. Mary Catherine Hellen, LCA’s niece who lived with the Adams family, was the object
of affection of all three of the Adams boys. She had become engaged to GWA in 1823,
but when JA2 returned home after having been expelled from Harvard, she transferred
her interest to him. Early in 1824 the observant and tolerant LCA noticed that Mary
was “playing a game which no one ever comprehend[s] but the initiated,”
meaning probably that her niece was flirting with CFA. See LCA to GWA, 7 Dec. 1823,
and 1 Jan. 1824, Adams Papers
; entries for 19
May, below; Bemis, JQA
, 2:116, 118.
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, 2018.