Does HBO John Adams miniseries have any historical inaccuracies?
There was a incorrect, wrong-headed depiction of Samuel Adams as a dangerous and corrupt mob-master, complete with a fictitious schism between Sam and his more moral cousin John.
John Adams is depicted as still suspicious of his cousin Samuel and Samuel’s allies, worrying they are plotting to take over the government for their own ends. In reality, John in these years was a consistent political ally of Samuel.
When Adams joins the delegates to the first Continental Congress in 1774, the delegates listed are actually those sent to the second Congress the following year.
Adams is shown riding into the immediate aftermath of the bloody fighting at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775; this is false- by his own account, he only rode out some days later to the militia encampment at Cambridge.
News of Bunker Hill, sent by Abigail allows John to rally the Congress and achieve the establishment of a continental army, with George Washington as its commander. In reality, Adams was central in urging the creation of a continental army, but Congress voted to do so on June 14, appointing Washington its commander on the 15th- two days before Bunker Hill even happened.
The militia, withdrawing from Bunker Hill, passed directly by Abigail Adams’s door and she sees the mutilated body of Joseph Warren drawn by in a cart. But, Bunker Hill was on the opposite side of Boston Harbor, and the Adams home was entirely off the militia’s line of march.
General Henry Knox rides by Abigail’s door with the cannon captured from Fort Ticonderoga when in fact, his route took him nowhere near her.
The committee to prepare a declaration of independence is shown being created as a casual afterthought: in fact, this committee was established by a proper vote of Congress.
Dickinson did oppose John Adams, but the New York delegation- shown as violently hostile to Adams and his opinions- actually supported independence, though they still lacked authorization to vote for it.
The initial vote was not 9-4, but 9-2 with two abstentions (New York and Delaware).
Abigail and her children did not undergo the smallpox innoculation in isolation, but with relatives in Boston. The virus was not taken from the gory pustules of the dying but from those less severely afflicted, in hopes that inoculation would produce as mild a reaction as possible.
The hostility of South Carolina’s Edward Rutledge is exaggerated.
Adams did not fire the first shot in the engagement between a ship pursuing his in the Atlantic crossing. The officer shown dying was actually wounded later, when a cannon exploded while saluting a French vessel, and the stricken officer only died a week after that.
Adams’s lack of French: while this was true at first, he quickly became proficient.
He did not go to straight to Holland in search of loans: he instead returned briefly to Massachusetts.
October 1779, after John completed his service with the Massachusetts constitutional convention, he was sent back to France by Congress, appointed to negotiate peace-terms with Britain should opportunity arise. He took his son John Quincy with him, as he had in 1778 and he also took Charles.
In 1784, it was not just Abigail Adams who joined her husband in Europe, but also their daughter Nabby abandoned.
In reality, she first rejoined him in London. Only later did they take a house in France and go there together, along with Nabby and John Quincy.
Nabby’s presence in England is omitted (John Quincy had now returned to America), as is her courtship in London with Adams’s aide, Colonel William Smith, whom she in fact married there in 1786.
The “Citizen Genêt” affair is exaggerated, made both a factor in the 1792 election (Genêt actually arrived in the Spring of 1793).
The ratification of the Jay treaty was distorted not only of fact. In the series, the Senate is deadlocked 15 to 15 on ratification. Vice President Adams is thus forced to step in and cast the tie-breaking vote, saving the treaty for the Washington administration. But according to the Constitution, then and now, treaties must be ratified by two-thirds of the Senate. There was not and could not be a tie. The Jay Treaty passed with exactly the required two-thirds, 20-10. Adams had no vote.
Adams, for example, is shown after his inauguration, suggesting that Jefferson serve as a special emissary to France. In reality, Adams made this proposal months earlier, before his inauguration.
Adams is shown as being caught off guard by the Alien and Sedition Acts. Congress sends to him the bills for signature; he seems anguished, reluctant to approve such harsh employment of government power. Finally, urged on by Abigail, he signs them. While it is true that Adams did not specifically urge the Alien and Sedition Acts on Congress, he was aware of them while they were under discussion.
In the series, Adams angrily rejects Smith’s requests for posts in the new national army, declaring openly that he has lost all confidence in Smith due to the latter’s financial speculations. Despite reservations about his son-in-law’s character, Adams did recommend Smith for the new army’s general staff: it was the Senate that rejected the appointment because of Smith’s questionable private affairs. Despite the embarrassment this had already caused him, Adams then pressed to get Smith a colonel’s commission, which the Senate reluctantly approved.
