Day 58, Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Adams National Historical Park, Quincy, Massachusetts
Quincy, Massachusetts was the Adams’ family hometown for multiple generations. As a result, there are multiple sites with Adams history, aside from the John Adams National Historical Park, where a history nerd like me can literally walk in the footsteps of two of our nation’s Presidents.
John and John Quincy Adams and their families both attended the United First Parish Church, a Unitarian church. The church first gathered in 1636 as a branch of the Church of Boston, which was founded in 1633. First Parish then became an independent church in 1639. It was originally founded as a Puritan church, but became a Unitarian parish in 1750.
Both Adams were lifelong members of the congregation, and their tombs are beneath the church; they share a crypt with their wives Abigail and Louisa Catherine. In addition, the Patriot John Hancock was baptized here.
I visited the church and the docents were happy to show me around. I got to sit in the Adams pew, where John Adams and his family sat whenever they attended. They also took me downstairs to the crypt to view John and John Quincy Adams’ tombs. It was so humbling to sit where these Presidents sat and pay my respects at their graves. I was all alone with the docent, and she was kind and knowledgeable, and even offered to take my picture in the pew!
Outside, the town cemetery contains the graves of many more Adams family members, including John Adams’ grandparents. When I got on the road and headed out that day, I was happy to have spent some time with these important historical figures!
Oh, and just so you know, today – July 11 – is John Quincy Adams birthday!