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John Adams: Later Life

An embittered John Adams left the White House on the morning of March 4, 1801, and was already heading home when Thomas Jefferson was being sworn in as his successor. He spent the rest of his life at Peacefield, the Adams family farm in Quincy, Massachusetts, where he was finally able to enjoy a life with his wife Abigail, his children, and his grandchildren. He threw himself into writing his autobiography and to studying and writing about a wide variety of subjects, and rarely left the house. Charles's widow, Sally, and her young daughters moved in with John and Abigail, and for five years John Quincy's son lived there as well while his parents were abroad on public service. The family of Thomas Adams, another son, lived nearby, and John Quincy was a frequent visitor.

Peacefield remained in the Adams family until 1946, when it was donated to the United States. It is now part of Adams National Historical Park.

In 1812, mutual friends brought Adams and Jefferson together again, via mail, and the two former rivals exchanged hundreds of letters on every conceivable topic for the next fourteen years. Both men died on July 4, 1826, the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, an anniversary both men had been determined to see.

Originally interred in the Hancock Cemetery, John Adams is now entombed in a crypt beneath the sanctuary of the United First Parish Church, which is also part of the Historical Park. The crypt also holds the remains of Abigail, John Quincy, and John Quincy's wife, Louisa Catherine.

Exterior of the United First Parish Church.
exterior of United First Parish Church

Flanking the pulpit are the epitaphs of John (viewer's right) and John Quincy Adams.
sanctuary of the church

The epitaph of John and Abigail Adams.
epitaph of John and Abigail Adams

Tombs of John and Abigail Adams.
tombs of John and Abigail Adams

Adams National Historical Park

See Also

Thomas Jefferson
Abigail Adams
John Quincy Adams

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The Robinson Library >> John Adams

This page was last updated on August 05, 2018.