Learn: Historic Sites & Collections

Adams National Historical Park — Quincy, Massachusetts

Operated by the National Park Service, the park includes the side-by-side saltbox style houses where John and John Quincy Adams were born and the nearby Old House at Peacefield, a Georgian-style structure that was home to four generations of Adamses. The grounds also include plantings descended from Abigail’s garden, and the Stone Library, which houses 12,000 volumes of family books and papers. Among thousands of treasured artifacts are original furnishings, family portraits, John Adams’s copy of Washington’s Farewell Address, and the inscribed Mendi Bible given to John Quincy Adams by the freed Amistad captives.

John Adams Library at the Boston Public Library

Books were John Adams’s one extravagance in life. His personal library of 3,500 books, including many rare works, reflects the breadth of his reading on history, politics, and philosophy. Over 2,700 volumes are available in digital form. Many are annotated in Adams’s hand, capturing his brilliant commentary and often passionate retorts.

Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) — Boston

Covering a period from 1639 to 1889, the family papers were donated to the MHS in the mid-1950s. Original manuscripts include family legal and business documents, John and Abigail’s letters to each other, John Quincy’s diaries, and imprints of the Declaration of Independence. Many are digitized for online access.

Amistad America

Amistad America is non-profit educational organization that teaches the history lessons inherent in the Amistad incident. Using sail training as a platform to raise young people’s awareness and teach leadership skills, the traditional wooden schooner S/V Amistad tours ports in the U.S., Europe, West Africa, and the Caribbean that have historical significance to the Atlantic slave trade.

Teaching Resources

All websites referenced above include online curricula and other teaching resources for grades K through 12.