Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Adams, John (1735-1826) A Defence of the Constitutions of the government of the United States...[1st ed]

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also request a pdf of the image from us here.

Log in
subscribe to see this thumbnail image

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC04878 Author/Creator: Adams, John (1735-1826) Place Written: London Type: Book signed Date: 1787, 1788, 1794/05/21 Pagination: 3 v. 21.8 x 13.7 cm

A high-resolution version of this object is available for registered users. LOG IN or SUBSCRIBE

Summary of Content: First Edition. Vols. 1-2 issued 1787; vol. 3 issued 1788. Each volume inscribed by Adams to the famous French diplomat Charles M. Talleyrand, who in turn gave them to someone else. In this work, Adams forcibly states the principles on which he perceived the United States to be founded. The book was popular and went through numerous editions. Later, Adams' detractors sought to find in it a hidden desire for a monarchy. In 1788 Adams extended this work by publishing two additional volumes in London. Howes a60. Sabin 233. Evans 20176. DAB 1: 76. USE WITH CARE: volumes have chemical odor; special housing constructed May 99 to control odor.

People: Adams, John, 1735-1826

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: PresidentFranceDiplomacyGlobal History and CivicsForeign AffairsGovernment and CivicsState Constitution

Sub Era: Creating a New Government

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources