1776 Characters

1776 Character List

John Adams

The story's protagonist. John is a 41-year old man who is in Congress as a delegate from Massachusetts. John Adams is married to Abigail and loves her deeply, despite the fact that they are many miles apart. He is very passionate and constantly pushes for his beliefs in Congress meetings, resulting in him being seen as "obnoxious and disliked". John advocates for freedom from Great Britain along with Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. He is responsible for Congress agreeing to read the Declaration of Independence. He remains headstrong the entire show, even when his ideas are belittled by everyone around him.

Benjamin Franklin

Ben Franklin is a close friend of John Adams. He is a delegate from Pennsylvania, an inventor and a self proclaimed "sage". He wants freedom for America but he is not as outspoken about these ideas as Adam is. He is more friendly and likable than Adams is which results in the other characters being more willing to listen to him. He is wise and his thoughts are viewed highly by members of Congress as well as John Adams. Franklin works with Adams and Jefferson to write the Declaration of Independence.

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson is an intelligent man who was once a farmer but is now in Congress as a delegate from Virginia. He is skilled in writing as well as the violin and his musical talents are what helped him win his wife over. Jefferson is a quiet man who does not often vocalize his desires in Congress. He is recruited by Adams to write the Declaration of Independence when everyone else refused to which shows that he is a person willing to get things done because he knows that gaining America’s freedom from Britain must be done.

John Dickinson

An antagonist of the story. He serves as a delegate from Pennsylvania. He is against the idea of independence from Britain and manipulates Judge James Wilson to postpone the separation for as long as he can. He is very intelligent, which is proven through his articulate phrases. In the end, he leaves for the army in order to defend America.

Judge James Wilson

The mediator of Congress meetings. He does not say much but he is responsible for deciding America’s fate and whether or not it would split from Great Britain. He spends the majority of the show under the control of Rutledge but at the end, does what is right for the nation as a whole.

Abigail Adams

Abigail is the wife of John Adams. She spends the entire musical away from John but their relationship does not waiver. Abigail is clearly as smart as her husband since her letters to him are as eloquent as his. She is responsible for getting Adams the saltpeter that he requested. She briefly gets upset with Jefferson because he is allowed to be with his wife but she cannot be with her husband. Mrs. Adams is very passionate and the thing that she seems to be most passionate about is her husband and supporting him.

Edward Rutledge

Edward was the youngest man to sign the Declaration of Independence. He was a delegate of North Carolina. He fought against the ideals proposed in the original draft of the declaration because they would call for an abolishment of slavery. He is very persuasive and has members of Congress under his thumb which allowed for his racist ideas to be heard and complied with.

Martha Jefferson

Martha is the wife of Thomas Jefferson. She is a beautiful woman and upon seeing her both John Adams and Franklin are amazed by her beauty and wonder how Jefferson could have won over such a woman. Martha is a lover of the arts as well as it is Jefferson’s violin playing that made her fall in love with him.

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