Thursday, June 27th: Frozen in Time: Portraits of Abigail Adams and Mercy Otis Warren

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Abigail Adams Historical Society (AAHS), stewards of the Abigail Adams Birthplace, and the Hingham Historical Society present a lecture, book signing, and reception with distinguished historian and Abigail Adams biographer Edith Gelles, Frozen in Time: Portraits of Abigail Adams and Mercy Otis Warren, on Thursday, June 27, 2019, 7:00–9:00 p.m., at the Ames Chapel, 12 South St., Hingham, Mass.

Abigail Adams and Mercy Otis Warren are the two most famous women of Revolutionary America. We know them from their exquisite early portraits, the one in pastel by the limnist Benjamin Blyth and the other by the incomparable John Singleton Copley. We know them, too, from their surviving writings that create portraits in prose. Each type of portraiture, however, has something unique to suggest about the identity of the two women. Paintings show color, expression, context that are vivid and lasting. Words capture action and reaction, change as well as continuity. Each has a different impact, but together they are complementary, and provide a fuller story of two fascinating Founding Mothers.

Edith Gelles is a senior scholar at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University. Her research has focused on women in colonial America and especially on Abigail Adams. Most recently, Dr. Gelles edited the Library of America edition of Abigail Adams: Letters, which includes the full range of Adams’s correspondence and more than 100 letters published for the first time. Dr. Gelles has also written two biographies of Adams: Portia: World of Abigail Adams,which won the American Historical Association’s Herbert Feis Award, and Abigail Adams: A Writing Life. Her double biography, Abigail and John: Portrait of a Marriage, was a finalist for the George Washington Prize. She is a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians and has appeared in several documentaries.

Doors will open at 6:30; the program begins at 7:00. Ms. Gelles’s talk will be followed by a book signing and wine and cheese reception. Books will be available for sale.

This program is part of a year-long series of special events, #RememberAbigail, planned by partner organizations to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Abigail Adams’s death in October 2018 and the 275th anniversary of her birth in November 2019. For more information, see

Tickets are $35 each OR $60 for two. Space is very limited, and pre-purchasing tickets is recommended online at or by calling 781-749-7721 ext. 101

We are almost sold out of tickets on PayPal. We will have some tickets available at the door tomorrow, so if you are still hoping to attend, please arrive early to ensure you get a seat.

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