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The Adams Chronicles 

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Ambitious multipart PBS production that brings to life five generations of one of America's leading political and historical families. It traces their lives from John Adams early years as a... See full summary »


Virginia Kassel




Won 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 17 nominations. See more awards »



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Series cast summary:
Tim Wilson ...  John Adams II - younger 7 episodes, 1976
Michael O'Hare ...  Richard Cranch 6 episodes, 1976
Wesley Addy ...  Andrew Jackson 6 episodes, 1976
David Birney ...  John Quincy Adams 6 episodes, 1976
W.B. Brydon W.B. Brydon ...  Samuel Adams 6 episodes, 1976
Allan Carlsen Allan Carlsen ...  John Adams II 6 episodes, 1976
William Daniels ...  John Quincy Adams 6 episodes, 1976
Curt Dawson Curt Dawson ...  John Hancock 6 episodes, 1976
M'el Dowd M'el Dowd ...  Madame Brillon 6 episodes, 1976
George Grizzard ...  John Adams 6 episodes, 1976
George Hearn ...  Henry Clay 6 episodes, 1976
Patrick Horgan ...  Lord Howe 6 episodes, 1976
Katharine Houghton ...  Nabby 6 episodes, 1976
Jeffrey Jones 6 episodes, 1976
K.C. Ligon ...  Fanny 6 episodes, 1976
Lisa Lucas ...  Abigail 'Nabby' Adams II 6 episodes, 1976
Nancy Marchand ...  Mrs. Smith 6 episodes, 1976
Pamela Payton-Wright Pamela Payton-Wright ...  Louisa Catherine Adams 6 episodes, 1976
William Shust William Shust ...  Patrick Henry 6 episodes, 1976
Jean-Pierre Stewart Jean-Pierre Stewart ...  Alexis de Toqueville 6 episodes, 1976
John Tillinger John Tillinger ...  King George III 6 episodes, 1976
Kathryn Walker ...  Abigail Smith Adams 6 episodes, 1976
Michael Tolan ...  Narrator / ... 5 episodes, 1976
David Elliott ...  George Washington Adams / ... 4 episodes, 1976
Albert Stratton Albert Stratton ...  Thomas Jefferson 4 episodes, 1976
John Beal ...  Charles Francis Adams 3 episodes, 1976
Peter Brandon Peter Brandon ...  Henry Adams 3 episodes, 1976
Henry Butler Henry Butler ...  James Monroe 3 episodes, 1976
Nancy Coleman ...  Abigail Brooks Adams 3 episodes, 1976
Leora Dana ...  Abigail Smith Adams (age 44-74) 3 episodes, 1976
Thomas A. Stewart Thomas A. Stewart ...  Charles Francis Adams 3 episodes, 1976
Tom Aldredge ...  James McHenry 2 episodes, 1976
Maureen Anderman Maureen Anderman ...  Mary Cathering Hellen (Older) 2 episodes, 1976
Susan Bjurman Susan Bjurman ...  Fanny Adams 2 episodes, 1976
Peter Coffield Peter Coffield ...  George Washington Adams / ... 2 episodes, 1976
Patricia Elliott ...  Minnie Adams 2 episodes, 1976
Paul Hecht Paul Hecht ...  Jay Gould 2 episodes, 1976
Ken Kercheval ...  James Madison 2 episodes, 1976
Robert Phalen Robert Phalen ...  John C. Calhoun 2 episodes, 1976
J.C. Powell J.C. Powell ...  Charles Adams 2 episodes, 1976
Nicholas Pryor ...  John Quincy Adams II 2 episodes, 1976
Reid Shelton ...  Timothy Pickering 2 episodes, 1976
Charles Siebert ...  Charles Francis Adams II 2 episodes, 1976
Jeremiah Sullivan Jeremiah Sullivan ...  Alexander Hamilton 2 episodes, 1976
Robert Symonds ...  Benjamin Franklin 2 episodes, 1976
Tom Tammi ...  Thomas Adams 2 episodes, 1976
Charles Tenney Charles Tenney ...  Brooks Adams 2 episodes, 1976
Mark Winkworth Mark Winkworth ...  John Quincy Adams 2 episodes, 1976


Ambitious multipart PBS production that brings to life five generations of one of America's leading political and historical families. It traces their lives from John Adams early years as a colonial Boston attorney to the rise in prominence of Brookes Adams in the fields of political and social philosophy. This mini looks into their triumphs and tragedies, exploring their genius and profound social conscience. Written by CD

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History







Release Date:

20 January 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Adams Chronicles See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(13 episodes)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


William Daniels, who plays the elder John Quincy Adams on this series, first played the role of his father, John Adams, in the Broadway and movie versions of the musical "1776". See more »


Version of John Adams: Peacefield (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

Adam's Family and Quincy MASS visit. Perfect!!
31 July 2013 | by cowboyerikSee all my reviews

I bought my copy back in 2009 or 2010 I would say; 4 DVD's, from amazon; recently made it to Quincy, the first 3 disks are very interesting and were obviously a back-bone and were reviewed for the HBO Adam's mini-series; many things are factually different when we first watched, the Adam's Chronicles is more accurate depiction of John and JQA. the later un-explored years of the Adam's family is unique, to my knowledge no other documentary exists beyond the lives of the original John and John Quincy Adams. One must also note and mention HENRY ADAMS who came to the shores of America within 50 years of Columbus landing here with 8 SONS, yes 8 sons, from Great Britain and founded co-founded or founded Quincy. I visited his grave site in Hancock Cemetery in the Center of Quincy. Amazing. What disappointed me is that the houses are surrounded by suburbs, I thought there would be vast farmlands, nope, it's all city. Very nice city. The town is pleasant and I encourage people that visit to stay close. May as well. We went to Boston for as much to visit Quincy, the old houses, Braintree, the presidential tombs, Abigal's birthplace and house, Hancock Cemetery and each great Italian. There is a GREAT Italian restaurant right down the street from the old houses. If's Magnificent! You must visit Alfredo's only a block up the street! You can buy tour tickets for the house downtown, and take their trolly's to do the escorted tours of the house, then go back and do pictures and have great Italian. It's worthwhile. First ever trip to Boston and we spent at least 50% of the time in Quincy.

The Boston Musiunm of Fine Arts has an excellent collection of George Washington and Adam's family portraits. Tickets are expensive BUT good for return visit. I think we could have gone back several times. The museum is superior to any other I've seen in the states and rivals anything I've seen in 3 European Country.

After so many years since the release of the ADAMS CHRONICLES I would like to thank PBS and WNET for this production. Grab your copy of this DVD collection on amazon if you can!!!!!!!!

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