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CWDG Online :: View topic - John Adams and......more importantly Abigail Adams
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John Adams and......more importantly Abigail Adams
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Karl
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:36 pm    Post subject: John Adams and......more importantly Abigail Adams Reply with quote

I just wanted to say that as a person who hadn't read the book on John Adams, I felt they did a good job with this series.

But I have a deep respect for Abigail Adams after watching this.
I should have read the book and knowing......NOW....that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson (whom I have a great deal of respect for) both died 50 years to the day after the signing of the Declaration fo Independence on July 4, 1776
That they both died on July 4, 1826 within HOURS of each other strikes me as divine intervention. I'm sorry, but it just does.
These two men were HUGE in the grand scheme of all that is the USA.

But Abigail.......my goodness, what a woman!

They say that behind every great man is a woman.
They MUST have been talking about this woman. I mean.... I found myself waiting to hear what insight she would provide next.
I also found the last episode very sad for a number of reasons and after watching the familes by the side of these great people made me very sad indeed. But that was personal for my own reasons.

What a compelling story though.
I have to read this book.

I would be the first to tell you that as a historian I am sorely lacking. I am just a wannabe. But I can learn and I have friends who Are very good historians and that is cool beyond words.
It's just that there is so much to learn and, so much that we never learned.

What did you all think of this and, could you share your insight's on what you found compelling about this miniseries?

Thanks and regards,

Karl
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Karl
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me just add that I can't imagine what it would have been like to have received counsel from Thomas Jefferson.
Incredible Indeed!

But that seems to have quite paled in comparrison to that which he received from Abigail Adams!
It sounds like those that were around Adams were also aware of her insight too.

I just hope, going forward, that we can take the lessons and insight that came from them, and remember and apply it well today.

Well I can hope can't I?

:P

Regards,

Karl
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historypiper
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm thoroughly enjoying listening to a lecture course Joe Ellis (one of my favorite Rev historians) did. I admit, the more I've found out through the years about Jefferson the less I like him but there's no doubting his stature and importance as one of the FF's. Adams has become one of my favorites if not the favorite for me for much the same reasons he's Ellis's favorite, the fact that he's so human yet was such a force. Wish I could have seen the series but I don't have HBO so I'll have to wait for the dvd.
Regards,
Keith

p.s. yep, I agree totally, Abigail was a helluva lady.
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The General
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Karl,

I HAD read the book, so I knew full well what a truly remarkable couple John and Abigail Adams made. Although Adams was a prickly fellow, he is one of the true giants of the Founding Fathers, and he should be held in higher esteem than what he is. He was the driving force behind the Declaration of Independence.

Although flawed--the Alien and Sedition Acts, which were driven by him, are one of the great examples of pettiness in American history--he also demonstrated great wisdom as president. The very unpopular course of action that he pursued during the Quasi-War with France proved to be the correct one, even though it cost him re-election as president.

Abigail was a brilliant woman, and, as you quite correctly point out, she was very much the wind beneath his wings. Without her, he would not have achieved greatness. And that's the bottom line.

I have long been a very great admirer of Dr. Benjamin Rush for lots of reasons, some of them purely sentimental. Rush, after all, founded my alma mater, Dickinson College. Of all the things that Dr. Rush did, though, the greatest was bringing Jefferson and Adams back together after their squabble. Their letters show a remarkable depth and fondness that deserves to live forever.

You're right about their dying on the same day, a few hours apart. Just as John Quincy was the first president of the United States who was not of the revolutionary generation, the passage of the 2nd and 3rd presidents of the United States on the same day marked the passage of the Revolutionary era. Two of the titans--certainly, the two most responsible for the Declaration of Independence--both passed that day.

While I understand why you felt as you did about the family scenes, the Adams family has more than left its mark on this country. Although John Quincy is not remembered as a great president, he had a remarkable, long career that lasted until the Civil War, including many years served in Congress, and litigating the Amistad case. He was a remarkable man in his own right, overshadowed by his father.

John Quincy's son, Charles Francis Adams, was U.S. ambassador to England, and his son, Charles Francis, Jr., started the Civil War as a captain in the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry and ended the war as a brevet brigadier general commanding one of the U.S.C.T. regiments. After the war, he became president of the Union Pacific Railroad. His son, Charles Francis III, was secretary of the navy, and Charles Francis, IV was the president of Raytheon Corporation.

