A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
close

Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 1


Guide to Editorial Apparatus
Guide to Editorial Apparatus

Guide to Editorial Apparatus

Guide to Editorial Apparatus

Textual Devices

The following devices will be used throughout The Adams Papers to clarify the presentation of the text.
[. . .], [. . . .]   One or two words missing and not conjecturable.  
[. . .]1, [. . . .]1   More than two words missing and not conjecturable; subjoined footnote estimates amount of missing matter.  
[ ]   Number or part of a number missing or illegible. Amount of blank space inside brackets approximates the number of missing or illegible digits.  
[roman]   Editorial insertion or conjectural reading for missing or illegible matter. A question mark is inserted before the closing bracket if the conjectural reading is seriously doubtful.  
<italic>   Matter canceled in the manuscript but restored in our text.  

Adams Family Code Names

In dealing with an assemblage of papers extending over several generations and written by so many members of a family who often bore the same or similar names, the editors have been obliged to devise short but unmistakable forms for the names of the persons principally concerned. They could not be forever adding dates and epithets to distinguish between the two or more Abigails, Charles Francises, Johns, John Quincys, and Louisa Catherines in the family. The following table lists the short forms that will be used in the annotation throughout The Adams Papers , together with their full equivalents and identifying dates. It includes the principal writing members of the “Presidential line” of the Adamses and certain others in that line (and their husbands and wives) who either appear frequently in the family story or have been important in the history of the family papers. Users should bear in mind that this table is highly selective, and in no sense is a complete genealogical table for each generation.
First Generation    
JA   John Adams (1735–1826)  
AA   Abigail Smith (1744–1818), m. JA 1764  
Second Generation    
JQA   John Quincy Adams (1767–1848), son of JA and AA  
LCA   Louisa Catherine Johnson (1775–1852), m. JQA 1797  
{ 41 }
CA   Charles Adams (1770–1800), son of JA and AA  
Mrs. CA   Sarah Smith (1769–1828), sister of WSS , m. CA 1795  
TBA   Thomas Boylston Adams (1772–1832), son of JA and AA  
Mrs. TBA   Ann Harrod (1774–1846), m. TBA 1805  
AA2   Abigail Adams (1765–1813), daughter of JA and AA , m. WSS 1786  
WSS   William Stephens Smith (1755–1816), brother of Mrs. CA  
Third Generation    
GWA   George Washington Adams (1801–1829), son of JQA and LCA  
JA2   John Adams (1803–1834), son of JQA and LCA  
Mrs. JA2   Mary Catherine Hellen (1807–1870), m. JA2 1828  
CFA   Charles Francis Adams (1807–1886), son of JQA and LCA  
ABA   Abigail Brown Brooks (1808–1889), m. CFA 1829  
ECA   Elizabeth Coombs Adams (1808–1903), daughter of TBA and Mrs. TBA  
Fourth Generation    
JQA2   John Quincy Adams (1833–1894), son of CFA and ABA  
CFA2   Charles Francis Adams (1835–1915), son of CFA and ABA  
HA   Henry Adams (1838–1918), son of CFA and ABA  
MHA   Marian Hooper (1842–1885), m. HA 1872  
BA   Brooks Adams (1848–1927), son of CFA and ABA  
LCA2   Louisa Catherine Adams (1831–1870), daughter of CFA and ABA , m. Charles Kuhn 1854  
MA   Mary Adams (1845–1928), daughter of CFA and ABA , m. Henry Parker Quincy 1877  
Fifth Generation    
CFA3   Charles Francis Adams (1866–1954), son of JQA2  
HA2   Henry Adams (1875–1951), son of CFA2  
JA3   John Adams (1875–1964), son of CFA2  

