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My Dearest Friend: Letters of Abigail and John Adams

My Dearest Friend: Letters of Abigail and John Adams

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In 1762, John Adams penned a flirtatious note to "Miss Adorable," the 17-year-old Abigail Smith. In 1801, Abigail wrote to wish her husband John a safe journey as he headed home to Quincy after serving as president of the nation he helped create. The letters that span these nearly forty years form the most significant correspondence—and reveal one of the most intriguing and inspiring partnerships—in American history.

As a pivotal player in the American Revolution and the early republic, John had a front-row seat at critical moments in the creation of the United States, from the drafting of the Declaration of Independence to negotiating peace with Great Britain to serving as the first vice president and second president under the U.S. Constitution. Separated more often than they were together during this founding era, John and Abigail shared their lives through letters that each addressed to "My Dearest Friend," debating ideas and commenting on current events while attending to the concerns of raising their children (including a future president).

Full of keen observations and articulate commentary on world events, these letters are also remarkably intimate. This new collection—including some letters never before published—invites readers to experience the founding of a nation and the partnership of two strong individuals, in their own words. This is history at its most authentic and most engaging.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674057050
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 11/15/2010
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 101,733
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Margaret A. Hogan is an independent scholar and former editor of the Adams Papers at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

C. James Taylor is former Editor in Chief of the Adams Papers at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Joseph J. Ellis


Note to the Reader and Acknowledgments

Courtship and Marriage

"Love Sweetens Life": October 1762-July 1774

"The Decisive Day Is Come": August 1774-December 1775


"We Are Determined to Foment a Rebelion": January-October 1776

"Kind Providence Has Preserved to Me a Life": January-November 1777

The Years Abroad

"I Cast My Thoughts Across the Atlantick": February 1778-April 1782

"A Signal Tryumph": July 1782-March 1788

A New Government

"The Most Insignificant Office": December 1788-January 1794

"This Whirligig of a World": February 1794-December 1795

The First Couple

"I Am Heir Apparent": January 1796-January 1797

"The Chief Majestracy of a Nation": February 1797-February 1801

Epilogue: The Death of Abigail



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