Abigail Adams Historical Society

Abigail Adams Historical Society The Society was founded in 1947 to save the Abigail Adams Birthplace and Homestead located in Weymouth, Massachusetts. Abigail Adams, the 2nd First Lady, wife of President John Adams, was a prolific letter writer.
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Abigail Adams Historical Society is dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and stewardship of Abigail Adams Birthplace, a national historic site, in Weymouth, Massachusetts. For more information, visiting hours, programming, and details on donation and volunteering, please visit our website at www.abigailadamsbirthplace.com

Abigail Adams Historical Society is dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and stewardship of Abigail Adams Birthplace, a national historic site, in Weymouth, Massachusetts. For more information, visiting hours, programming, and details on donation and volunteering, please visit our website at www.abigailadamsbirthplace.com

Operating as usual

07/04/2021

Happy Independence Day!

07/02/2021

"The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more." - John to Abigail Adams, just slightly wrong regarding the date of Independence Day Celebrations, on 3 July 1776

Image: John Adams by John Singleton Copley

Join our friends at the Royall House & Slave Quarters for this event.
06/29/2021

Join our friends at the Royall House & Slave Quarters for this event.

PLEASE NOTE: THIS EVENT IS POSTPONED TO FRIDAY, JULY 9 BECAUSE OF RAIN.

This Friday, July 2 -- NOW NEXT FRIDAY, JULY 9 -- at noon we'll join several local organizations in co-sponsoring the annual communal reading of Frederick Douglass's "The Meaning of the Fourth of July for the Negro" on Boston Common.

In his fiery July 5, 1852 speech, Douglass took exception to being asked to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, reminding his audience that "the rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me."

We are truly honored to have been invited to join the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice at Harvard Law School, Community Change Inc, Mass Humanities, the Museum of African American History, and ten other civic and community organizations in co-sponsoring this event, which will take place at the newly renovated Robert Gould Shaw and Massachusetts 54th Regiment Memorial, located across Beacon Street from the State House.

Visit masshumanities.org for the schedule of other readings across the Commonwealth.

Another First Lady in the news.
04/28/2021

Another First Lady in the news.

04/23/2021

Rain is predicted for Sunday afternoon, so why not join Board member Michelle Coughlin for her talk about the world of colonial women on Sunday, April 25th.

The Complex Worlds of Colonial New England Women
April 25 @ 3:00 pm

2020-2021 Lecture Series: Benjamin Lincoln’s World: Stories from Colonial Hingham to the Early Republic

The Complex Worlds of Colonial New England Women

How did women like Mary Cushing Lincoln do it? Historian and author Michelle Coughlin (“Penelope Winslow, Plymouth Colony First Lady: Re-imagining a Life”) will describe the challenges and constraints that colonial women faced & the important roles they played in their communities.

Michelle Marchetti Coughlin focuses much of her research as an historian on the recovery of information about early American women, who, she points out, continue to be underrepresented in the telling of America’s story. Michelle serves on the board of the Abigail Adams Birthplace, and is the author of One Colonial Woman’s World: The Life and Writings of Mehetabel Chandler Coit, and Penelope Winslow: Plymouth Colony First Lady: Re-Imagining a Life. She received her master’s degree in History from Tufts University.

Sunday, April 25th 3 PM via ZOOM
Ticket holders will receive the Zoom link by email on Sunday, 4/25 by 10 a.m. Please check your spam folder if you do not receive the email. Email [email protected] or call 781-749-7721 x1 if you have any additional questions.

Tickets
4/25: Complex Worlds of Colonial New England Women Lecture
$ 30.00Unlimited

Please join the Marshfield Historical Society on Sunday, March 21, 2021, 1:30 pm in commemorating Women's History Month ...
03/03/2021
One Colonial Woman's World

Please join the Marshfield Historical Society on Sunday, March 21, 2021, 1:30 pm in commemorating Women's History Month by exploring the lives of the region's early female residents with independent scholar Michelle Marchetti Coughlin, author of Penelope Winslow, Plymouth Colony First Lady: Re-Imagining a Life, and One Colonial Woman's World: The Life and Writings of Mehetabel Chandler Coit. Marshfield-resident Susannah White Winslow, widow of a Mayflower Pilgrim, wife of a Governor of Plymouth Colony and mother of Peregrine White will be included. The subject of this virtual Pro-Am Historical Highlight lecture is The Challenges (and Rewards) of Researching Colonial Women.


