Celebration set in October for John and Abigail Adams’ 250th anniversary

PATRIOT LEDGER.com – They had one of this nation’s more celebrated marriages, and now, for their 250th wedding anniversary, their hometowns are pulling out all the stops.

The Abigail Adams Historical Society, the Adams National Historical Park in Quincy and the First Church in Weymouth will commemorate the 250th anniversary of John and Abigail Adams with a weekend of events Oct. 24 through Oct. 26.

Included will be a wedding ceremony re-enactment featuring excerpts from the letters the two wrote during their courtship. They were married on Oct. 25, 1764, in Abigail Smith’s Weymouth home.

“People are surprised at the candor in their relationship, which is reflected in the letters they wrote during their courtship,” said Cathy Torrey, past president of the Abigail Adams Historical Society.

“Her most famous quote is that their wedding day was fast approaching, everything was packed and once the day arrived: ‘Now you can take me, sir.’”

The weekend’s events will be held at the Abigail Adams Birthplace, 180 Norton St., Weymouth; the First Church in Weymouth, 17 Church St.; and the Adams National Historical Park, 135 Adams St., Quincy. The public is invited to wear 18th-century attire. On Friday, Oct. 24, a living history presentation will enable attendees to travel back in time and see the presidential couple on their wedding day.

Abigail Adams descendant Abigail Elias LaCroix will prepare for the wedding at the Abigail Adams Birthplace in Weymouth, then travel by horse and carriage to the First Church, where a commemorative wedding will be held.

Re-enactor Michael LePage will portray John Adams, and Henry Cook of Randolph will portray Abigail’s father, the Rev. William Smith, who officiated at the marriage and gave a sermon.

Weymouth school students and members of the public will line the route to wish them well.

Admission is free. Reservations are highly recommended; seating is limited to capacity. The event will be held rain or shine.

After the ceremony, a reception will be held at the Abigail Adams Birthplace. It will include colonial treats and tours.

From 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 25, five scholars will make presentations on the roles of the Adamses as public figures and their legacy in American history, followed by discussion. “Abigail & John: 250 Years Together” will take place at the First Church in Weymouth. There will be two sessions. Admission is free. Reservations are recommended; seating is limited.

For the Saturday luncheon at the Abigail Adams Birthplace, Stanford University historian Edith Gelles, author of several biographies of Abigail Adams and a book about the union of Abigail and John, will give a talk titled “Abigail and John: Portrait of a Marriage.” Admission is $25 ($20 for historical society members). Reservations are recommended.

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By Sue Scheible