ADAMS, John, 1735-1826


Senate Commission on Art

Guide to Research Collections

Massachusetts Historical Society
The Adams Papers
Boston, MA
Papers: 1807, 10 letters.
Letters sent by John Adams to Mercy Otis Warren, July-August, 1807. In the letters, John Adams discusses the portrayal of him in Mercy Warren’s published work titled History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution (1805). John Adams details factual errors and responds to comments on his character in the letters.

Papers: 1762-1763, 1 folder.
Four fragments from the law journal of John Adams, kept from 1762-1763. Entries list John Adams’s cases and fees charged for his services.


Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
Springfield, IL
Papers: 1820, 1 item.
A letter from John Adams to Mathew Carey thanking Carey for his gift of a copy of Vindiciae Hibernicae. John Adams states that his poor health prevents his participation in national affairs.

Papers: 1779-1807, 3 items.
Includes letters from John Adams to Elbridge Gerry, 1779; Captain Richard O’Brien, 1786; and Dr. Benjamin Rush, 1807.


Boston Athenaeum
Boston, MA
Papers: 1767, 1 item.
A letter from John Adams to Major Miller explaining a point of law regarding taxes paid by a plaintiff for travel to court.


Brooklyn Historical Society
Brooklyn, NY
Papers: 1783, 1 item.
A document signed by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay.


Brown University
John Hay Library
Providence, RI
Papers: 1801, 1 item.
A letter from John Adams, dated March 2, 1801, to Samuel Dexter, Esq., the Secretary of the Treasury. In the letter, John Adams requests that an order on General Lincoln, Collector of Boston, for the balance due him.


Bryn Mawr College,
Special Collections, Canady Library
Bryn Mawr, PA
Papers: 1798, 1 item.
A Presidential authorization, dated March 30, 1799, allowing a ship (Amazon) to pass through. On the reverse is a statement signed by Joseph Pitcairn, Consul of the United States at Hamburgh, certifying that the ship is mounted with 14 guns.


Columbia University
Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Butler Library
New York, NY
Papers: 1818, 0.5 linear foot.
Includes letters written by John Adams to William Tudor on the subject of American Independence.


Connecticut Historical Society
Hartford, CT
Papers: 1807, 1 page.
A receipt dated September 28, 1807, for dividends on fire and marine insurance company shares.


Copley Press
JS Copley Library
La Jolla, CA
Papers: ca. 1778-1820, approximately 35 pages.
Correspondents include Mercy Otis Warren, Mr. Dumas, Benjamin Rush, William Jones, J.H. Tiffany, Edme Jacques Genet, Dr. Williams, Benjamin Stoddert, Benjamin Waterhouse, Jonathan Mason, Winthrop Sargent, William Plumer, and his son, T.B. Adams. Some of the correspondence deals with the war with England.


Cornell University
Rare and Manuscript Collections, Kroch Library
Ithaca, NY
Papers: 1778-1817, 6 items.
Letters and autographs represented in various collections. One autographs is in The signers of the Declaration of Independence, 1824, volume 8. Two autographs are in Jared Sparks’s Autographs of Washington, Franklin, and Lafayette, in the section of Franklin autographs, on the AMS, Franklin’s Instructions to W. T. Franklin, dated November 20, 1778, and on the Franklin’s Private Instructions to W. T. Franklin, [late 1798]. In both cases, John Adams’s signature is under that of Benjamin Franklin. Other correspondents include Miss Lomax, John Trumbull, and General Lafayette.

Papers: 1798, 1 page.
A letter “To the Officers of the Militia and the other Freeholders and Inhabitants of the town of Duanesburgh in the County of Albany and the State of New York” responding to a letter from the townspeople concerning events of the time.


Dartmouth College
Rauner Special Collections Library
Hanover, NH
Papers: ca. 1771-1812, approximately 53 pages.
Correspondents include Benjamin Rush, Philip Mazzei, Thomas Cushing, James McHenry, Calvin Perkins, and Thomas Adams. Other letters are to John Adams’s wife, Abigail. Also included are two notebooks listing court cases.


Duke University
Medical Center Library
Durham, NC
Papers: 1821, 1 item.
A letter from John Adams, forwarding a letter from Benjamin Waterhouse to James Monroe. In John Adams’s letter, he mentions Benjamin Waterhouse’s present difficulties being a result of his outspoken support of ”the Union.”


