Clark Beim-Esche

Author, Speaker

Excerpt from Calling on the Presidents: Tales Their Houses Tell  by Clark Beim-Esche,  from the chapter about Peace field, home to John Adams and John Quincy Adams:

Passing back into the hall, Bob then led us up the straight staircase to what, for me, would be the most meaningful room in the house: the upstairs study. This was the room where both Presidents, John and John Quincy, had spent the most time, reading their beloved books and writing the letters that would come to form some of the most famous of American literary correspondences. Here, John Adams, seated in the floral wing chair which remains placed in the corner where he loved to sit, had uttered his last public pronouncement to a small delegation of town leaders who had asked him to give them a Fourth of July message that they might read to the citizens of Quincy. “I will give you … Independence forever!" he had spoken (McCullough 645). Sitting right there in that corner. In that very chair.

Elsewhere in the room could be seen John Quincy Adams's W. Bardin terrestrial globe, a fitting possession for the most well-traveled diplomat in American history to that date. And then, almost nestled in the northeast corner of the study, stood John Adams's secretary desk, the spot where he had written the 158 letters that constituted his side of the indispensable correspondence with Thomas Jefferson that had reunited the old friends and past adversaries. And everything was still here, still placed as the Adamses had seen fit. Remarkable, simply remarkable.