Elizabeth Paddy Wensley (1641–1711)
Courtesy Pilgrim Hall Museum

The link to register/join is:
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8178818811649945616

Colonial women have often been overlooked in the telling of America's story because they weren't involved in politics and left behind few written records. But a variety of other sources survive to illuminate their experiences and reveal the significant impact these women had on their surroundings. Piecing together this evidence can enrich our understanding of our communities and has the potential to shed new light on the American past.

As a follow-up to her February 2020 lecture for the Marshfield Historical Society on her book Penelope Winslow, Michelle will describe the sources that exist for early American women's history and how she has used them in research for her books, articles, and consulting work for historical organizations. The painting of Elizabeth Wensley, above, gives us a rare glimpse of a 17 th Century Colonial American woman, who was the wife of a successful merchant in Boston.

Please register today and mark your calendar.


Michelle Marchetti Coughlin is an independent scholar and the author of Penelope Winslow, Plymouth Colony First Lady: Re-Imagining a Life, and One Colonial Woman's World: The Life and Writings of Mehetabel Chandler Coit, a biography of the author of what may be the earliest surviving diary by an American woman. Coughlin has served as a Mass Humanities Scholar in Residence, a historical consultant, and a guest curator on Pilgrim Hall Museum's recent exhibit pathFOUNDERS: Women of Plymouth. She currently serves on the board of the Abigail Adams Birthplace and is at work on a book about the wives of the colonial governors ("The First First Ladies").


The first-edition of Stephen O’Neill’s The Life of Peregrine White, The First Englishman Born in New England is available for $20 plus $5 for Postage and Handling by sending a check to “Marshfield Historical Society – Books”, 79 Parker Street, Marshfield, MA 02050. Please include your email or telephone number.

Michelle's books are now available with special discounts:
Penelope Winslow, Plymouth Colony First Lady: Re-Imagining a Life
Pilgrim Hall Museum is offering a Women's History Month discount through the month of March via its online store:

One Colonial Woman's World: The Life and Writings of Mehetabel Chandler Coit
The University of Massachusetts Press is offering a 30% discount + free shipping; please enter the code MAS021 at checkout: https://www.umasspress.com/9781558499676/one-colonial-womans-world/

This book reconstructs the life of Mehetabel Chandler Coit (1673–1758), the author of what may be the earliest surviving diary by an American woman. A nati...

03/01/2021

Happy Women's History Month! Spend some time this March learning more about the women, past and present, who shape our world. Check out our website for virtual exhibits, biographies, classroom-ready resources for educators, upcoming events, and more. Together, we can tell a more inclusive and representative history: www.womenshistory.org

#womenshistorymonth #nationalwomenshistorymuseum #womenlead

03/01/2021

March has been designated Women's History Month. This quote from one of Abigail's many letters to John is a good way to begin the month,
"If we mean to have Heroes, Statesmen and philosophers, we
should have learned women." (August 14, 1776)

12/16/2020

“Abigail was keenly aware of tea’s political divisiveness following the arrival of the three ships bearing the East India Company’s 342 chests of Chinese teas in Boston Harbor.

On December 5, 1773, Abigail wrote to Mercy Otis:

‘The Tea that bainfull weed is arrived. Great and I hope Effectual opposition has been made to the landing of it.’”Quote from our Friends at The Boston Tea Party Ship

Massachusetts Historical Society
11/26/2020

Massachusetts Historical Society

On 29 November 1798, Abigail Adams writes to John Adams: "This is our Thanksgiving day. when I look Back upon the year past, I perceive many, very many causes for thanksgiving, both of a publick and Private nature. I hope my Heart is not ungratefull, tho sad; it is usually a day of festivity when the social Family circle meet together tho seperated the rest of the year. No Husband dignifies my Board, no Children add gladness to it, no Smiling Grandchildren Eyes to sparkle for the plumb pudding, or feast upon the mincd Pye. Solitary & alone I behold the day after a sleepless night, with-out a joyous feeling. am I ungratefull? I hope not." Wishing everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

A nice shout out from our friends at the National Trust for Historic Preservation!
11/23/2020
National Trust for Historic Preservation

A nice shout out from our friends at the National Trust for Historic Preservation!