Descriptive Symbols

The following symbols will be employed throughout The Adams Papers to describe or identify in brief form the various kinds of manuscript originals.
D   Diary (Used only to designate a diary written by a member of the Adams family and always in combination with the short form of the writer's name and a serial number, as follows: D/JA/23, i.e. the twenty-third fascicle or volume of John Adams' manuscript Diary.)  
Dft   draft  
Dupl   duplicate  
FC   file copy (Ordinarily a copy of a letter retained by a correspondent other than an Adams, for example Jefferson's press copies and polygraph copies, since all three of the Adams statesmen systematically entered copies of their outgoing letters in letterbooks.) { 42 }  
Lb   Letterbook (Used only to designate Adams letterbooks and always in combination with the short form of the writer's name and a serial number, as follows: Lb/JQA/29, i.e. the twenty-ninth volume of John Quincy Adams' Letterbooks.)  
LbC   letterbook copy (Letterbook copies are normally unsigned, but any such copy is assumed to be in the hand of the person responsible for the text unless it is otherwise described.)  
M   Miscellany (Used only to designate materials in the section of the Adams Papers known as the “Miscellany” and always in combination with the short form of the writer's name and a serial number, as follows: M/CFA/32, i.e. the thirty-second volume of the Charles Francis Adams Miscellany—a ledger volume mainly containing transcripts made by CFA in 1833 of selections from the family papers.)  
MS, MSS   manuscript, manuscripts  
RC   recipient's copy (A recipient's copy is assumed to be in the hand of the signer unless it is otherwise described.)  
Tr   transcript (A copy, handwritten or typewritten, made substantially later than the original or than other copies—such as duplicates, file copies, letterbook copies—that were made contemporaneously.)  
Tripl   triplicate  

Location Symbols

The originals of most of the letters and other manuscript documents printed, quoted, and cited in this edition are in the Adams Papers in the Massachusetts Historical Society. But the originals of the Adamses' outgoing letters and dispatches, and of many other papers by them, are preserved in numerous public and private archives and collections in this country and elsewhere. Locations of privately owned documents are given in expanded or at least completely recognizable form. Locations of documents held by public institutions abroad are indicated by abbreviations generally familiar to scholars; in the United States by the short, logical, and unmistakable institutional symbols used in the National Union Catalog in the Library of Congress, of which a published listing is available and which do not vary significantly from the library location symbols in the familiar Union List of Serials.
The following list gives the symbols and their expanded equivalents for institutions owning originals drawn upon in the present volumes. A similar listing, appropriate to the volumes concerned, will appear in the Guide to Editorial Apparatus prefixed to succeeding volumes of the Papers of John Adams.
BM   The British Museum, London  
CSmH   Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery  
DLC   Library of Congress  
ICN   Newberry Library, Chicago  
M-Ar   Massachusetts Archives  
MB   Boston Public Library  
{ 43 }
MBAt   Boston Athenaeum  
MH   Harvard College Library  
MHi   Massachusetts Historical Society  
MQA   Adams National Historic Site, Quincy, Massachusetts  
MeHi   Maine Historical Society  
MiU-C   William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan  
NN   New York Public Library  
NNC   Columbia University  
NNPM   Pierpont Morgan Library  
NhHi   New Hampshire Historical Society  
NhPoA   Portsmouth Atheneum  
PHi   Historical Society of Pennsylvania  
PPAmP   American Philosophical Society  
P.R.O.   Public Record Office, London  

Other Abbreviations and Conventional Terms


  • Adams Papers
  • Manuscripts and other materials, 1639–1889, in the Adams Manuscript Trust collection given to the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1956 and enlarged by a few additions of family papers since then. Citations in the present edition are simply by date of the original document if the original is in the main chronological series of the Papers and therefore readily found in the microfilm edition of the Adams Papers (see below). The location of materials in the Letterbooks and the Miscellany is given more fully, and often, if the original would be hard to locate, by the microfilm reel number.

  • Adams Papers, Adams Office Files
  • The portion of the Adams manuscripts given to the Massachusetts Historical Society by Thomas Boylston Adams in 1973 and retained in the editorial office of the Adams Papers.

