John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Two drafters and signers of the Declaration of Independence, two diplomats who served the United States abroad in Europe, and two men who went on to serve as vice president and president of the United States. Both men left indelible marks on American society.
Adams and Jefferson are two founders who captivate the attention of and greatly interest Americans today, so in honor of the 242nd anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and the 192nd anniversary of their deaths, we will explore their lives and relationship.
Barbara Oberg and Sara Georgini, two historians and documentary editors, join us from the Papers of Thomas Jefferson and the Adams Papers Editorial Project, so we can explore the lives and relationships of John and Abigail Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Each episode features a conversation with a historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.
Ben Franklin’s World is a production of the Omohundro Institute.
Barbara Oberg, General Editor Emerita of The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, and Sara Georgini, Series Editor of The Papers of John Adams, join us to explore the lives and relationships of John and Abigail Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
During our conversation and exploration, Barbara and Sara reveal the value of the correspondence between John and Abigail Adams and Thomas Jefferson and what it reveals about life and politics during the American Revolution and the early republic periods; Details about how the Adamses became friends and correspondents with Thomas Jefferson; And, information about what caused the breach in their friendships and what led them to reconcile after more than a decade of silence.
What You’ll Discover
- The value of the correspondence between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson
- Why it took so long to publish the complete Adams-Jefferson correspondence
- The hunt for Adams and Jefferson Papers
- The correspondence between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson
- How documentary editors come to “know” the people who write their papers
- The editing projects behind the published volumes of papers by Adams and Jefferson
- Why Lester Cappon may have organized the Adams-Jefferson correspondence into 13 chapters
- How John Adams and Thomas Jefferson became correspondents and friends
- What Adams and Jefferson thought about their contributions to the Declaration of Independence
- The highs and lows of the Adams-Jefferson relationship
- The Election of 1796
- How Adams and Jefferson viewed the other’s presidency
- Relationship and correspondence between Abigail Adams and Thomas Jefferson
- The reconciliation between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson
- What Adams and Jefferson thought about their careers and achievements as they aged
- The death of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson on July 4, 1826
- The legacy of the Adams-Jefferson relationship
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- Lester J. Cappon ed., The Adams-Jefferson Letters: The Complete Correspondence between Thomas Jefferson and Abigail & John Adams
- Barbara Oberg
- Sara Georgini
- Sara Georgini on Twitter: @sarageorgini
- Adams Papers Editorial Project
- The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Documentary Editing Project
- First Federal Congress Documentary Editing Project
- Massachusetts Historical Society
- Jefferson Papers Online
- Adams Papers Digital Edition
- MHS on Twitter @MHS1791
- James P. McClure, Editor The Papers of Thomas Jefferson
- Gordon Wood, Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson
- Founders Online
- Adams Novanglus Letters (Digital Edition)
- John Quincy Adams Digital Edition
- BackStory Podcast
- Bunk History
- Episode 007: Sara Georgini, John Adams and The Adams Papers Editorial Project
- Episode 018: Danielle Allen, Our Declaration
- Episode 117: Annette Gordon-Reed, The Life and Ideas of Thomas Jefferson
- Episode 141: A Declaration in Draft
- Episode 145: Rosemarie Zagarri, Mercy Otis Warren and the American Revolution
- Episode 150: Woody Holton, Abigail Adams: Revolutionary Speculator
- Episode 188: Terri Halperin, The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798
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