“But, Mr. Adams” — Vol. II

May was a busy month in the lives of Abigail and John Adams.  In May, 1770, their second son, Charles, was born at their house in Boston.  Charles would, as occurred in succeeding Adams generations, be unable to live up to his father’s high standards, and die too soon of alcoholism.  On May 8, 1778, John, after waiting a month in Paris and growing increasingly frustrated at the lifestyle of his fellow minister to France, Benjamin Franklin, was finally introduced to King Louis XVI.  The meeting did not go well.  John’s knowledge of the French language was limited and his tolerance of the French society was less than generous.  In May of the following year, Franklin would petition the Continental Congress to have Adams recalled.  In 1780, John was sent to Holland in hopes of negotiating a loan from the Dutch.  He spent several years there and was extremely successful.

On May 26, 1785, John, Abigail, and their oldest daughter Abigail (called Nabby), arrived in London.  John had been appointed the first United States Ambassador to England.  On June 1, John was presented to His Majesty George III for the first time.  The meeting between the “tyrant” King and the rebel “first in line to be hanged” was remarkably cordial.  The rest of John’s mission, to negotiate treaties of trade, was not successful.  By early 1787, John would resign and 1788 found him and Abigail back home in Braintree.

In May, 1791, John was elected President of the Academy of Arts and Sciences, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a post he held until 1813.  The Academy, which still exists today,  had been the brainchild of John Adams more than a decade before.  Its purpose was to provide a forum for a select group of scholars, members of the learned professions, and government and business leaders to work together on behalf of the democratic interests of the republic.  In the words of the Academy’s charter, the “end and design of the institution is…to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honour, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people.”

Mary Beth and I are working very hard to cultivate our art and I’m pleased to say that work on “My Dearest Friend” proceeds on schedule.  To that end, we are VERY EXCITED to announce that we are taking a field trip into “Adams’ country” over the 4th of July holiday.  We’ll be visiting Boston and Braintree, as well as Lexington, Concord and Weymouth (Abigail’s home town).  We are thrilled to able to celebrate our nation’s “day of deliverance” on the very ground where John and Abigail made their home and raised their remarkable family.  There will, I’m sure, be lots of pictures and I’ll post some of them here and will share with you, our “dearest friends”, tales of our adventures.

Stay tuned!  And save the dates — November 11 – 13, 2011 for the world premier of “My Dearest Friend.”

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