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WGBH Forum Network; American Experience: John And Abigail Adams

01/10/2006

American Experience: John & Abigail Adams Bernard Margolis, president, Boston Public Library Kelly Cobble, curator, Adams National Historic Park Jonathan Chu, dean, education, UMass Boston Peter Drummey, librarian, Mass Historical Society Elizabeth Deane, producer, American Experience, WGBH The Adams story provides a strikingly intimate look inside a marriage of true companions, says Deane, for whom life included not just the great events memorialized in textbooks, but also laughter, loneliness and family tragedy.To present the couple's story in their own words, Deane drew extensively on the more than 1,000 Adams letters that survive, born of their lengthy time apart, as John served his country at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia and as a diplomat in Europe. Their revealing, often deeply personal correspondence, chronicles an inspiring political marriage along with the birth of a nation. A visionary and gifted political thinker, Adams moved a reluctant Congress to declare independence from England, and single-handedly secured millions of dollars in loans to keep the American army from collapse during the Revolutionary War. Later, he was named the first US ambassador to England. He penned the Massachusetts constitution, which would serve as the basis for the US constitution. He was the nation's first vice president and its second president. Through it all, Abigail remained his most trusted political advisor and confidante, as well as his dearest friend. She adored him and he adored her. It's a great love story.


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Series
WGBH Forum Network
Program
American Experience: John And Abigail Adams
Program Number

2083

Series Description

The WGBH Forum Network is an audio and video streaming Website dedicated to curating and serving live and on-demand lectures given by some of the world's foremost scholars, authors, artists, scientists, policy makers and community leaders. These events are hosted by world-class cultural and educational organizations in the Greater Boston area. Through this online service thousands of interested people across the world partake of these lectures from the comfort of their home or office at any time they choose. We are proud of the role we serve in our community, of protecting and projecting the public voice; and of informing and inspiring that public voice to foster deeper understanding of and civic engagement in important issues.

Program Description

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: JOHN & ABIGAIL ADAMS BERNARD MARGOLIS, PRESIDENT, BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY KELLY COBBLE, CURATOR, ADAMS NATIONAL HISTORIC PARK JONATHAN CHU, DEAN, EDUCATION, UMASS BOSTON PETER DRUMMEY, LIBRARIAN, MASS HISTORICAL SOCIETY ELIZABETH DEANE, PRODUCER, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, WGBH

THE ADAMS STORY PROVIDES A STRIKINGLY INTIMATE LOOK INSIDE A MARRIAGE OF TRUE COMPANIONS, SAYS DEANE, FOR WHOM LIFE INCLUDED NOT JUST THE GREAT EVENTS MEMORIALIZED IN TEXTBOOKS, BUT ALSO LAUGHTER, LONELINESS AND FAMILY TRAGEDY.TO PRESENT THE COUPLE'S STORY IN THEIR OWN WORDS, DEANE DREW EXTENSIVELY ON THE MORE THAN 1,000 ADAMS LETTERS THAT SURVIVE, BORN OF THEIR LENGTHY TIME APART, AS JOHN SERVED HIS COUNTRY AT THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS IN PHILADELPHIA AND AS A DIPLOMAT IN EUROPE. THEIR REVEALING, OFTEN DEEPLY PERSONAL CORRESPONDENCE, CHRONICLES AN INSPIRING POLITICAL MARRIAGE ALONG WITH THE BIRTH OF A NATION. A VISIONARY AND GIFTED POLITICAL THINKER, ADAMS MOVED A RELUCTANT CONGRESS TO DECLARE INDEPENDENCE FROM ENGLAND, AND SINGLE-HANDEDLY SECURED MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN LOANS TO KEEP THE AMERICAN ARMY FROM COLLAPSE DURING THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR. LATER, HE WAS NAMED THE FIRST US AMBASSADOR TO ENGLAND. HE PENNED THE MASSACHUSETTS CONSTITUTION, WHICH WOULD SERVE AS THE BASIS FOR THE US CONSTITUTION. HE WAS THE NATION'S FIRST VICE PRESIDENT AND ITS SECOND PRESIDENT. THROUGH IT ALL, ABIGAIL REMAINED HIS MOST TRUSTED POLITICAL ADVISOR AND CONFIDANTE, AS WELL AS HIS DEAREST FRIEND. SHE ADORED HIM AND HE ADORED HER. IT'S A GREAT LOVE STORY.

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type

Video

Genres
Event Coverage
Citation
Chicago: “WGBH Forum Network; American Experience: John And Abigail Adams,” 01/10/2006, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed December 4, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_3526367CF29E4960A1746C8D464DD48B.
MLA: “WGBH Forum Network; American Experience: John And Abigail Adams.” 01/10/2006. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. December 4, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_3526367CF29E4960A1746C8D464DD48B>.
APA: WGBH Forum Network; American Experience: John And Abigail Adams. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_3526367CF29E4960A1746C8D464DD48B
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