The last episode depicts the death of Nabby Adams from breast cancer. An on-screen caption marks the start of Nabby’s ordeal as “1803.” In fact, the cancer was diagnosed in 1810; her mastectomy followed in 1811.
It also emphasizes Benjamin Rush’s personal examination of Nabby in Quincy, and his personal performance of her mastectomy. In reality, the tumor was diagnosed before Nabby returned to her parents’ home, Rush consulted on the case only by letter, and the surgery was performed by local Boston doctors.
What the series shows is Abigail Adams dies in 1818; John’s friend Benjamin Rush urges that he write to Jefferson about his loss, hoping the two elder statesmen can provide each other with comfort in their final years; Adams does so; Jefferson’s first reply is dated to 1819; the correspondence flowers, friendship is renewed. This entire sequence is very untrue. Rush was indeed was instrumental in renewing contact between Adams and Jefferson, but he was definitely not available to counsel Adams after Abigail’s death in 1818: Rush had died five years earlier. Rush had, in reality, worked carefully to bring the two former presidents back into harmony, but his efforts had culminated in 1812- it was then that the Adams-Jefferson correspondence actually resumed, and Abigail herself was personally involved in the exchange for its first six years.
John Adams never went to see John Trumbull’s painting. “Do not let our posterity be deluded with fictions under the guise of poetical or graphical license.” This scene itself is actually partly fictionalized: the quote comes from a letter written several years earlier, when Adams first heard of Trumbull’s project.
On this day in music history: May 2, 1988 - “Melissa Etheridge”, the debut album by Melissa Etheridge is released. Produced by Melissa Etheridge, Niko Bolas, Craig Krampf and Kevin McCormick, it is recorded at Cherokee Studios in Hollywood, CA from October 19 - 23, 1987. Developing an interest in music at an early age, Melissa Etheridge begins playing guitar at eight years old. By her teens, she’s performing in country music clubs in and around her hometown of Leavenworth, KS. After graduating from high school, she moves east to attend the Berklee College Of Music in Boston. Playing in local bars at night, she eventually gains the confidence to pursue her dream of a career in the music business. Dropping out of school, Etheridge leaves Boston for Los Angeles. Once in California, she lands a gig at a local Pasadena bar and begins performing there regularly. During this time she meets Karla Leopold whose husband Bill is a music artist manager. Inviting to see her perform, Leopold is impressed by Etheridge’s strong stage presence and voice, and he offers to become her manager. Melissa accepts, and the decision is one that will change the course of her life and career. Continuing to play the bar circuit in Southern, CA, Island Records founder Chris Blackwell sees her perform one night, and offers to sign her. Now under contract to Island, she initially spends months recording the initial version of her album, which is rejected by Island Records as being “too polished and slick”. She returns to the studio and records a much more stripped down version in just four days. The resulting album perfectly captures the Kansas born singer and songwriter’s raw and intimate style, garnering critical acclaim and attracts a loyal fan base. It spins off the single “Bring Me Some Water” (#10 Mainstream Rock), written about the jealousy she feels when her girlfriend at the time, says she wants a “non-monogamous relationship” with her. At the time, Etheridge’s sexuality is not common public knowledge, and therefore is not discussed openly. The intense, passionate and fiery song begins receiving radio play, and earns a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female. Asked to perform on the live Grammy telecast in February of 1989, Etheridge turns in an electrifying performance of “Bring Me Some Water”. Though she does not win the Grammy, her appearance on the show greatly heightens her public profile, and gives album a major sales boost. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2003 as a two disc Deluxe Edition. The first disc contains the original ten track album, with second disc featuring a live performance recorded at the Roxy Theater in Hollywood, CA on October 11, 1988. It also features five tracks from a live acoustic set recorded for a BBC Kent radio broadcast on April 25, 1988. “Melissa Etheridge” peaks number twenty two on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
Sole Party 2.0 (by @hawkfurze) May 1st:Like always, introduce your Sole!
Everett Pavel Malikov, local Boston dad hoping to make a difference in the world. He’s trying his best to keep an optimistic view on everything to make things easier for himself and others, and he has a bad habit of repressing almost all of his negative emotions.
His allegiances lay with both the Railroad and the Minutemen due to the two of them having views that match closely with his own.
He loves cute animals (though he classifies almost every animal as cute), the company of others, slow music, Western movies, vodka, carpentry & cooking. He dislikes mirelurks (he has a huge fear of crustaceans), people hurting the innocent, isolation & the inevitable concept of dying alone.
He’s a heavy drinker to cope with his long-term depression. Fights best with a rifle or shotgun in combat. He’s pretty fond of MacCready. He’s close friends with Piper and Danse, and he views Valentine as a fatherly figure. Owns way too many cats scattered across his settlements. Very laid-back, but cracks under pressure. Just wants to be a positive influence.