  • Adams Papers Editorial Files
  • Other materials in the Adams Papers editorial office, Massachusetts Historical Society. These include photoduplicated documents (normally cited by the location of the originals), photographs, correspondence, and bibliographical and other aids compiled and accumulated by the editorial staff.

  • Adams Papers, Fourth Generation
  • Adams manuscripts dating 1890 or later, now separated from the Trust collection and administered by the Massachusetts Historical Society on the same footing with its other manuscript collections.

  • Adams Papers, Microfilms
  • The corpus of the Adams Papers, 1639–1889, as published on microfilm by the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1954–1959, in 608 reels. Cited in the present work, when necessary, by reel number. Available in research libraries throughout the United States and in a few libraries in Europe.

  • The Adams Papers
  • The present edition in letterpress, published by The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. References between volumes of any given unit will take this form: vol. 3:171. Since there will be no overall volume numbering for the edition, references from one series, or unit of a series, to another will be by title, volume, and page; for example, JQA , Papers, 4:205. (For the same reason, references by scholars citing this edition should not be to The Adams Papers as a whole but to the particular series or subseries concerned; for example, John Adams, Diary and Autobiography , 3:145; Adams Family Correspondence , 6:167.)

  • Braintree Town Records, 1731–1783
  • Braintree Town Records, 1731–1783, Town Hall, Braintree, Mass.

Short Titles of Works Frequently Cited


  • Samuel Adams, Writings
  • The Writings of Samuel Adams, ed. Harry Alonzo Cushing, New York and London, 1904–1908; 4 vols.

  • T. R. Adams, American Independence
  • Thomas R. Adams, American Independence: The Growth of an Idea. A Bibliographical Study of the American Political Pamphlets Printed Between 1764 and 1776 . . . , Providence, R.I., 1965.

  • Adams Family Correspondence
  • Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1963– .

  • Allibone, Dict. of Authors
  • Samuel Austin Allibone, A Critical Dictionary of English Literature, and British and American Authors, Living and Deceased, from the Earliest Accounts to the Middle of the Nineteenth Century. . . , Philadelphia, 1858–1871; 3 vols.

  • Amer. Philos. Soc., Trans.
  • American Philosophical Society, Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, Held at Philadelphia, for Promoting Useful Knowledge.

  • Bailyn, ed., Pamphlets
  • Bernard Bailyn, ed., Pamphlets of the American Revolution, 1750–1776, Cambridge, 1965– .

  • Bailyn, Thomas Hutchinson
  • Bernard Bailyn, The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson, Cambridge, 1974.

  • Berkin, Jonathan Sewall
  • Carol Berkin, Jonathan Sewall: Odyssey of an American Loyalist, New York and London, 1974.

  • Biddle, Old Family Letters
  • Old Family Letters: Copied from the Originals for Alexander Biddle, Series A, Philadelphia, 1892.

  • BM, Catalogue
  • The British Museum Catalogue of Printed Books, 1881–1900, Ann Arbor, 1946; 58 vols. Supplement, 1900–1905, Ann Arbor, 1950; 10 vols.

  • Boston Record Commissioners, Reports
  • City of Boston, Record Commissioners, Reports, Boston, 1876–1909; 39 vols.

  • Braintree Town Records
  • Samuel A. Bates, ed., Records of the Town of Braintree, 1640 to 1793, Randolph, Mass., 1886.

  • Brown, Revolutionary Politics
  • Richard D. Brown, Revolutionary Politics in Massachusetts: The Boston Committee of Correspondence and the Towns, 1772–1774, Cambridge, 1970.

  • Burnett, ed., Letters of Members
  • Edmund C. Burnett, ed., Letters of Members of the Continental Congress, Washington, 1921–1936; 8 vols.

  • Catalogue of JA's Library
  • Catalogue of the John Adams Library in the Public Library of the City of Boston, Boston, 1917.

  • Century Cyclo. of Names
  • Benjamin E. Smith, ed., The Century Cyclopedia of Names, New York, 1894.

