Skip to comments.Adams deserves obscurity
Posted on 03/19/2008 6:01:31 AM PDT by rellimpank
Thanks to the marketing power of HBO, John Adams is no longer the forgotten American revolutionary at least for a week.
Adams feared his role would be neglected. Thomas Jefferson got all the credit for writing the Declaration of Independence, even though Adams was on that committee and had suggested that Jefferson draft it, since he was a better writer and a Virginian. (Adams wanted some geographic diversity to bind the southern colonies with New England in a common cause.)
For the same geopolitical reason, Adams proposed that George Washington of Virginia command the Continental Army. Adams also worked with Benjamin Franklin, the best-known American of the day. Little wonder that Adams predicted that future histories of the Revolution would recount that "Dr. Franklin's electrical rod smote the earth and out sprung General Washington. That Franklin electrified him with his rod and thence forward these two conducted all the policy, negotiation, legislation, and war."
Over the years, John Adams was also upstaged by his wife, Abigail. On March 31, 1776, as the Continental Congress discussed independence, she wrote to him that "in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. . . . We are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation."
(Excerpt) Read more at denverpost.com ...
And, dammit, cousin Sam takes all of the attention courtesy of his beer.
John Adams boned himself as a President; otherwise, he would have been as highly remembered and regarded as his cousin, Samuel Adams. John Adams was far too much the political animal.
I take it you’re not watching. It’s a well done series based on an excellent book.
Our history is rich with stories. It would keep HWood busy for years, and years if only they would look.
Seems we forget to soon, what sacrifices, all these brave men did for us, and the women who grieved for them at home.
I can't agree. It's an interesting subject, and the costumes and sets are well done, but the the wooden acting is so bad that I can hardly stand to watch it.
Well, I have to admit I’m biased. My son is an extra in the film.
This guy needs to read just a little of what Adams really said and not what some drug induced dream told him.
I will never give HBO another chance to revise history since I saw their dramatization of the Chicago Seven trial. In that the judge was totally evil and the Chicago Seven were the greatest guys ever. In fact at the very end of the show the real Chicago Seven rushed onto the set to shake the hands of the actors who had played them.
As for John Adams and this column it was John Adams who by pure force of will ramrodded independence through The Continental Congress.
As Reagan said, most anything is doable if you don't care who gets credit for it. But not getting the credit leaves you with less stature and clout to make things happen in the future. Adams did things for this country that we should all be grateful for everyday. He may have been tortured by not getting the credit, but he was such a big man, that he knowingly put himself through that torture in order that this country would be born and thrive. He was the second President of a newly formed nation, with horrible financial problems, no great sense of oneness, issues of great division and to boot he was standing in the just vacated shoes of one of the greatest Americans, if not The Greatest American to ever draw breath. He held it together. That alone was a major accomplishment. And he had the burden of not being generally recognized as a great man like Washington and Jefferson. His early sacrifices cost him later during his presidency, but we are all for the better that he made them.
Having grown up in Mass. and living for a while in Weymouth and Quincy (the Adams’ hometowns), I find it a little funny that he’s considered “obscure”.
I’ve been impressed with David Morse’s Washington. Granted, he hasn’t done much, yet.
Wooden acting? Some of the best actors out there are in the miniseries, Paul Giamatti is one of the best actors going today.
The only problem I have is when Ben Franklin was reviewing the draft of the declaration with Adams and Jefferson and he about a line in it being too pulpity or preachy as if to insinuate faith has no part in the declaration of independence. Other than that the series has been just great so far.
Good thing Quillen is a columnist and not a high school history teacher.
I’m not trying to suggest he deserves no credit at all, though it’s really hard to overlook the Alien and Sedition Act. Rather, I prefer the John Adams that served as the “cooler head” to his cousin Samuel and other ambitious revolutionary lawyers like James Otis during the Stamp Act Crisis and the early days of the Revolution. Once John Adams began playing the sort of politics we might recognize in today’s modern form, he lost his way a bit.
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