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Remember the Ladies: Abigal Adams

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Abigail Adams (née Smith; November 11, 1744 – October 28, 1818) was the wife of John Adams, who was the second President of the United States, and the mother of John Quincy Adams, the sixth. She was the first Second Lady of the United States, and the second First Lady of the United States. Adams is remembered for the many letters she wrote to her husband while he stayed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, during the Continental Congresses. John frequently sought the advice of Abigail on many matters, and their letters are filled with intellectual discussions on government and politics. The letters are invaluable eyewitness accounts of the Revolutionary War home front as well as excellent sources of political commentary. [Wikipedia]

Abigail probably never would have been famous had she not been the wife of John Adams and the mother of John Quincy Adams. But she deserved more than reflected glory. A witty, honest woman who loved her husband and her five children, she was not only the first First Lady to live in the White House but a skillful farmer and business woman, an astute political adviser, and an articulate letter-writer as well. Her correspondence, first published by her grandson Charles, is full of gossip, affection, and political observations. She was an ardent abolitionist long before such views were even entertained as subjects of conversation. She expressed doubts as to Virginians’ “passion for Liberty” since they “have been accustomed to deprive their fellow Creatures of theirs.”

She was also a feminist, and she justly accused her husband of creating a republic for men only. In March 1776, she wrote to John: “Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Law in which we have no voice, or Representation.” [Remember the Ladies, Kirsten Olsen]

Author: barenose

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