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Abigail Adams Cairn

Historic Sites, Monuments, Landmarks, and Public Art ()


This stone cairn marks the spot where Abigail Adams and her seven-year old son and future President John Quincy Adams watched the British ships bombarded Charlestown, during the Battle of Bunker Hill. Born Abigail Smith in 1744, she married recent the recent Harvard graduate and future American president twenty years later. Abigail Adams and her husband maintained an intimate relationship based on mutual admiration and respect, as demonstrated by the many letters that have been preserved. After a long public life that included roles such as ambassador and President, the John and Abigail retired to Quincy in 1801.

The Abigail Adams Cairn is located atop Quincy’s Penn’s Hill, at the corner of the Viden Road and Franklin Street, at the foot of Adams National Historical Park in Quincy, MA.


Abigail Adams provided advice to her husband that spanned decades. He most famous letter, written to Adams as the First Continental Congress met in 1776, included the now famous admonition "remember the ladies.” The future first lady made the meaning of her message clear while framing it into rhetoric that reflected the colonist's opposition to kings and unchecked power. "Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands, " Adams wrote, "Remember all men would be tyrants if they could.”

A plaque on the cairn reads: "From this spot, with her son, John Quincy Adams, then a boy of seven by her side, Abigail Adams watched the smoke of burning Charlestown, while listening to the guns of Bunker Hill. Saturday, 17 June, 1775." The marker was dedicated by the Society of the Daughters of the Revolution on June 17, 1896. In 2008, a 112 years old time capsule was found inside the Quincy's Abigail Adams Cairn. 

Viden Rd
Quincy, MA 02169
  • Colonial History
User Created Tours That Include This Entry
This location was created on 2015-05-01 by Bojana Cuskarovska .   It was last updated on 2018-06-24 by Clio Admin .

This entry has been viewed 1129 times within the past year


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