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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]   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.  
[italic]   Editorial insertion in the text.  

2. 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, being a mere epitome of the Adams Genealogy accompanying the Adams Family Correspondence (see p. lvii, below).
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  
{ lv }
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  

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 letter-books.)  
{ lvi }
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 to be 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, not to mention papers pertaining to them, are preserved in numerous public and private archives and collections in this country and elsewhere. Locations of documents privately owned and of documents in public institutions outside the United States are to be given in expanded or at least completely recognizable form. Locations of documents held by public institutions in the United States are to be indicated 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. (For a brief explanation of how these symbols are formed, see the headnote to the list of Location Symbols in The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Julian P. Boyd and others, Princeton, 1950– , 1:xl.)
The following list gives the symbols and their expanded equivalents for institutions in the United States owning originals drawn upon in the present volume. A similar listing, appropriate to the volume concerned, will appear in the Guide to Editorial Apparatus prefixed to each succeeding volume of the Adams Family Correspondence.
{ lvii }
CCamarSJ   St. John's Seminary, Camarillo, California  
CSmH   Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery  
DLC   Library of Congress  
DNA   The National Archives  
DeU   University of Delaware  
M-Ar   Massachusetts Archives  
MB   Boston Public Library  
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  
NAlI   Albany Institute of History and Art  
NHi   New-York Historical Society  
NN   New York Public Library  
NNPM   Pierpont Morgan Library  
Nc-Ar   North Carolina Department of Archives and History  
NhHi   New Hampshire Historical Society  
NjP   Princeton University Library  
PHC   Haverford College Library  
PHi   Historical Society of Pennsylvania  

Other Abbreviations and Conventional Terms


  • Adams Genealogy
  • A set of genealogical charts and a concise biographical register of the Adams family in the Presidential line and of closely connected families from the 17th through the 19th century. The Adams Genealogy is now (1963) in preparation and will shortly be issued in preliminary form to accompany the Adams Family Correspondence. An enlarged and corrected version of this editorial aid will, it is hoped, be published with, or as part of, the last volume of the present series.

  • 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 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. { lviii }

  • 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 over-all 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.)

  • PCC
  • Papers of the Continental Congress. Originals in the National Archives; microfilm edition, completed in 1961, in 204 reels. Usually cited in the present work from the microfilms, but according to the original series and volume numbering devised in the State Department in the early 19th century; for example, PCC, No. 93, III, i.e. the third volume of series 93.

  • P.R.O.
  • Public Record Office, London.

  • Quincy, First Church, MS Records
  • First Church of Quincy, Mass., MS Records, 1639–1854; transcript in possession of William C. Edwards, city historian; negative microfilm, 1 reel, in the Massachusetts Historical Society.

  • Suffolk County Court House, Early Court Files, &c.
  • Early Court Files and Miscellaneous Papers in the Office of the Clerk of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Suffolk County, Suffolk County Court House, Boston.

  • Superior Court of Judicature, Minute Books, Records
  • Massachusetts Superior Court of Judicature, Minute Books and Records in the Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court, Suffolk County, Suffolk County Court House, Boston.

  • Thwing Catalogue, MHi
  • Annie Haven Thwing, comp., Inhabitants and Estates of the Town of Boston, 1630–1800; typed card catalogue, with supplementary bound typescripts, in the Massachusetts Historical Society.
{ lix }

Short Titles of Works Frequently Cited


  • AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1840
  • Letters of Mrs. Adams, the Wife of John Adams. With an Introductory Memoir by Her Grandson, Charles Francis Adams, Boston, 1840.

  • AA2, Jour. and Corr.
  • Journal and Correspondence of Miss Adams, Daughter of John Adams,... edited by Her Daughter [Caroline Amelia (Smith) de Windt], New York and London, 1841–1842; 2 vols.

  • T. R. Adams, “American Independence”
  • Thomas R. Adams, “American Independence: The Growth of an Idea. A Bibliographical Study of the American Political Pamphlets Published between 1764 and 1776...,” Colonial Society of Massachusetts, Publications, vol. 43 (in press, 1963).

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

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

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

  • Biog. Dir. Cong.
  • Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774–1949,, Washington, 1950.

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

  • BN, Catalogue
  • Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris), Catalogue Générale des Livres Imprimés de la Bibliothèque Nationale: Auteurs, Paris, 1897– .

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Chamberlain, Beacon Hill
  • Allen Chamberlain, Beacon Hill: Its Ancient Pastures and Early Mansions, Boston and New York, 1925. { lx }

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

  • Cresson, Francis Dana
  • William P. Cresson, Francis Dana: A Puritan Diplomat at the Court of Catherine the Great, New York, 1930.

  • Currier, “Ould Newbury”
  • John J. Currier, “Ould Newbury”: Historical and Biographical Sketches, Boston, 1896.

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

  • DAE
  • Sir William A. Craigie and James R. Hulbert, comps., A Dictionary of American English on Historical Principles, Chicago, 1938–1944; 4 vols.

  • Dexter, Yale Graduates
  • Franklin Bowditch Dexter, Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College, with Annals of the College History, New York, 1885–1912; 6 vols.

  • Dict. of Americanisms
  • Mitford M. Mathews, ed., A Dictionary of Americanisms on Historical Principles, Chicago, 1951.

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

  • 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.

  • Ford, Mass. Broadsides
  • [Worthington C. Ford, comp.,] Broadsides, Ballads &c. Printed in Massachusetts, 1639–1800 (Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections, vol. 75), Boston, 1922.

  • Franklin, Papers, ed. Labaree
  • The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, ed. Leonard W. Labaree and others, New Haven, 1959– .

  • French, First Year
  • Allen French, The First Year of the American Revolution, Boston, 1934.

  • 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. { lxi }

  • Greenleaf, Greenleaf Family
  • James E. Greenleaf, Genealogy of the Greenleaf Family, Boston, 1896.

  • Harvard Quinquennial Cat.
  • Harvard University, Quinquennial Catalogue of the Officers and Graduates, 1636–1930, Cambridge, 1930.

  • Heitman, Register Continental Army
  • Francis B. Heitman, comp., Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army during the War of the Revolution, new edn., Washington, 1914.

  • 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, Legal Papers
  • Legal Papers of John Adams, ed. L. Kinvin Wroth and Hiller B. Zobel (in preparation as a part of The Belknap Press edition of The Adams Papers under a grant from The William Nelson Cromwell Foundation to the Harvard Law School).

  • JA, Letters, ed. CFA
  • Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife, ed. Charles Francis Adams, Boston, 1841; 2 vols.

  • 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.

  • JA–AA, Familiar Letters
  • Familiar Letters of John Adams and His Wife Abigail Adams, during the Revolution. With a Memoir of Mrs. Adams, ed. Charles Francis Adams, New York, 1876.

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

  • Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd
  • 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.

  • Loring, Hundred Boston Orators
  • James S. Loring, The Hundred Boston Orators Appointed by the Municipal Authorities and Other Public Bodies, from 1770 to 1852..., 4th edn., Boston and Cleveland, 1855.

  • 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.) { lxii }

  • 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. Soldiers and Sailors
  • Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War, Boston, 1896–1908; 17 vols.

  • Mayo, Winthrop Family
  • Lawrence Shaw Mayo, The Winthrop Family in America, Boston, 1948.

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

  • Morison, Three Centuries of Harvard
  • Samuel Eliot Morison, Three Centuries of Harvard, 1636–1936, Cambridge, 1936.

  • NEHGR
  • New England Historical and Genealogical Register.

  • NEQ
  • New England Quarterly.

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

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

  • Penna. Archives
  • Pennsylvania Archives. Selected and Arranged from Original Documents in the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1935; 119 vols. in 123.

  • PMHB
  • Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography.

  • Quincy, History of Harvard Univ.
  • Josiah Quincy, The History of Harvard University, 2d edn., Boston, 1860; 2 vols.

  • 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.

  • Josiah Quincy, Josiah Quincy, Jr.
  • Josiah Quincy, Memoir of Josiah Quincy, Junior, of Massachusetts: 1744–1775, 2d edn., ed. Eliza Susan Quincy, Boston, 1874.

  • Rowe, Letters and Diary
  • Letters and Diary of John Rowe, Boston Merchant, 1759–1762, 1764–1779, ed. Anne Rowe Cunningham, Boston, 1903.

  • Benjamin Rush, Letters
  • Letters of Benjamin Rush, ed. L. H. Butterfield, Princeton, 1951; 2 vols. { lxiii }

  • 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.

  • Salisbury, Family-Memorials
  • Edward E. Salisbury, Family-Memorials: A Series of Genealogical and Biographical Monographs, New Haven, 1885; 2 vols. and 1 portfolio.

  • 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– .

  • Sowerby, Catalogue of Jefferson's Library
  • E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, Washington, 1952–1959; 5 vols.

  • 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.

  • Stark, Loyalists of Mass.
  • James H. Stark, The Loyalists of Massachusetts and the Other Side of the American Revolution, Boston, 1910.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick
  • The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745–1799, ed. John C. Fitzpatrick, Washington, 1931–1944; 39 vols.

  • Weis, Colonial Clergy of N.E.
  • Frederick Lewis Weis, comp., The Colonial Clergy and the Colonial Churches of New England, Lancaster, Mass., 1936.

  • 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.

  • Wilson, Where Amer. Independence Began
  • Daniel Munro Wilson, Where American Independence Began: Quincy, Its Famous Group of Patriots; Their Deeds, Homes, and Descendants, 2d edn., Boston and New York, 1904.

  • Winsor, Memorial History of Boston
  • Justin Winsor, ed., The Memorial History of Boston, Including Suffolk County, 1630–1880, Boston, 1880–1881; 4 vols.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2017.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/