Born on November 22, 1744, First Lady Abigail Adams lived in her birthplace for the first 20 years of her life. Education was important to her and her father, Reverend Smith, who regularly taught boys who were going to attend Harvard University subjects like law, ministry, and medicine at the home.

Her mother taught Abigail how to read and write, and Abigail would later read from her father’s many books in the study’s library. She and President John Adams left to make a life of their own after exchanging vows at the home in 1764. https://savingplaces.org/stories/abigail-adams-birthplace-american-history-through-a-womans-eyes #TellTheFullStory

Grateful for The Boy Scouts of Troop 19 and their families who assist. Over 40 bags of leaves raked today!
11/23/2020

Grateful for The Boy Scouts of Troop 19 and their families who assist. Over 40 bags of leaves raked today!

Our neighbors in the cemetery. Abigail's parents are buried here.
11/22/2020

Our neighbors in the cemetery. Abigail's parents are buried here.

Last week the info posts will be out about the carvers in the cemetery. I'll be taking them in for the winter. If you want to take a walk through the cemetery after your thanksgiving feast, look at the different carvers and their styles and also check out the corresponding videos on here... just wear some solid walking shoes and watch the acorns and leaves. And mind the traffic on North St if you cross to the cannons.

First ladies receive recognition in Washington D.C.
11/15/2020

First ladies receive recognition in Washington D.C.

Happy “First Lady Friday!” Today, we celebrate the opening of the National Portrait Gallery’s new exhibit, “Every Eye Is Upon Me: First Ladies of the United States,” which features portraits from the White House Collection and other repositories. In honor of the exhibit’s opening, let’s learn more about Harriet Lane, White House hostess during the presidency of James Buchanan and avid art collector.

When bachelor James Buchanan was elected to the presidency, he recruited his young, charming niece, Harriet Lane, to act as first lady and White House hostess. Lane quickly became an American celebrity, featured in newspaper articles and women’s magazines, invited to social and philanthropic events, and proclaimed namesake to “societies, ships of war, [and] neck-ties.”

After leaving the White House, Harriet Lane remained a staple among Washington, D.C. society, and amassed a collection of European art that rivaled the best galleries of the time. Harriet Lane designated in her will that her collection be donated toward the creation of a national gallery of art—at the time, no such museum existed. Her donation contributed to the foundation of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s collection, which shares a space with the National Portrait Gallery today.

Harriet Lane is just one of many examples of the American first ladies acting as a philanthropist—another unspoken role filled by the president’s spouse. Many first ladies have used their voice and platform to advocate for charities and causes that they personally support.

Get your tickets for the National Portrait Gallery’s new exhibit, “Every Eye Is Upon Me: First Ladies of the United States,” to learn more about Harriet Lane and the lives and legacies of America’s first ladies.

https://npg.si.edu/exhibition/every-eye-upon-me-first-ladies-united-states

For information on visiting tips, please visit: https://npg.si.edu/visiting-tips-faqs

We have been closed since March as well. Tours are a source of revenue for the Society and provide the income for our in...
11/02/2020
Royall House & Slave Quarters

We have been closed since March as well. Tours are a source of revenue for the Society and provide the income for our insurance and operating costs. there are no paid or stipend workers at The Birthplace. Everyone is a volunteer.

Our museum's usual tour season extends from late May through Halloween, so we'd be closed now in any case. But we never opened this year at all, because we just couldn't guarantee visitor and guide safety in some of our buildings' smaller spaces. Historic New England's Peter Gittleman, co-president of our board, explains the challenges in the linked article.

"While a small number of these sites have reopened, the vast majority are still shut tight – some with plans to remain closed until next spring. Historic homes make up around 55 percent of New England museums, and many of the features that make these homes unique – original artifacts and older spaces – also make it nearly impossible to make them COVID-compliant.