  • CFA2, Three Episodes
  • Charles Francis Adams, Three Episodes of Massachusetts History: The Settlement of Boston Bay; The Antinomian Controversy; A Study of Church and Town Government, Boston and New York, 1892; 2 vols.

  • Col. Soc. Mass., Pubns.
  • Colonial Society of Massachusetts, Publications.

  • Conn. Hist. Soc., Bull.
  • Connecticut Historical Society, Bulletin.

  • DAB
  • Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, New York, 1928–1936; 20 vols. plus index and supplements.

  • DAH
  • James Truslow Adams and R. V. Coleman, eds., Dictionary of American History, New York, 1940; 5 vols. and index.

  • Deane Papers
  • Papers of Silas Deane, 1774–1790, in New-York Historical Society, Collections, Publication Fund Series, vols. 19–23, New York, 1887–1891; 5 vols.

  • DNB
  • Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee, eds., The Dictionary of National Biography, New York and London, 1885–1900; 63 vols. plus supplements.

  • Docs. of Amer. Rev.
  • K. G. Davies, ed., Documents of the American Revolution, 1770–1783, Shannon and Dublin, 1972– .

  • Essex Inst., Hist. Colls.
  • Essex Institute Historical Collections.

  • Evans
  • Charles Evans and others, comps., American Bibliography: A Chronological Dictionary of All Books, Pamphlets and Periodical Publications Printed in the United States of America [1639–1800], Chicago and Worcester, 1903–1959; 14 vols.

  • Force, Archives
  • [Peter Force, ed.,] American Archives: Consisting of a Collection of Authentick Records, State Papers, Debates, and Letters and Other Notices of Publick Affairs, Washington, 1837–1853; 9 vols.

  • Franklin, Papers
  • The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, ed. Leonard W. Labaree, William B. Willcox (from vol. 15), and others, New Haven, 1959– .

  • Gage, Corr.
  • The Correspondence of General Thomas Gage with the Secretaries of State, 1763–1775, ed. Clarence E. Carter, New Haven, 1931–1933; 2 vols.

  • Gipson, Empire before the Revolution
  • Lawrence Henry Gipson, The British Empire before the American Revolution, Caldwell, Idaho and New York, 1936–1970; 15 vols.

  • HA, Education
  • Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams: An Autobiography, Boston, The Massachusetts Historical Society, 1918.

  • Hoefer, Nouv. biog. Générale
  • J. C. F. Hoefer, ed., Nouvelle biographie générale depuis les temps les plus reculés jusqu'à nos jours, Paris, 1852–1866; 46 vols.

  • Hutchinson, Massachusetts Bay, ed. Mayo
  • Thomas Hutchinson, The History of the Colony and Province of Massachusetts-Bay, ed. Lawrence Shaw Mayo, Cambridge, 1936; 3 vols.

  • JA, Diary and Autobiography
  • Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols.

  • JA, Earliest Diary
  • The Earliest Diary of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1966.

  • JA, Legal Papers
  • Legal Papers of John Adams, ed. L. Kinvin Wroth and Hiller B. Zobel, Cambridge, 1965; 3 vols.

  • JA, Papers
  • Papers of John Adams, ed. Robert J. Taylor and others, Cambridge, 1977– .

  • JA, Works
  • The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: with a Life of the Author, ed. Charles Francis Adams, Boston, 1850–1856; 10 vols.

  • JAH
  • Journal of American History.

  • JCC
  • Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols.

  • Jefferson, Papers
  • The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Julian P. Boyd and others, Princeton, 1950– .

  • Jones, Loyalists of Mass.
  • E. Alfred Jones, The Loyalists of Massachusetts: Their Memorials, Petitions and Claims, London, 1930.

  • LC, Catalog
  • A Catalog of Books Represented by Library of Congress Printed Cards, Ann Arbor, 1942–1946; 167 vols. Supplement, Ann Arbor, 1948; 42 vols.

  • Mass., Acts and Laws
  • Acts and Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts [1780–1805], Boston, 1890–1898; 13 vols.

