On June 15, 1779, the House of Representatives asked each town to send delegates to a constitutional convention scheduled to convene in Cambridge on September 1, 1779. The House further resolved that any constitution written at the convention would be submitted to the voters for ratification. For the first time, both a constitutional convention and popular ratification would be used to form a new government.

Braintree (today Quincy) home of John and Abigail from their 1764 marriage until 1784. Adams 's law office door is on the left side of the house.

By a happy coincidence, in August 1779, John Adams arrived in Braintree for a visit home. He was promptly chosen as one of 312 delegates to the convention. Other prominent patriots selected as delegates included Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Theophilus Parsons, James Bowdoin (the president of the convention), William Cushing, and Levi Lincoln*.

*The contributions of William Cushing and Levi Lincoln to abolishing slavery in Massachusetts are highlighted later in this exhibit.