The John Adams and John Quincy Adams Birthplaces are the oldest presidential birthplaces in the United States. In 1735, John Adams was born in the "salt box" house located only 75 feet away from the birthplace of his son John Quincy Adams. In the John Quincy Adams Birthplace, young John and his bride Abigail started their family and the future President launched his career in politics and law. John Adams maintained his law office in the house and it was here that he, Samuel Adams, and James Bowdoin wrote the Massachusetts Constitution. This document, still in use today, greatly influenced development of the United States Constitution.
The Old House at Peace field, built in 1731, became the residence of the Adams family for four generations from 1788 to 1927. It was home to Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams; First Ladies Abigail and Louisa Catherine Adams; Civil War Minister to Great Britain Charles Francis Adams; and literary historians Henry and Brooks Adams. The vast collection of original artifacts inside the Old House greatly assists the park's interpretive staff to relate the Adams family's legacy of service to their nation. Adjacent to the house is the Stone Library, built in 1873, it contains more than 12,000 books that belonged to the Adamses. Following a tour, you may wish to stroll the Old House grounds which include a historic orchard and an 18th-century style formal garden, containing thousands of annual and perennial flowers.
I give and bequesth my library of books, my manuscript books and papers, and those of my father, and all of my family pictures...to my son, Charles Francis Adams, trusting that his mother shall at all times have the use of any of the books in the library at her discretions; and I recommend to my said son...to cause a building to be erected, made fire-proof, in which to keep the said library, books, documents, and manuscripts safe...and I especially recommend ...that he will, as far as may be in his power, keep them together as one library...
The John Adams Library at the Boston Public Library
John Adams had a life long passion for books and spent a lifetime collecting some 3,000 volumes. With the exception of Abigail's fictional works and a few that I shall reserve for my consolation in the few days that remain to me, he deeded his library, for public good, to the City of Quincy. After 75 years, and six different locations within Quincy, the library was transferred to the Boston Public Library in 1894, where it remains to this day in the Rare Books Collection.
Last updated: July 21, 2020