Presidents' Day week (month?) has inspired us to learn more about each of the American presidents houses and styles. Today we will learn about John Adams, our second president as my husband and I are watching the John Adams HBO miniseries. The Adams family, like the Lincoln family we previously looked at, also came from England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the early 1600s. In fact, Henry Adams was said to be one of the earliest colonists but his heritage is somewhat unknown in England. Adams is of course a very common name like Jones or Williams and common names were the (later adapted) surnames of "commoners" whose lineage was not considered important enough to track. This must be why there is so much confusion over his roots. We can safely say that they were Puritans who enjoyed a better life in America as they hoped to. John Adams Sr. even married into the prominent Boylston family. Below is his house where John Adams Jr. was born.
This saltbox house previously belonged to the Penniman family. It is located in Braintree, MA near Boston. Because of his mother's elite social status, Adams would have grown up very town and country style, learning the ways of Boston society. John Adams married Abigail Smith, which is of course the most common last name and once again ambiguous in ancestry. They are another family who faired better in the colonies and were able to marry into more prominent families than they likely would have in England. For example her father, William Smith Jr. was able to marry her mother Elizabeth Quincy. Below is her birthplace first painted and then restored.
Together John and Abigail Adams lived in a new house called Peacefield. Below is how it looked when they purchased it in watercolor.
The house has an historic apple orchard and eighteenth century gardens on the grounds.
It also has a library containing Adams books. The library is below and is just beautiful. It has all the collected elements we love- portraits, busts, and more "curiosities" on the table like that old clock.
John Adams was the first President to live in The White House, but we will save The White House for its own post!