"Historic New England, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving historic heritage sites, owns 37 historic properties across New England, and only six have reopened their buildings, including the Sleeper-McCann House in Gloucester, Gropius House in Lincoln, and the Eustis Estate in Milton.

"Peter Gittleman, team leader for visitor experience at Historic New England, said there is visitor interest – tours are regularly selling out in advance. But opening more properties or expanding the currently reduced hours was too complicated given the realities of COVID."

Adams National Historical Park
10/30/2020

Adams National Historical Park

John Adams was born #onthisdate in 1735. Happy 285th Birthday!

Image: John Adams by Jane Stuart (a copy of the original by her father, Gilbert Stuart). John Adams is bald on top with grey hair around the sides. He is wearing a dark suit with a white shirt and sitting on a red sofa.

Sonnet Bakery
10/24/2020

Sonnet Bakery

After a lot of research into this project, it is such a thrill to see my cakes displayed in the Abigail Adams house! Thanks to the Abigail Adams Historical Society for giving me the honor of recreating these 18th century desserts.

Adams National Historical Park
10/02/2020

Adams National Historical Park

You may notice some different stories than you’re used to on our page next week. From October 5 to October 9 the rangers from Women’s Rights National Historical Park will be taking over our Facebook feed! We will be returning the favor for them. Be sure to follow @womensrightsnps to see the connection between the two parks and get the full, exciting story. You won’t want to miss this fascinating glimpse into the anti-slavery and women’s rights movements!

https://www.nps.gov/wori

Image: Inside the Women's Rights National Historical Park Visitor Center. A collection of statues representing individuals who participated in the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848.

#WomensHistory #FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque #FindYourVirtualPark #National Park Service #ParkSwap #NationalParkSocialMediaSwap #SocialMediaSwap #NPS19th

Royall House & Slave Quarters
10/01/2020

Royall House & Slave Quarters

Abigail Adams wrote to her husband John in 1774 about the hypocrisy of Patriots agitating for freedom from British rule, while slavery was legal in all 13 American colonies:

“It always appeared a most iniquitous scheme to me—fight ourselves for what we are daily robbing and plundering from those who have as good a right to freedom as we have. You know my mind upon this subject.”

In 1733 Matthew Ellis—a resident of our museum's home community of Medford, Massachusetts, who was a faithful member of the Church of England—protested paying taxes to support the local Congregational minister. Ellis was jailed for his failure to pay the tax, sued the local constable, and eventually prevailed. According to the Historical Magazine of the Protestant Episcopal Church, "For practical purposes, freedom of worship had come to Massachusetts."

And yet just 2 years earlier, in October 1731, the New England Weekly Journal carried this ad: "Stray'd away from Mr. Matthew Ellis, on the 26th of Sept. last, Two new Negro Men, one about 40, the other about 30 years of Age.... Neither of them can speak English. Whoever shall take up the abovesaid Negro's, and them bring or convey to the abovesaid Ellis at Medford ... shall have Reasonable Satisfaction, & necessary Charges paid."

Another iniquitous scheme.

- - -

Thanks for alerting us to historic Medford-related ads go to The Slavery Adverts 250 Project, conducted by Carl Robert Keyes, associate professor of history at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts: adverts250project.org

Royall House & Slave Quarters
09/28/2020
Royall House & Slave Quarters

Royall House & Slave Quarters

"It was strange to realize that providing a holistic account of what slavery was, and the horror it wrought, might be understood as indoctrination—especially if the only stories one has been told about America have been cloaked in the one-dimensional mythology of exceptionalism.

"... the truth is that our country is not made worse by young people reckoning fully with the legacy of slavery. Such reckoning better prepares them to make sense of how our country has come to be, and how to build systems and institutions predicated on justice rather than oppression. Nothing is more patriotic than that."

