Today, my wife and I joined my wife’s brother and sister for a visit to Quincy/Braintree, Massachusetts to visit the home of one of the greatest patriots of Colonial America, John Adams. I visited the house and library about ten years ago, but I felt the great desire to see some of the fine paintings and furniture which belonged to the John Adams family. We were greeted at the house by the most amazing guide who knew every detail and loved to share. She was fabulous. If you decide to visit this house and library, try to make arrangements to use this marvelous guide.
She pointed out the Copley portraits of Martha and George Washington, the portrait of John Quincy Adams, and the splendid portrait of Abigail Adams. She talked to us about the furniture, the Bellange chairs, the two original John Adams carpets, his desk on which he wrote the Massachusetts Constitution, about Abigail Adams china, the fabulous Japanned highboy, his French desk he used while living in Paris and in Holland, on and on. I was in a near-trance the entire visit. When she showed us the original front door which pre-dates the Adams’ ownership in 1799, she pointed out the door knocker which John Adams purchased in London before returning to Ameria in 1788. I thought to myself WHO HAS ENTERED THIS DOOR: Washington, Jefferson, Hancock, John Quincy Adams, Madison, Monroe, and many more.
I was fascinated hearing about Abigail Adams’s additions to the house, doubling the size of the house. She had lived in grand circumstances in official residences in Paris, The Hague, and London so coming back to Braintree required newer and grander receptions and dining rooms for guests. Imagine entertaining the Marquis de Lafayette to dinner! We saw Abigail’s fine blue and white china, her French Sevres, and other pieces of porcelain from other sets of china she had gathered.
The house was fantastic, and the garden was stunning even in this late fall date.
Walking into the granite library was a thrill I will not forget with the unfinished portrait of the signing of the Treaty of Paris, the portrait of John Adams, John Adams’ original early law desk, and John Quincy Adams’ desk while in Congress. Stunning!
Thomas Moore email: TMooreSr@me.com Telephone: 801.791.9918