  • Mass., House Jour.
  • Journals of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts [1715– ], Boston, reprinted by the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1919– . (For the years for which reprints are not yet available, the original printings are cited, by year and session.)

  • Mass., Province Laws
  • The Acts and Resolves, Public and Private, of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, Boston, 1869–1922; 21 vols.

  • Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours.
  • William Lincoln, ed., The Journals of Each Provincial Congress of Massachusetts in 1774 and 1775, and of the Committee of Safety, Boston, 1838.

  • Mass., Speeches of the Governors, &c., 1765–1775
  • [Alden Bradford, ed.] Speeches of the Governors of Massachusetts, from 1765–1775. . . , Boston, 1818.

  • Massachusetts Gazette
  • Massachusetts Gazette: and the Boston Weekly News-Letter.

  • Md. Hist. Mag.
  • Maryland Historical Magazine.

  • MHS, Colls., Procs.
  • Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections and Proceedings.

  • Morgan, Prologue to Revolution
  • Edmund S. Morgan, ed., Prologue to Revolution: Sources and Documents on the Stamp Act Crisis, 1764–1766, Chapel Hill, 1959.

  • Morgan, Stamp Act
  • Edmund S. Morgan and Helen M. Morgan, The Stamp Act Crisis, Chapel Hill, 1953.

  • NEHGR
  • New England Historical and Genealogical Register.

  • NEQ
  • New England Quarterly.

  • Niles, Principles and Acts
  • Hezekiah Niles, Principles and Acts of the Revolution in America, Baltimore, 1822.

  • OED
  • The Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford, 1933; 12 vols. and supplement.

  • Parliamentary Hist.
  • The Parliamentary History of England, from the Earliest Period to the Year 1803, London: Hansard, 1806–1820; 36 vols.

  • Pattee, Old Braintree and Quincy
  • William S. Pattee, A History of Old Braintree and Quincy, with a Sketch of Randolph and Holbrook, Quincy, 1878.

  • PMHB
  • Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography.

  • Quincy, Reports
  • Josiah Quincy Jr., Reports of Cases Argued and Adjudged in the Superior Court of Judicature of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, between 1761 and 1772, ed. Samuel M. Quincy, Boston, 1865.

  • Sabin
  • Joseph Sabin and others, comps., A Dictionary of Books Relating to America, from Its Discovery to the Present Time, New York, 1868–1936; 29 vols.

  • Sabine, Loyalists
  • Lorenzo Sabine, Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution, with an Historical Essay, Boston, 1864; 2 vols.

  • Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates
  • John Langdon Sibley and Clifford K. Shipton, Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Cambridge and Boston, 1873– .

  • Sprague, Annals Amer. Pulpit
  • William B. Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit; or Commemorative Notices of Distinguished American Clergymen of Various Denominations, New York, 1857–1869; 9 vols.

  • Stiles, Literary Diary
  • The Literary Diary of Ezra Stiles, D.D., LL.D., President of Yale College, ed. Franklin Bowditch Dexter, New York, 1901; 3 vols.

  • Thorpe, Federal and State Constitutions
  • Francis N. Thorpe, ed., The Federal and State Constitutions, Colonial Charters, and Other Organic Laws of the States, Territories and Colonies Now or Heretofore Forming the United States of America, Washington, 1909; 7 vols.

  • Warren-Adams Letters
  • Warren-Adams Letters: Being Chiefly a Correspondence among John Adams, Samuel Adams, and James Warren (Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections, vols. 72–73), Boston, 1917–1925; 2 vols.

  • Wells, Samuel Adams
  • William V. Wells, The Life and Public Services of Samuel Adams, Boston, 1865; 3 vols.

  • Whitmore, Mass. Civil List
  • William H. Whitmore, comp., The Massachusetts Civil List for the Colonial and Provincial Periods, 1630–1774, Albany, 1870.

  • WMQ
  • William and Mary Quarterly.