Quincy, MA: 1813 (Dec. 24). Manuscript. 20 pp. 165 x 200 mm. Stitched as issued. At some point folded to pocket size and thus retains large fold down middle of pages, small chips and tears along edges, some age-toning, a few pages very browned. An ownership inscription on the front leaf in pencil reads "Elijah Baxter Nichols." Very Good. Item #2911
Highly interesting Tax Roll for the town of Quincy, whose residents at that time included retired President John Adams; his son (and future president) John Quincy Adams; and other members of their family. These individuals are named herein, and their property taxes enumerated. As is well known, the majority of the Adams Family Papers are preserved in the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston. It would seem to us that the present manuscript would make a useful addition to this august institution.
Names of the property owners are usefully arranged alphabetically; not surprisingly John Adams' name appears first. The property owner's name is followed by six columns: poll tax, real estate tax, property estate tax, state tax polls, state real estate tax, and state property estate tax, the amount totaled for each individual at the end of their line. An "x" at the beginning of a name indicates whether or not the individual has paid the full tax amount, and these have a note at the end of their line stating how much has been paid thus far. The number of property owners who had not yet paid are few in number.
After his loss to Jefferson in the presidential election of 1800, John Adams retired to the Peacefield, the family home in Quincy. With 40 acres of farmland and orchards, Adams spent most of his retirement farming, generally staying quiet on public matters, although he became much more vocal after Jefferson's retirement in 1809. His son John Quincy Adams lived at Peacefield as well (in between terms at the Senate and as President) with his wife, Louisa Catherine Adams, and their son, Charles Francis Adams. John Adams's daughter, Abigail ("Nabby") returned to the farm after her failed marriage to Representative William Stephens Smith and died of breast cancer shortly before these taxes were recorded in 1813. Presumably, the entry for John Adams documents taxes collected on Peacefield.
Also included are sections of taxes due for non-residents who owned property in Quincy but resided in Boston, Braintree, Randolph, Milton, Dorchester, and Stoughton. Columns here indicate number of acres, the value of the property, county and town tax, and state tax. Curiously, only the county, town, and state taxes are recorded for Braintree and Randolph.
The text on the front leaf reads as follows: "This tax bill is to be collected and paid to the Several treasurers as follows. Viz.: To the State treasurer -- 356.67 / To the town treasurer -- 3111.43 / To the County Treasurer -- 129.00 / $3598.00 / AD 1813." The bill number is given on p. 20 as "360093," along with the names of the Assessors of the town of Quincy, Noah Curtis and Josiah Bass.