Papers of John Adams, Volumes 1 and 2: September 1755-April 1775

Papers of John Adams, Volumes 1 and 2: September 1755-April 1775

by John Adams
     
 

No family in three generations has contributed so much to American history as the Adamses. John, John Quincy, and Charles Francis, despite periods of doubt, knew that history, if not their contemporaries, would recognize their accomplishments. When the Adams Papers series is complete, the writings of these three statesmen will have been examined thoroughly.

Aside

Overview

No family in three generations has contributed so much to American history as the Adamses. John, John Quincy, and Charles Francis, despite periods of doubt, knew that history, if not their contemporaries, would recognize their accomplishments. When the Adams Papers series is complete, the writings of these three statesmen will have been examined thoroughly.

Aside from the Legal Papers of John Adams, published in 1965, these two volumes are the first in Series III: General Correspondence and Other Papers of the Adams Statesmen. Volumes 1 and 2 of the Papers of John Adams include letters to and from friends and colleagues, reports of committees on which he served, his polemical writings, published and unpublished, and state papers to which he made a contribution.

All of Adams' newspaper writings, including 'A Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law,' are in these two volumes. In addition to being a condemnation of the Stamp Act, the "Dissertation" is shown to be one of the building blocks of the theory of a commonwealth of independent states under the king, which reaches complete statement in the Novanglus letters. For the first time, all thirteen of these letters appear in full with annotation.

The period September 1755--April 1775 covers Adams' public service in Braintree and Boston town meetings, the Massachusetts House of Representatives, the First Continental Congress, and the First Provincial Congress of Massachusetts. During this time his political future was being shaped by circumstances not always of his choosing. He hesitated at first at the threshold of a public career, political ambition in conflict with concern for his family's well--being. But as the confrontation with Great Britain sharpened, the crisis became acute; no choice remained. For Adams there was no shirking the path of duty.

Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement

Taken together with the celebrated Diary and Autobiography, The Earliest Diary, the Adams Family Correspondence, and The Legal Papers of John Adams, they constitute as revealing and complete a documentation of the development, both personal and public, of a successful revolutionist as modern history affords...In [these letters] the writer bequeathed to posterity a means of sensing some of the excitement, the importance, the fears, the apprehensions of the decade in which 'the real American revolution' was taking place—in short, the flavor of the times.
— Carl Bridenbaugh

New England Quarterly

Two by two, emerge the volumes from the Adams family manuscripts reposing at the Massachusetts Historical Society. And with the publication of every pair we have reason for gratitude, pleasure, and even awe…Taylor, Lint, and Walker guide us through manuscripts from two of the most exciting years in John Adams' life and in the history of a struggling new nation. These volumes show what Adams himself contended, that his role at home and abroad during the Revolutionary era was more significant than was generally understood…As these newest volumes of John Adams papers show, no more important editorial and publishing undertaking exists than that of the Adams Papers. Anyone who has struggled through all the microfilm reels of unedited Adams Papers emerges knowing that these amazing manuscripts contain the broadest and most rewarding vantage point we have to view more than a century of American history.

— Paul C. Nagel

Historical New Hampshire

The great theme…is that of independence; all else is subordinate to it. The reader may trace here the evolution of John Adams' thought during this crucial year…His Plan of 'Treaties became a model in use down to World War II and his Thoughts on Government was designed to unite north and south on basic principles. No matter, it seems, was too small for his attention nor too large to attempt solution. A colossus indeed! The editing of this work is admirable in every way. The footnotes are exhaustive but never excessive or boring. The introductory essays are illuminating. This is an elegant and inspiring work.

— Robert C. Cilmore

Times Literary Supplement - Carl Bridenbaugh
Taken together with the celebrated Diary and Autobiography, The Earliest Diary, the Adams Family Correspondence, and The Legal Papers of John Adams, they constitute as revealing and complete a documentation of the development, both personal and public, of a successful revolutionist as modern history affords...In [these letters] the writer bequeathed to posterity a means of sensing some of the excitement, the importance, the fears, the apprehensions of the decade in which 'the real American revolution' was taking place--in short, the flavor of the times.
New England Quarterly - Paul C. Nagel
Two by two, emerge the volumes from the Adams family manuscripts reposing at the Massachusetts Historical Society. And with the publication of every pair we have reason for gratitude, pleasure, and even awe…Taylor, Lint, and Walker guide us through manuscripts from two of the most exciting years in John Adams' life and in the history of a struggling new nation. These volumes show what Adams himself contended, that his role at home and abroad during the Revolutionary era was more significant than was generally understood…As these newest volumes of John Adams papers show, no more important editorial and publishing undertaking exists than that of the Adams Papers. Anyone who has struggled through all the microfilm reels of unedited Adams Papers emerges knowing that these amazing manuscripts contain the broadest and most rewarding vantage point we have to view more than a century of American history.
Historical New Hampshire - Robert C. Cilmore
The great theme…is that of independence; all else is subordinate to it. The reader may trace here the evolution of John Adams' thought during this crucial year…His Plan of 'Treaties became a model in use down to World War II and his Thoughts on Government was designed to unite north and south on basic principles. No matter, it seems, was too small for his attention nor too large to attempt solution. A colossus indeed! The editing of this work is admirable in every way. The footnotes are exhaustive but never excessive or boring. The introductory essays are illuminating. This is an elegant and inspiring work.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674654419
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
10/28/2003
Series:
Adams Papers Series, #14
Pages:
888
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.75(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Gregg L. Lint is Series Editor of the Papers of John Adams at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

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