Charles Francis Adams, Sr.'s other son, Henry Adams, became a prominent college professor, historian, and novelist.

It's hard to overstate the importance of John Adams and his lineage to making this country what it is today. McCullough's book--and the HBO series of the same title--help to highlight those contributions.

Eric
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hawkeyejohn
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found the mini-series to be truly fascinating. Paul Giamatti is one of my favorite contemporary actors and was initially drawn to it for that reason. Laura Linney also did a fantastic job.

It may even cause me to read the book, though I was turned of by McCullough's "1776".

My only question is, will ever picture of John Adams painted from now on look like Paul Giamatti like all the contemporary pictures of Joshua Chamberlain look like Jeff Daniels?
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The General
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL. Good point, John.

Paul Giamatti is an outstanding actor, one of our best. I guess he gets his brilliance naturally from his father. Laura Linney is a remarkable talent who seems utterly incapable of a bad performance. I've never seen anything with her that was really bad.

I liked 1776. I thought it did an excellent job of arguing its thesis, which was that 1776 was the pivotal year of the Revolution and that, but for Trenton and Princeton, it all might well have gone up the spout. What didn't you like about it?

Eric
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RickAllen
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats a good question John. For me anyway, it will be hard to separate Giamati from my idea of Adams.

I thought it was a spectacular series with fantastic acting and brilliant casting to boot. My hat is off to HBO for making such a quality production.

Regards,

Rick
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hawkeyejohn
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eric,

I am not sure I can qualify what I didn't like about 1776. When I finished the book, I just felt cheated. I really like everything else of McCullough's I have read and was just had a disappointed feeling after reading it. Like I said, I need to get back on track and read John Adams.

Laura Linney is amazing. She has appeared in some of my favorite films of the last 10-15 years, Breach, Mystic River, Absolute Power and especially Primal Fear.

Like Rick said, hats off to HBO. The list of projects they have done is amazing. I just wish the broadcast networks could even come close to projects such as the Sopranos, Deadwood, Band of Brothers, John Adams, etc.
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The General
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John,

I'm sorry you felt that way.

Have you read David Hackett Fischer's Washington's Crossing? It deals only with the Battles of Trenton and Princeton, but it might well be the single finest book on the Revolutionary War I've ever read, and is one of the finest works of military history I've ever seen. If you were disappointed in 1776, I can pretty much guarantee you that you won't be disappointed in Washington's Crossing.

Eric
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historypiper
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with John that something was missing in 1776. I think for me it was because it had kind of a "history lite" feel to it, painted with too broad strokes. Still an excellent read in the sense that McCollough is always a heckuva writer IMHO.
Regards,
Keith
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Karl
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eric, Keith, Rick, Stan, Phil et al

This spring or early summer is the time for me to extend an invation that I have talked about before.
Because I live within a couple miles of Cooches Bridge and a dozen miles from where the 262 British ships landed.

Here is an image of the area very close to where I live that shows what happen.
This image is from McGuire's book, "The Philadelphia Campaign"
Volume 1
Brandywine and the Fall of Philadelphia








Here is a close up of the area that the ambush took place.






The road from the Head of Elk is present day Rt 40 and I live off rt 40 to the east of this spot about 2.5 miles.

I would love to give any and all of you a tour of......
The head of Elk where they landed and then of the this skirmish and then we can either head up to PA and do the Battle of Brandywine and follow the troop movements on the way or.......switch gears and go to Ft Delaware and see the Civil War prison.

Let me know if this sounds appealing and whether you can find your way to Delaware for this adventure.

Regards,

Karl
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RickAllen
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Karl, only people who are lost find thier way to Delaware.

Seriously though, I'd love to. Thanks again for the offer, we should do it this summer.

Regards,

Rick
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historypiper
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Karl,
If at all possible count me in.
Regards,
Keith
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Karl
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple more of the landing area where the 262 ships came in.
Only about 12 miles or so from Aiken's Tavern.
Also from McGuire's book.











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Karl
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely Keith.

I just have to find a way to coax the General out this way.
JD too.

Maybe Mark K can come along as I owe him a tour.

Regards,

Karl
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