John Adams, First Author to Be a US President
The second United States President John Adams (1735-1826) signed the Declaration of Independence, founded the Library of Congress, published books in seven languages, had a vast personal library, and treasured detailed correspondence from his wife Abigail, whom he adored.
“When people talk of the freedom of writing, speaking or thinking I cannot choose but laugh. No such thing ever existed. No such thing now exists; but I hope it will exist. But it must be hundreds of years after you and I shall write and speak no more.” — John Adams
His Home and Personal Library
His home in Quincy, a mid-size town near Boston, is operated by the National Park Service and open to the public. You can read about how to plan a visit at https://www.nps.gov/adam/planyourvisit/index.htm.
His Stone Library is a free-standing building near the home, which is lavish by today’s standards though not as monumental as Abigail Adams believed her husband deserved.
As a result, she established a lovely landscaped garden area adjacent to the house, similar to the British style to which she was accustomed. The floral varieties planted then are still featured today and a large shade tree beckons during spring and summer.
A tour of the library reveals many volumes of the multi-lingual book collection and artistic pieces that passed through four generations of the family, beginning in the 18th century.
According to the National Park Service website, Adams collected 3,000 books for his library during his lifetime. Today, approximately 10% of the Stone Library’s collection belonged to John Adams and the rest belonged to his son, John Quincy Adams.
A new statue of Abigail Adams was dedicated at the site on November 10, 2022. It was sculpted by Sergey Eylanbekov.
Read https://www.nps.gov/adam/planyourvisit/index.htm for more information.
This is the second stop on the Massachusetts Author Adventures Trail Part 1.