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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 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, Abigail (1744-1818) to Hannah Cushing

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC09394 Author/Creator: Adams, Abigail (1744-1818) Place Written: s.l. Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 17 February 1812 or 1813 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Comforts Hannah Cushing on the death of her nephew, John Cushing Aylwin, who died aboard the U.S.S. Constitution after its battle with the HMS Java in December 1812. Adams quotes from Cato: "How beautiful is death when earned by virtue / Who would not be that youth? What pity is it / That we can die but once to serve our Country."


Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Keywords/Subjects: First Lady, Children and Family, Death, War of 1812, USS Constitution (Old Ironsides), Literature and Language Arts, Women's History

Sub Era: The Age of Jefferson & Madison