Image courtesy of Colonial National Historical Park, Yorktown.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hacking John Adams

The following is taken from the Massachusetts Historical Society's E-news:

John AdamsAt the end of 2014, the hack into Sony Pictures and the subsequent publication of the private communications of Sony employees drew massive public interest. John Adams faced a "hack" of his own in the summer of 1775 when private letters he had written to his wife, Abigail Adams, and to his friend James Warren were intercepted by the British and subsequently published in Boston and London. Adams, participating in the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, was growing increasingly frustrated at the reluctance of some of the members to take strong measures of resistance against Great Britain and took to his letters to vent his frustration, in particular against John Dickinson, a member from Pennsylvania who believed that even with hostilities ongoing, reconciliation with Great Britain was still possible and should be pursued. John Adams, fed up with this, vented to Warren: "In Confidence,--I am determined to write freely to you this Time.--A certain great Fortune and piddling Genius whose Fame has been trumpeted so loudly, has given a silly Cast to our whole Doings--We are between Hawk and Buzzard." Read more about John Adams's candid opinions about congressional members. 

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