Helltown is an area in Boston Township, Ohio. It was formally known as “Boston, Ohio”. Local legend associates the area with Satanists and hauntings. These stories are generally considered folklore, resulting from the empty buildings that stood as a result of mass seizure of homes for a national park.
The homes were boarded up and listed as property of the government, some standing for years before being demolished. Rumors began to surface that the government was trying to conceal a chemical spill. Other people, especially tourists, did not know of the eminent domain proceedings, and mistook the empty buildings for a long-standing ghost town.
k i was talking with @highweitohell about fierrochase wedding headcanons and i realized i was on FIRE with the hcs today so i decided to make an official post!! bc i talk way too much i’ll put it under a cut for everyone’s sanity
College students Emma and Killian are seasonal employees at a Boston toy store. They may be Santa’s elves, but that doesn’t mean they have to be on the nice list. Lots of fluff and inklings of smut. Also here on AO3.
“Just lift your leg higher, Swan.”
“What the fuck do you think I’m trying to do?”
“I’m never going to finish if you keep jostling around like that.”
“Well maybe if you knew how to use it properly we would’ve been finished by now!”
“I swear to the heavens, Swan, if you don’t stop-”
“What are you going to do about it, elf boy?”
A timid voice interrupted their argument. “Um, excuse me? Could you tell me where to find the doll aisle?”
Emma Swan and Killian Jones stopped fighting long enough to direct their attention towards the middle-aged woman in front of them.
“Hello, ma'am. I would be more than happy to escort you. This way, please.” Killian released his hold on the base of the overturned Christmas tree, leaving Emma to hold the weight of the display all by herself until he returned. Emma watched the way the tights from Killian’s elf costume left little to the imagination.
With only three days until Christmas, the sales floor of Boston’s largest toy store was bustling with last minute shoppers. Due to the hustle and bustle of the busiest retail period of the entire year, Lohman’s always hired seasonal help to offset the demands of the holiday schedule. For local college students, and anyone else in need of a few extra bucks, the gig at Lohman’s was by far the most preferred.
It was the call of higher than minimum wage pay and extended hours that led Emma to her most recent part-time job - an elf. As one of Santa’s assistants (i.e. security), Emma spent a majority of her day ushering crying children onto and off of the lap of that day’s Rent-a-Santa. Emma’s elf costume was itchy and slightly odorous, the stick-on pointed ears were giving her a mild rash, and today’s Santa reeked of bourbon and sweat.
Kat Chang, the L.A.-turned-Boston local behind Love and Ace, calls her blog a “semi-personal fashion blog,” for its mix of personal outfits and exclusive interviews with local, up-and-coming artists and designers. Unlike most mainstream bloggers, she highlights her own inspirations, giving readers a glimpse into the lives of real people who are pursuing their passions. She also shares her own style - feminine with an edgy twist - and teaches her followers how to wear high-end pieces with affordable basics.
With a background in public relations, Kat’s blogging “hobby” may very well segue into an editorial career, one of her ultimate goals for the future. For more on the blogger’s inspirations and personal style, read our chat with her below.
Kat of Love and Ace in an all-white ensemble.
What inspired you to start your own blog?
I started my blog two years ago. I was working at an e-commerce company and part of my job was interviewing indie designers for the email newsletter. From that, I was inspired to start a blog that revolved around sharing the stories of these up-and-coming designers. After some brainstorming, I added outfit posts into the mix. That’s why I call my blog a “semi-personal” fashion blog - a mix of my own personal style and interviews with designers.
Who or what influences your style?
So cliché but definitely my mom - her style is classic and timeless and I still go to her for advice on how to style certain pieces! I also get a lot of inspiration from reading magazines and other fashion blogs!
Kat hanging out in her new Boston apartment.
What’s your daily blogging routine?
Since blogging is more of a hobby for me, I don’t stick to much of a routine. However I’m definitely always on Instagram - it’s such a fun community and I’m always on the lookout for new designers to feature.
What’s the greatest advice you’ve ever been given?
The greatest blogging advice I’ve ever been given is to interact with the blogging/fashion community! It’s important to support other bloggers.
What are your go-to brands?
Amber Kekich-Purling, the designer of L.A. based AGAIN, has such an eye for texture and shapes. I’m also a huge fan of Odylyne, another L.A. brand that has the most gorgeous dreamy dresses. I recently interviewed the designer of a Portland based bag company called Primecut - and I’m looking to add one of her gorgeous cowhide bags into my collection!
