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Tell Us How You Really Feel, Mr. Adams

In his manuscript autobiography, John Adams looked back on his Continental Congress colleague Benjamin Harrison: Although Harrison was another Sir John Falstaff, excepting in his Larcenies and Robberies, his Conversation disgusting to every Man of Delicacy or decorum, Obscæne, profane, impious, perpetually ridiculing the Bible, calling it the Worst Book in the World, yet as I saw he was to be often nominated with Us in Business, I took no notice of his Vices or Follies, but treated him…with uniform Politeness.
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John Adams and Admiral Howe

History / US History : Boston 1775 (7 years ago)

Here are two connected anecdotes from John Adams’s autobiography which didn’t make it into the H.B.O. miniseries, no doubt for lack of time.The first occurred in September 1776 when Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Edward Rutledge met.... Read Post

“The Unpopularity of National Fasts and Thanksgivings”

History / US History : Boston 1775 (5 years ago)

In a letter dated 12 June 1812, John Adams wrote to his old Continental Congress colleague Dr. Benjamin Rush about why he’d lost the presidency twelve years earlier. Adams put the blame on...Thanksgiving! The National Fast, recommen... Read Post

John Adams on Benjamin Harrison’s “Pleasantries”?

History / US History : Boston 1775 (3 years ago)

Yesterday I quoted John Adams’s critical description of Benjamin Harrison, a Virginian delegate to the Continental Congress, in his autobiography. At another point in that manuscript, Adams wrote of Harrison, “This was an indolent, ... Read Post


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