“It is but the farm of a Patriot.”
John Adams was many things: a teacher, lawyer, Harvard graduate, ambassador, vice president, president, and signatory of the Declaration of Independence. But the life Adams dreamed of, even in the midst of leading the greatest political revolution in world history, was that of a simple farmer.
The Adams National Historical Park is comprised of John Adams’s childhood home, as well as his post-presidential farmstead, “Peace Field.” These sites do more than just display museum pieces from history — they elucidate the complex mental struggle that propelled John Adams to such extraordinary heights.
Inside of his first home, visitors can see the standing desk where a young John Adams crafted his defense of the British soldiers following the Boston Massacre, a case Adams anguished over, as he knew such an unpopular position could end his political career before it began.
Inside Peace Field you can see the chair a 90-year-old John Adams sat in as he waved at the passing parade on July 4th, 1826, just hours before his death. And you can see where his wife Abigail taught and raised their children, often alone, as John traveled the world, his inner patriot often at odds with his inner farmer. In his house, and on his farm, visitors have a chance to see the man behind the history.
While not part of the National Park, the United First Parish Church in Quincy, Massachusetts, is also a fascinating historical landmark. Known as the “Church of the Presidents,” UFPC was the religious home of both John and his son, John Quincy. After John Adams’s death, John Quincy requested that his father be buried underneath the church. In a show of solidarity, a plot of land was sold to the Adams family for $1, and John and Abigail Adams were interred in stone tombs. After his son’s death, the church expanded the plot, and buried John Quincy and his wife, Louisa, alongside his parents.
John Adams’s remarkable life ended the way he wished: surrounded by family and books, in the country he helped create, on the farm of a patriot.