The Hollywood movie about mobster Whitey Bulger has been filming in and around Boston for months, with a list of high-profile actors. That means getting Johnny Depp and the others to sound like they’re from Boston. And as locals certainly know — getting that Boston accent right can make or break the movie.
Arthur Ignatius Kirkland is not a pirate; he is a perfectly respectable and legitimate businessman, with a vessel duly registered with Her Majesty’s portyard authorities as the Unicorn. The young captain handles legal, if exotic, cargo; he pays the correct taxes and fees, and hires professional liasions in every country to ensure they are correct (and as low as possible). At least, he ensures that no one can prove any differently.
Being a legitimate businessman brings its own set of troubles, of course. Sometimes Arthur thinks he would prefer going fully outlaw and facing down the full might of the royal navy rather than having to endure another inane garden party, or another twittering society matron thrusting her equally twittery unmarried daughter at him. Or having to grit his teeth and force a pleasant smile at fat old bankers who harrumph at him and treat him as if he hadn’t yet reached his majority. Or having to sit and make insipid, useless conversation with drunk-sodden fops and empty-headed belles at dinner parties, always placed next to the most annoying guests because he’s single and young, but needs to keep his business contacts sweet.
Contemplating their deaths under his cutlass, which is of course never on him in “civilized” company, is sweet and helps him get through some of the worse moments. But it would probably not be as helpful as getting a wife, so as to appear more mature and socially acceptable.
Arthur is, as his old schoolmate Bonnefoy often lamented, the furthest thing from romantic. He does not believe in love. He does not believe in romance. He does not even tolerate lust - it’s an unacceptable distraction, an overwhelming weakness. He’s seen his father fall from grace because of love - for a married woman. He’s seen his mother die of a broken heart, for a man who does not in the least deserve it. He’s seen his brothers squander what little inheritance they had been given on women, only to be left bereft and broken once the money ran out. In the meanwhile, he has played smart, avoided entanglements, and stolidly climbed the societal class ladder as far as he could.
Accordingly, to ease his way further up, he arranges a marriage. He is aware he requires a decent-looking lady of gentle breeding, well-trained in etiquette, in order to have the effect he desires; and also that he is not quite enough of a catch - yet - to attract many offers from the class of lady he requires. He decides he will take a wife from one of the better families of Boston, where his status as native-born Briton will aid him in his quest; he finds that New World society is almost as stultifyingly boring as Old World, so if the girl is intelligent enough she should be able to fit in with the necessary crowds quite well.
Accordingly, he entrusts his lawyer in Boston with the task; the man is competent and efficient, so within a short while Arthur has a list of possibilities. After consulting with his lawyer and a meeting with the patriarch in question, he settles on Amelia Jones. Her parents are of good stock, themselves born on British soil; they are wealthy planters, running a profitable and neat plantation near the river. Better still, they are eager for anything that will raise their status in the eyes of their peers, and a dashing, succesful British son-in-law will do the trick quite nicely. Arthur will not only walk away from this with a suitable wife, but with a more robust-looking bank account and several bales of valuable goods to carry over the ocean.
The girl herself, his lawyer reports, has something of a reputation as a scholar, spending a lot of time holed up in her room, reading, and having earned excellent marks at the private girls’ school her parents had sent her. She is quietly welcome at many of Boston’s best homes, and would - or so his lawyer, a Boston local born and bred himself, says - be popular if she were more outgoing, and attended more parties.
(Later, he will discover how wildly inaccurate this description is of Amelia - and how mistaken all of Boston, including her parents, had been.)
Arthur is coolly pleased; the girl, and her easy-to-negotiate-with family, sounds made to order. The necessary paperwork and arrangements are finished with gratifying swiftness, and Arthur soon finds himself in the Jones’ foyer, dressed in his best suit, waiting to meet his soon-to-be wife.
Then all his well-made, perfectly-executed plans get thrown out the window when Amelia descends the staircase with a blank expression, and Arthur falls immediately, deeply, and shatteringly in love with the girl.
John, what was the 1st gig you’ve ever attended? were you impressed?
As a little kid I saw some teenagers in a garage playing and it was so insanely loud I didn’t really know what to think, and then had a bunch of other experiences like. I guess the first real rock concert I saw was The Mothers of Invention in Boston in the early 70s (at the Music Hall?) with John L. We had very bad tickets in the very back of the room, but I could still see a lot of the impressively large band. Again the sound was pretty weird–very filtered. Kind of what is left over from over amplified music when you are too far away–but the performance was fascinating and impressive. Once I could drive and had a fake ID I saw a lot more local Boston bands and I was hooked.