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The Puritan Pilgrims of the May-Flower landed on Plymouth Rock, and founded the Colony of Massachusetts, on the 21st day of December, 1620.

Henry Adams, the founder of the Adams family in America, fled from ecclesiastical oppression in England, and joined the Colony at a very early period, but at what precise time is not recorded. He erected his humble dwelling at a place within the present town of Quincy, then known as Mount WOLLASTON, and is believed to have been an inhabitant when the first Christian Church was gathered there in 1639. On the organization of the town of Braintree, which comprised the place of his residence, he was elected Clerk of the Town. He died on the eighth day of October, 1646. His memory is preserved by a plain granite monument, erected in the burial-ground at Quincy,

by John Adams, President of the United States, and bearing this inscription :

In Memory



Who took his flight froin the Dragon Persecution in Devonshire, in England, and alighted with eight sons, near Mount Wollaston. One of the sons returned to England, and after taking time to explore the country, four removed to Medfield and the neighboring towns; two to Chelmsford. One only, Joseph, who lies here at his left hand, remained here, who was an original proprietor in the Township of Braintree,

incorporated in the year 1639.

This stone, and several others, have been placed in this yard, by a great-great-grandson, from a veneration of the piety, humility, simplicity, prudence, patience, temperance, frugality, industry, and perseverance of his ancestors, in hopes of recommending an imitation of their virtues to their posterity.

Joseph Adams, the son of Henry Adams mentioned in the above inscription, died on the sixth of December, 1694, aged sixty-eight years. Joseph, the next in succession, died February 12th, 1736, at the age of eighty-four years. His son John Adams, was a Deacon of the Church at Quincy, and died May 25th, 1761, aged seventy years. This John Adams was the father of him who was destined to give not only undying fame to his ancient family, but a new and powerful impulse to the cause of Human Freedom throughout the world.

JOHN ADAMS, son of John Adams and Susannah


Boylston Adams, was born at Quincy on the nineteenth day of October (old style), 1735. He received the honors of Harvard University in 1755, and then, in pursuance of a good old New England custom, which made those who had enjoyed the benefits of a public education, in turn impart those benefits to the public, he was occupied for a time in teaching.

It ought to encourage all young men in straitened circumstances, desirous of obtaining a profession and of rising to eminence, to know that John Adams, who became so illustrious by talents and achievement as to lend renown to the office of President of the United States, pursued the study of the law under the inconveniences resulting from his occupation as an instructor in a Grammar School.

John Adams was an eminent and successful lawyer, but it was not the design of his existence that his talents should be wasted in the contentions of the courts.

The British Parliament, as soon as the Colonies had attracted their notice, commenced a system of legislation known as the Colonial System, the object of which was to secure to the mother country a monopoly of their trade, and to prevent their rising to a condition of strength and independence. The effect of this system was to prevent all manufactures in the Colonies, and all trade with foreign countries, and even with the adjacent plantations.

The Colonies remonstrated in vain against this policy, but owing to popular dissatisfaction, the regula

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