Celebrating John and Abigail Adams on their 250th anniversary

PATRIOT LEDGER.com – A clanging garbage truck heading down rain soaked Norton Street couldn’t break the eager bride’s spirit – or character.

Abigail Smith, portrayed by her descendant Abigail Elias LeCroix, led the way Friday from the home where Smith was born to the First Church in Weymouth to meet her soon-to-be husband, future president John Adams.

An hour later, the happy couple were standing hand in hand outside the church as part of a historical re-enactment celebrating their 250th wedding anniversary.

Asked how he felt, the groom, portrayed by historical re-enactor Michael Lepage, stayed in character.

“Splendid,” he said. “I have the best lady in all of Massachusetts.”

Friday morning’s re-enactment kicked off a weekend-long series of events focused on the nation’s first power couple in celebration of the anniversary. They were married on Oct. 25, 1764. For a full list of events and information on tickets visit www.abigailadamsbirthplace.com.

The event series was organized by the Abigail Adams Historical Society, the church and the Adams National Historical Park in Quincy.

The wedding re-enactment was a chance for people to experience Weymouth’s own pivotal place in American history, said Cathy Torrey, a board member and past president of the historical society.

“To see it up close you can experience history in a real way,” she said. “They laid the foundation of who we are and where we can go.”

The actual wedding took place in the parlor of the Smith family’s home, which was then a block away from it’s current location at 180 Norton St. The house is now a museum owned by the non-profit Abigail Adams Historical Society.

Abigail’s father, the Rev. William Smith was the pastor of the First Church.

During the re-enactment, the 1770 Bible that dates back to William Smith’s tenure was out on the pulpit. The couple read vows re-created from the many letters they wrote to each other during their courtship because there is no record of the actual vows.

“Abigail was such a character. She’s a mentor,” said Weymouth Mayor Susan Kay, who was sworn in twice using the antique Bible. “She was well educated, which was abnormal for the time. She was bright and she saw the value of women’s role when many men didn’t.”

The Adams National Historical Park and the Abigail Adams Historical Society last held a re-enactment of the wedding in 2007 in honor of both organizations’ 60th anniversary.

On Friday, the bride, groom, their families and a few attendees dressed in period-correct long ruffled dresses and waistcoats. After the wedding, they made one concession to the 20th century – posing for photos outside the church.

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by Christian Sciavone

Photo by Gary Higgins