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Abigail Adams Correspondence

 Collection — Container: MS Am. 229
Call Number: MS Am. 229

Scope and Contents

Of the 22 letters in this collection, 20 are addressed to John Thaxter in which Abigail Adams writes about the war-time economy, the changing attitudes of American women, and the importance of public service. Other subjects include her management of the family farm, her husband’s absence, and her impressions of people such as General Burgoyne and events such as the siege of Newport.


  • 1770-1785
  • Other: Date acquired: 05/18/1944


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Items in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. In most cases, the Boston Public Library does not hold the copyright to the items in our collections. It is the sole responsibility of the user to make their own determination about what types of usage might be permissible under U.S. and international copyright law.


22.00 Items

Language of Materials



Letters to John Thaxter are arranged chronologically.

Source of Acquisition

F.G. Sweet

Method of Acquisition



Isacc Smith letter purchased from Goodspeed's Book Store in March, 1953. Original call number was Mss. Acc. 349.

Elbridge Gerry letter was purchased from F.G. Sweet in July, 1947. Original call number was Mss. Acc. 348.

Related Materials

Adams, Abigail (Smith), 1744-1818. A.L.S. to Thomas [     ]; Quincy, Mass, 2 March 1808. Ch.M.1.7. no 44.

Adams, Abigail (Smith), 1744-1818. A.L.S. to John Cranch; London, 7 March 1787. MS Eng. 483 (420)

Adams, Abigail (Smith), 1744-1818. A.LS. to Col. William S. Smith; [London]. Ch. A.4.46

Adams, Abigail (Smith), 1744-1818. A.L.S. to Col. William S. Smith; [Quincy]; 18 February 1813. Ch A.4.47

Adams, Abigail (Smith), 1744-1818. A.L.S. to Julia Stockton Rush; Quincy, Mass, 25 September 1813.

Adams, John, 1735-1826.  A.L.S. to Benjamin Rush; Braintree, 8 February 1778. Postscript by Abigail Adams. MS Adams 211

Processing Information

Finding aid written by Rare Books and Manuscripts staff.

Processing Information

This electronic finding aid is transcribed from legacy data. In many cases, transcriptions were not verified against collection materials at the time of transcription. As a result, this finding aid could be incomplete and might only reflect a partial understanding of the material.

Statement on harmful description

Archival description reflects the biases of time periods and cultures in which it was created and may include direct quotations or descriptions that use inappropriate or harmful language. Creator provided descriptions may be maintained in order to preserve the context in which the collection was created and/or used. Legacy description and potentially offensive content may be made available online until a collection can be reprocessed because the access that they provide to primary source materials is uniquely valuable to the research community at large. Our efforts to repair outdated descriptions and to describe our collections more equitably are iterative and ongoing.

Abigail Adams Correspondence
Rare Books and Manuscripts Department staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2012: Updated by Kimberly Reynolds, 2012.

About this library

Part of the Boston Public Library Archives & Special Collections Repository

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