Adams Family Correspondence, volume 11


595 Chronology

late July–Nov.: A yellow fever outbreak in New York City causes some residents to flee and ultimately kills 700 people. AA2 and WSS stay on Long Island, returning to their home at 18 Courtlandt Street on 19 October. CA continues to work in the city throughout the epidemic.

3 Aug.: The Treaty of Greenville between the United States and several Native American tribes is signed, temporarily settling land disputes in the Northwest Territory.

14 Aug.: The United States ratifies the Jay Treaty.

19 Aug.: Edmund Randolph resigns as secretary of state amid allegations of improper communications with the French government. Timothy Pickering is later named to replace him.

22 Aug.: The French National Convention approves a new constitution establishing a five-person executive called the Directory, which assumes authority on 26 Oct. and remains in power until Napoleon Bonaparte’s coup of An. VIII, 18 brumaire (9 Nov. 1799).

29 Aug.: CA and SSA marry in New York City. In November they move to a house at 93 Front Street.

19 Oct.: JQA receives instructions to proceed to London by 20 Oct. to exchange ratifications of the Jay Treaty with Great Britain. The late arrival of the instructions and adverse weather prevent him from reaching London until 11 Nov., by which time the ratifications have already been exchanged. TBA acts as chargé d’affaires at The Hague in JQA’s absence.

29 Oct.: George III’s speech at the opening session of Parliament announces, among other items, the exchange of the ratifications of the Jay Treaty with the United States.


11 Nov.: JQA meets LCA and shortly thereafter begins courting her. They reach a formal understanding in late winter, and JQA announces their engagement to AA on 5 May 1796. Their marriage, however, is delayed until 26 July 1797.

30 Nov.: JA leaves Quincy for Philadelphia. He stops in New York City to visit AA2, CA, and their families, and arrives in Philadelphia on 8 December.

7 Dec.: The 1st session of the 4th Congress convenes in Philadelphia; it sits until 1 June 1796. On 9 Dec. the Senate opens its debates to the public for the first time.

8 Dec.: Elizabeth Smith Shaw marries Rev. Stephen Peabody and moves from Haverhill, Mass., to Atkinson, N.H.

9 Dec.: JQA has a private audience with George III; on 17 Dec. he is presented to Queen Charlotte at a drawing room.


early Jan.: Rumors begin circulating that George Washington intends to retire at the end of his current presidential term.

11 Jan.: William Greenleaf Cranch, first child of William and Anna Greenleaf Cranch, is born in the District of Columbia.

9 Feb.: CA arrives in Philadelphia carrying the 5 Sept. 1795 Treaty of Peace and Amity with Algiers. He spends a few days with JA before returning to New York.

1 March: TBA attends the opening ceremony of the National Assembly of the Batavian Republic, the body that replaces the States General.

2 March: The Senate advises and consents to the Treaty of Peace and Amity with Algiers. The next day, it advises and consents to the Treaty of San Lorenzo el Real with Spain.

4 March: The Senate confirms Oliver Ellsworth’s appointment as chief justice of the Supreme Court.

27 March: Napoleon Bonaparte assumes command of France’s Army of Italy.

Spring: Betsy Quincy Shaw comes to Quincy to stay with the Adamses, remaining until at least late May.

4 May: After protracted debate, Congress approves the necessary appropriations for implementation of the Jay Treaty, Pinckney’s Treaty, the Treaty of Greenville, and the Treaty of Peace and Amity with Algiers.

6 May: JA departs Philadelphia for Quincy, arriving on 14 May after visits in New York City with AA2, CA, and their families.


28 May: JQA departs London for The Hague, arriving on 31 May.

30 May: The Senate unanimously consents to JQA’s appointment as minister plenipotentiary to Portugal. JQA learns of the appointment on 6 Aug. but never serves.

June–Aug.: The British evacuate their western posts in the United States under the terms of the Jay Treaty.

8 Aug.: Susanna Boylston Adams, first child of CA and SSA, is born in New York City.

19 Sept.: George Washington publishes his Farewell Address, the first public statement of his impending retirement, in the Philadelphia American Daily Advertiser.

Oct.: WSS’s increasing financial difficulties force him to sell the property in New York City on which he had begun building a large estate. He and AA2 move to Eastchester, N.Y.

23 Nov.: JA leaves Quincy for Philadelphia. He arrives there on 2 Dec. following visits with AA2, CA, and their families.

5 Dec.: The 2d session of the 4th Congress opens in Philadelphia; it sits until 3 March 1797.

7 Dec.: State presidential electors formally cast their votes by this date. While the results are widely reported by mid-December, the sealed ballots are not officially opened and counted until Feb. 1797.


12 Jan.: Ann Adams, JA’s niece, marries Capt. Josiah Bass.

8 Feb.: JA reads the electoral votes in the Senate, declaring himself president of the United States and Thomas Jefferson vice president.