Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Fall 2021

Department 1



This essay examines the Adam Family Papers as a case study representing the Early American Republic’s economic elite. It argues that individual business practices affected the relationships between relatives—sometimes positively, other times negatively. The first section concerns other historians’ work on the family and on the Salisbury Iron District. The second section discusses women’s roles within their male relatives’ businesses. The third section relates to gift exchanges, while the fourth concerns business transactions between family members. The fifth section regards the economic hierarchy that emerged within the Forbes & Adam family. Letters concerning Samuel Forbes, John Adam Jr., Abigail Adam, Lucy Walker, William P. Walker, and Samuel Beckley Jr. make up the block of communications analyzed.


Written for HIST 428: Letters and Letter Writing

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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