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Praying to the Adams Family Gods with Sara Georgini

In November 1800, President John Adams composed a letter to his wife, Abigail, just after he moved into the new White House.

He concluded his letter to his “dearest friend” this way: “I pray Heaven to bestow the best of Blessings on this House and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise Men ever rule under this roof.”

As the quote suggests, God was an ever present force in the life of John Adams and his family, and while they hoped that providence would smile on the United States, they lived in a republic committed to religious freedom and increasingly the separation of church and state.

How did religion help the Adams Family to make sense of their American world? And how did that American world change their religious beliefs?

On today's episode, we're pleased to bring you the audio version of Jim Ambuske's recent live stream conversation with Dr. Sara Georgini, Series Editor of the Papers of John Adams at the Massachusetts Historical Society, and author of the new book Household Gods: The Religious Lives of the Adams Family.

About Our Guest:

Sara Georgini, Ph.D., is the Series Editor for The Papers of John Adams, part of The Adams Papers project at the Massachusetts Historical Society, and author of Household Gods: The Religious Lives of the Adams Family (Oxford University Press, 2018). Her research focuses on early American thought, culture, and religion. She is co-founder and contributor to The Junto and the Society for U.S. Intellectual History blogs. Georgini writes about American history, thought, and culture for Smithsonian and CNN.

About Our Host:

Jim Ambuske leads the Center for Digital History at the Washington Library. He received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Virginia in 2016 with a focus on Scotland and America in an Age of War and Revolution. He is a former Farmer Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities at the University of Virginia Law Library. At UVA, Ambuske co-directed the 1828 Catalogue Project and the Scottish Court of Session Project.  Ambuske is currently at work on a book entitled Emigration and Empire: America and Scotland in the Revolutionary Era, as well as a chapter on Scottish loyalism during the American Revolution for a volume to be published by the University of Edinburgh Press.