure.

Box 1Folder 32
[May 1788]

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

Box 1Folder 33
[1789]

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

Box 1Folder 34
[1789]

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

Box 1Folder 35
[1789-1790]

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

Box 1Folder 36
[1789-1797]

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

Box 1Folder 37
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.

Box 1Folder 38
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.

Box 1Folder 39
3 Aug. 1789

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

Box 1Folder 40
15 Aug. [1789]

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

Box 1Folder 41
15 Aug. 1789

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

Box 1Folder 42
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."

Box 1Folder 43
21 Aug. [1789]

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

Box 1Folder 44
21 Aug. [1789]

[Roger] Sherman to John Adams confirming an appointment.

Box 1Folder 45
21 Aug. 1789

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

Box 1Folder 46
1 Sep. [1789]

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

Box 1Folder 47
1 Sep. [1789]

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

Box 1Folder 48
1 Sep. 1789

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

Box 1Folder 49
1 Sep. 1789

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

Box 1Folder 50
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.

Box 1Folder 51
5 Sep. 1789

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

Box 1Folder 52
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.

Box 1Folder 53
1 Oct. 1789

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

Box 1Folder 54
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.

Box 1Folder 55
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.

Box 1Folder 56
9 Jan. 1790

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

Box 1Folder 57
[Mar. 1790]

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

Box 1Folder 58
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.

Box 1Folder 59
23 June [1790]

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

Box 1Folder 60
12 Dec. [1790]

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

Box 1Folder 61
1 Feb. [1791]

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

Box 1Folder 62
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.

Box 1Folder 63
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).

Box 1Folder 64
5 Feb. 1794

Joseph Priestly to John Adams introducing Henry Waney.

Box 1Folder 65
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.

Box 1Folder 66
12 Nov. 1795

Henry Knox to John Adams introducing Captain Roberts.

Box 1Folder 67
17 Aug. 1797

John Briesler to Abigail Adams regarding yellow fever in Philadelphia.

Box 1Folder 68
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.

Box 1Folder 69
29 Sep. 1798

James Sullivan to John Adams apologizing for the intrusion.

Box 1Folder 70
3 Nov. [1798]

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

Box 1Folder 71
3 Dec. 1798

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

Box 1Folder 72
[1800]

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

Box 1Folder 73
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.

Box 1Folder 74
13 June 1801

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

Box 1Folder 75
22 June 1801

John Sinclair to John Adams.

Box 1Folder 76
[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.

Box 1Folder 77
17 July 1809

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

Box 1Folder 78
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.

Box 1Folder 79
16 Aug. 1811

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

Box 1Folder 80
[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.

Box 1Folder 81
12 Oct. 1816

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

Box 1Folder 82
5 Dec. 1816

Abigail Adams to Benjamin Rush introducing Mr. Coleman.

Box 1Folder 83
[ante 4 Apr. 1818]

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

Box 1Folder 84
10 Apr. 1819

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

Box 1Folder 85
18 Dec. 1819

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

Box 1Folder 86
28 July 1821

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

Box 1Folder 87
24 Aug. 1821

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

Box 1Folder 88
12 Jan. 1822

Edward Everett to John Adams regarding Everett's lectures.

Box 1Folder 89
18 July 1822

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

Box 1Folder 90
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.

Box 1Folder 91
6 Sep. 1825

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

Box 1Folder 92
8 Nov. 1842

John Quincy Adams to Mrs. Griswold enclosing a poem.

Box 1Folder 93
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.

Box 1Folder 94
29 Oct. 1856

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

Box 1Folder 95
Undated

Abigail Adams to her sister regarding Mrs. Welch.

Box 1Folder 96
Undated

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

Box 1Folder 97
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.

Box 1Folder 98
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.

Box 1Folder 99
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.
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