Adams Family Foreign Policy: Letters and Diaries from Europe

Developed by Jason L. S. Raia, Pope John XXIII High School, Everett, Mass.

This curriculum unit helps to provide high school students with insight into the Adams family members and their combined efforts in the realm of American foreign policy between 1781 and 1863. This collection of primary source materials, culled from the Adams Family Papers, is divided into lessons that cover four major periods and events of early American history: John Adams in the Netherlands during the American Revolution; Abigail Adams and her daughter Abigail Adams 2nd in London during the Confederation period; John Quincy Adams in Ghent negotiating the end of the War of 1812; and Charles Francis Adams and his son Henry in London during the American Civil War. The project includes transcribed excerpts from more than 115 primary source documents. Each document is accompanied by a series of questions for review and critical thinking. To facilitate students’ online journaling, blog prompts are periodically provided within the lessons.

Upcoming Events

Brown Bag

Conjuring Emancipation: Making Freedom in the U.S. Civil War’s Refugee Camps

30May 12:00PM 2018

Black Americans did not just pray for emancipation, they conjured it. This project examines the political work of revival in wartime refugee camps and envisions ...

Author Talk

Apostles of Revolution: Jefferson, Paine, Monroe, & the Struggle against the Old Order in America & ...

30May 6:00PM 2018
There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30

As Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and James Monroe risked their lives and their liberty for  American independence, and as reformers, each ...

MHS Tour

The History and Collections of the MHS

2Jun 10:00AM 2018

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, ...

From our Blog

Anna Peabody Bellow’s Travel Diary

Anna Peabody Bellow’s 1864 travel diary documents her voyage to England and France as a young and wealthy New England young woman during the Civil War. Included among her paragraph-a-day entries ...

Immigration and Trade in Early 20th-Century Worcester

The Rockwood Hoar Papers at the MHS document the life and career of Rockwood Hoar, a Worcester, Massachusetts lawyer and politician who lived from 1855 to 1906. Hoar was the son of United States ...

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