Address

180 Norton St
Weymouth, MA
02191

General information

The Birthplace of Abigail Smith Adams was built in 1685 for the Reverend Samuel Torrey, minister of The First Church in Weymouth. The original location was at the corner of North and East Streets, three hundred feet to the southeast of its present location. In 1738, the “Torrey Mansion” as it was known, was bought by Reverend William Smith, minister of The First Church, where he and his wife later lived all of their married life. Abigail Smith was born in the house on November 11, 1744 the second of four children born, where she resided the first 20 years of her life until she married John Adams in 1764. Abigail was a frequent visitor to the house after her marriage. In 1826 The First Church bought the birthplace for its first owned parsonage, but in 1838 found that it was so dilapidated that its members voted to build a new home on the same site. With the exception of the 1685 section, the house was torn down; some of the lumber was salvaged and used in new parsonage. The original gambrel-roofed house was sold to a local farmer, Nathaniel Ford, who towed it by oxen to his farm on Bridge Street, and used it to house farm workers. In 1947 the land and the building was acquired by the federal government to build federal housing. All of the farm’s buildings were marked for demolition. A few Weymouth residents, aware of the historic value of the birthplace, began strenuous efforts to save it. A citizen’s group was incorporated (AAHS) and the building was moved. On May 1, 1947, the Town of Weymouth released a lot of land at North and Norton Streets for the sum of one dollar. In October 1947 the old house, sawed in half, was moved to its new site on a new foundation, skillfully joined so that no trace appears in the house today. The Birthplace was stripped to the frame to restore it, as recommended by architectural historian Frank Chouteau Brown. The furnishings and articles of daily living seen in the house date to the period of Abigail’s residence and serve to illustrate what life was like in the mid-eighteenth century. Today, extensive restoration has confirmed the 17th century age and has preserved the unique structure for the future.

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Abigail Adams Historical Society is dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and stewardship of Abigail Adams Birthplace, a national historic site, in Weymouth, Massachusetts. For more information, visiting hours, programming, and details on donation and volunteering, please visit our website at www.abigailadamsbirthplace.com

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Are we planning a celebration of her life in 2020? I will be there.
Historic New England is providing a StoryWalk and hands-on craft at the BCAC (Braintree Community Art Center) for families of all surrounding towns, on Tuesday August 21st and 28th from 10am-12pm. The 21st will be on gardening and farming the 28th will be on education and getting ready for back to school. Come join us for both! Families are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy after the program. Rain or shine. Hope to see you there.
Researching Capt. James Adams U.E., born in 1765 . Trying to find out if he married Elizabeth Milton or Elizabeth Jenkins. Do you have info on Adams family through the subsequent generations or just in reference to Abigail ?? Thank you.
We live in such an interesting town, so many historical sites....
Unique way to view history!
Elm Street Cemetery Historic Tour Sunday October 22nd 3:00 PM. This year's tour will be different from our previous tours in that the group will all meet at 3:00 PM and be lead through the Cemetery as one group by Cemeterian and amateur historian Dave Crispin. Dave is a life long Braintree resident, one of our Society members and has been in cemeteries for over 46 years having been an employee at Blue Hill Cemetery all that time. He is also a recognized professional cemetery design engineer with the BSC Group of Boston. He is also active in the Massachusetts Cemetery Association and New England Cemetery Association. Join us at 3:00 PM Sunday October 22 to hear the tales of some of those resting at the historical site, one that has been exhumed, the fences and walls, trolly cars, the stones, the symbols, civil war soldiers, old yankees, slaves and perhaps a ghost story or two and maybe some singing! This year there is no reason to miss it... (the foot ball game is a night game). Parking is available behind First Congregational Church (across the street). This year, the town is placing matting (temporary pathways) on the grounds to aid in access around the cemetery. Donations to the Society are welcome! Rain Date October 29th same time. (Wish we had a rain date last year... remember is was rained out?)
Get your tickets and visit Braintree Farmers Market today! Great event, Fasano's Catering, live music by Comfort Street - BHS Farm to Table Supper. Beautiful outdoor venue! Thayer Birthplace open for free tours during the evening. You can also order tickets at Sustainable Braintree
3 Weymouth girls: Abigail, Abby & Abigael
A wonderful tour today for 2 Weymouth girls: Abby M. & Abigael Elizabeth Z.