The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: With a Life of the Author - Vol. 1

By Charles Francis Adams; John Adams | Go to book overview

PREFACE.

THE preliminary genealogy, and the first two chapters of this volume, are taken from the fragment of a biography left by the late John Quincy Adams. That portion of it extending nearly to the end of the first chapter, appears to have been written by him during the summer of 1829, just after the close of his official term as President of the United States, and before he was recalled into public life. Of the remainder, which was added in brief snatches of leisure during the summer recesses of Congress, the greater part was composed in 1832; but the last pages bear the date of 1839, from which time the project seems to have been abandoned. No part of it was ever revised for publication. As a consequence some blanks were left in the manuscript, principally for dates or extracts from books and papers, which have been filled, and a few trivial errors occurred, which have been corrected by the Editor, for the most part without notice. The fragment, in all other respects adhering closely to the original copy, extends to page 89 of this volume. It furnishes a succinct account of the circumstances attending the youth and education of John Adams, and carries the narrative down to the time of the so-called Boston Massacre, in March, 1770, when he had reached his thirty-fifth year. In other words, it covers the period of his life as a private citizen, and stops exactly at the moment when the career which made him an object of public attention begins. This fact will readily suggest the reason why the work was terminated just at this

-v-

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