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
The collection is arranged chronologically.
Gift of Mrs. Catherine A. Hull, Dec. 2006.
Access to the originals is restricted. Users must use photocopies in the MHS
|[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
|9 Oct. 1780
DeMolans to John Adams discussing the raising of a regiment of Hussars. (In
|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.
[Gabriel de Mably] to "Monsieur le Comte [de Vergennes]", who was writing a
small work on the Constitution of the United States of America,
|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.
|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.
|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
|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.
Benjamin Vaughan to Mr. Wall requesting admission to Shelburne House for
Abigail Adams and her son and daughter. Vaughan practiced medicine in
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
|8 Apr. 1785
John Frederick Sackville, 3rd Duke of Dorset, to John Adams declining a
dinner invitation. Sackville was the English ambassador to France,
|10 May 1785
Marquis de Lafayette to John and Abigail Adams inviting them to dinner. On a
|21 Aug. 1785
Abigail Adams to Thomas Jefferson regarding William Loughton Smith about
European and American politics, and the departure of Benjamin Franklin.
[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.
Abigail Adams to Mrs. Byag recommending Ann Reynolds, a servant.
[Aedanus] Burke to John Adams declining an invitation to dinner.
[George] Clymer to John Adams declining an invitation to dinner. George
Clymer was a signer of the Declaration of Independence from Pennsylvania.
[Peter] Silvester to John Adams declining an invitation to dinner.
[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. 
[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. 
[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. 
[John] Hathorn to John Adams accepting an invitation to dinner.
|21 Aug. 
[Roger] Sherman to John Adams confirming an appointment.
|21 Aug. 1789
[James] Jackson to John Adams accepting an invitation to dinner.
|1 Sep. 
[Paine] Wingate to John Adams declining an invitation to dinner. Wingate was
a clergyman, legislator, and jurist from New Hampshire.
|1 Sep. 
[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. 
[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
|1 Oct. 1789
[Franco Petrus] Van Berckel to John Adams declining a dinner invitation.
|24 Nov. 
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
|9 Jan. 1790
[Hannah] Jeffries to Abigail Adams informing her that she is leaving the
Hannah Jeffries to Abigail Adams regarding a conveyance of letters to
|22 June 
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 
[Alexander] Hamilton to John Adams accepting an invitation to dinner with a
list of dinner guests attending.
|12 Dec. 
Extract from the minutes of Congress in Abigail Adams's hand.
|1 Feb. 
[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
|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. 
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.
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
|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.
[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.
Samuel L. Southard to John Quincy Adams introducing Mr. Harvey Lindsley.
Southard served as a senator, secretary of the Navy, and governor of New
|6 Sep. 1825
Marquis de Lafayette to Mary Catherine Hellen (Adams) relating to his
|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
Abigail Adams to her sister regarding Mrs. Welch.
Mde. La Mise de Brehan to John Adams declining an invitation due to her
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.
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
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."
Adams-Hull collection, Massachusetts Historical Society.