A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
Portrait of John Adams and actor Paul Giamatti Portrait of Abigail Adams and actor Laura Linney

Episode 2: Independence

In this letter written on 3 July 1776, John Adams writes to Abigail from Philadelphia about the Continental Congress's decision to declare its independence from Great Britain. Typical of the many letters exchanged between John and Abigail, this letter comments on political events as well as Abigail's recent activities near their home in Massachusetts. The letter also provides a window into the importance of their correspondence; John requests that she let him know which letters she receives from him in order for John to determine if some of his letters go missing. The featured letter relates to the episode that premieres 3/16.

Letter excerpt from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 3 July 1776

Letter excerpt from John Adams, 3 July 1776
Yesterday the greatest Question was decided, which ever was debated in America, and a greater perhaps, never was or will be decided among Men. A Resolution was passed without one dissenting Colony "that these united Colonies, are, and of right ought to be free and independent States, and as such, they have, and of Right ought to have full Power to make War, conclude Peace, establish Commerce, and to do all the other Acts and Things, which other States may rightfully do."
John Adams (signature)