The Filson Historical Society Library
Louisville, KY
Papers: 1781, 1 item.
A letter from John Adams addressed to “Sir.”


Knox College
Archives and Special Collections, Seymour Library
Galesburg, IL
Papers: 1779, 2 pages.
A letter from John Adams sent concurrently with vouchers for his expenses in France.


Lehigh University
Bethlehem, PA
Papers: 1813, 1 item.
A letter from John Adams to Mathew Carey, concerning six papers given him by John Marston regarding Revolutionary War officers and their worth.


Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, D.C.
Microfilm: In the Adams Family Papers, 1639-1889, 608 microfilm reels.
Persons represented include John Adams. Originals are held by the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Papers: In the Adams Family Papers, 1776-1914, 230 items.
Correspondents include John Adams. A finding aid is available in the library.

Microfilm: In the John Adams-Thomas Jefferson Correspondence, 1776-1826, 1 reel.
Correspondents include John Adams. Originals are held by the Massachusetts Historical Society. Microfilm via Princeton University Library.


The Morgan Library
Department of Literary and Historical Manuscripts
New York, NY
Papers: ca. 1776-1814, approximately 10 items.
Correspondents include Mr. Lee, Richard Rush, Francis Dana, James McHenry, General Joseph Palmer, Thomas Jefferson, Dr. Tufts, and Benjamin Rush. Topics covered include events in Europe and New England.


Newberry Library
Chicago, IL
Papers: 1800, 1 item.
A letter from John Adams to John Jay. The letter was written upon the resignation of Oliver Ellsworth from the office of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. President John Adams sent this letter to John Jay advising him of his renomination to that office. At the time, John Jay was serving his second term as Governor of New York.


Rosenbach Museum & Library
Philadelphia, PA
Papers: ca. 1776-1813, approximately 11 items.
The bulk of this correspondence is between John Adams and John Trumbull. Other correspondents include Elkanah Watson, John Wendell, and Samuel Elliot. Also included is a letter from John Adams to his four year old son, Thomas.


South Carolina Historical Society Library
Charleston, SC
Papers: 1801, 1 item.
A letter from John Adams to Christopher Gadsden, April 16, 1801.


State Library of Massachusetts
Boston, MA
Papers: 1807, 3 pages.
A letter from John Adams to Mercy Otis Warren.


State University of New York at Buffalo
Poetry/Rare Books Collection
Buffalo, NY
Papers: In the Lockwood Collection, 1800, 1 item.
A letter from John Adams to P. Legaue, housed in a volume labeled “wine.”


United States Military Academy
Special Collections
West Point, NY
Papers: 1821, 2 pages.
A speech dated August 1821 delivered to the Corps of Cadets at the United States Military Academy on August 14, 1821, following the march of the Corps from Boston to John Adams’s in Quincy, Massachusetts.


University of California
The Bancroft Library
Berkeley, CA
Papers: 1797, 3 pages.
A letter from John Adams to Hon. Samuel Griffin, Esq., dated January 19, 1797. In the letter, John Adams thanks Samuel Griffin for his offer of congratulations and suggestions regarding hiring a private secretary. Also mentioned is French policy toward the United States.


University of Chicago
Special Collections Research Center
Chicago, IL
Papers: 1780 and 1798; 2 items.
One letter from John Adams to Mr. Grand, dated February 29, 1780, relates to money appropriated by Congress to John Adams and Francis Dana. Another letter from John Adams to an unknown man, dated July 18, 1798, mentiones that John Adams has received and signed the commissions he had been sent.


University of Iowa
Special Collections Department
Iowa City, IA
Papers: 1809, 1 item.
A letter from John Adams to Rev. William Bentley dated October 26, 1809. In the letter, John Adams mentions some historical materials brought by Rev. Bentley that John Adams felt should be in the Historical Society.


University of Virginia
Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
Charlottesville, VA
Papers: 1813-1814, 2 items.
Includes two letters from John Adams to Benjamin Rush and to Mercy Otis Warren. The letter from John Adams to Benjamin Rush, dated February 3, 1813, discusses the selection of William Jones as Secretary of the Navy and notes that many Federal offices are held by men from Pennsylvania. The letter to Mercy Otis Warren, dated February 2, 1814, forwards Thomas McKean’s account of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.