J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Celebrating Abigail and John Adams, 24-26 October

Saturday, 25 October, will be the sestercentennial of the marriage of Abigail and John Adams.

The Abigail Adams Historical Society, Adams National Historical Park, and First Church in Weymouth will commemorate that 250th anniversary with a series of events over the weekend. Those events will take place at the Abigail Adams Birthplace and First Church in Weymouth and at the Adams National Historical Park in Quincy. The schedule includes:

Friday, 24 October, 11:00 A.M.
Reenactment of the Wedding of Abigail and John Adams
First Church in Weymouth

Descendant Abigail Elias LaCroix will portray Abigail Smith preparing for her wedding at her home, then traveling by horse and carriage to the church, where reenactor Michael LePage will be waiting for her as groom John Adams. Henry Cook IV will act the part of Abigail’s father, the Rev. William Smith, and officiate at the marriage. Rain or shine, free to all, but reservations are highly recommended. Organizers invite the public to wear eighteenth-century attire to the wedding reenactment and reception that follows at the Abigail Adams Birthplace.

In the evening, there will be another reception at the Abigail Adams Birthplace in Weymouth. Admission to that is $125, or $100 for members of the Abigail Adams Historical Society.

Saturday, 25 October, 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 Noon
Symposium: Abigail & John: 250 Years Together
First Church in Weymouth

The scholars sharing papers will be:
  • Steven C. Bullock, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, “Power and Politeness in the ‘Remember the Ladies’ Exchange”
  • Sara Martin, Adams Papers, and Neal Millikan, George Washington Papers at the Library at Mount Vernon, “Reflections on the Courtship Writings of John, Abigail, John Quincy and Louisa Catherine Adams
  • Andrew Wehrman, Marietta College, “Inoculations of John and Abigail Adams and the Politics of Smallpox in Revolutionary Massachusetts”
  • Robina Mitchell, Museum of Fine Arts, “Adams Family Objects at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts
Admission is free; reservations are recommended because seats are limited. This symposium is co-sponsored by the Adams Papers project at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

At noon, there will be a luncheon at the Abigail Adams Birthplace with Stanford professor Edith Gelles speaking on “Abigail and John: Portrait of a Marriage.” Admission is $25, $20 for members; reservations are recommended.

Saturday, 25 October, 3:00 P.M.
“Songs on Letters of John and Abigail Adams”
Carriage House, Adams National Historical Park

The Lydian Quartet and soloists Clara Osowski and Paul Max Tipton perform the world premiere of James Kallembach’s seven-song cycle inspired by the couple’s correspondence. Admission is free, but seating is first-come, first-served; limited to capacity. Parking available on Adams Street.

Sunday, 26 October, 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 Noon
Celebration of Independence Service
First Church in Weymouth

An ecumenical service celebrating American independence, featuring readings from some of the nation’s founding documents. Admission is free; seating is first-come, first-served and limited. A coffee reception follows immediately at the Abigail Adams Birthplace. Following the reception, guests will be invited to proceed to the adjacent North Weymouth Cemetery for the laying of wreaths at the graves of Abigail Adams’s parents, Elizabeth and William Smith.

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