As Sen. Maclay
reports, John Adams often struggled with questions relating to his quasi-executive,
quasi-legislative role. Essential to all Adams's actions was his belief in the need
for a strong executive and in the theory that even the governors of a republic should
live in a style that would gain the respect of the populace and of other nations.
Adams and his family lived in one of New York's most impressive structures, the
Richmond Hill mansion, built in 1767, and situated on the road to Greenwich Village,
at present day Varick and Charlton streets. Its location on a hill near the Hudson
River provided a panoramic view of the city and neighboring New Jersey and Long
Island, in which Abigail Adams especially delighted.