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Abigail Adams was very unique diplomatic woman. Abigail was designated the First Second Lady and the Second First Lady of the United States. This could be a riddle to a reader unless you know your history or her-story. Abigail was the wife of the first Vice President of the United States, the wife of the second President of the United States and the mother of the sixth President of the United States (www.wiki.org). The White House did not house a first lady until Abigail Adams moved into this historical residence. Abigail was a woman that helped shape the American Revolution and was wise beyond her years. This paper will introduce you to an American Revolutionary Woman of full wisdom all unknown to her. Abigail had no idea the level of intellect she displayed as an Anerican woman..
On November 11, 1744 in Weymouth, Massachusetts, Abigail (Smith) Adams was born, the daughter of Reverend William and Elizabeth Smith. Abigail lived a simple childhood she never received any formal education, Abigail was home-schooled along with her siblings more than likely by her mother and grandmother. Abigail may have been denied a formal education due to the fact that during the time of the Revolutionary War many women were not afforded the opportunity to receive a formal education. Abigail Adams did have access to books from her father’s library is where she learned to read and write, especially the works of William Shakespere. Abigail lived a quiet childhood until she met her future husband John Adams when she was 17 years old. She went on to marry Attorney John Adams a few years later, unfortunately it was no secret this was her third cousin. They had six children, three daughters and three sons, one son John Quincy Adams would later become the President of the United States. After the marriage, John and Abigail moved to Boston where John worked as an attorney. They planted their roots on their family farm known as the Peacefield Farm. John’s work often caused him to be separated from his family. The separation lead Abigail to start corresponding with John through a series of letters during their time apart from one another. Over the years they corresponded with one another and now their letters are part of the Adams Family Papers housed in the Massachusetts Historical Society.
Abigail Adams was known for writing letters to her “Dearest John Adams”. It was stated that Abigail and John corresponded with one another in well over 1000 letters throughout their lifetime. During the early years in their marriage, John would travel not only in the continential United States but overseas to Europe. Through the letters any observer could see that they were a couple that truly loved one another. Abigail wrote to John in terms of endearment. The following brief paragraph is from letter written by Abigail to John in 1792. Abigail Adams. “To the early days of our acquaintance; and Friendship, as to the days of Love and Innocence; and with an indescribable pleasure I have seen near a score of years roll over our Heads, with an affection heightened and improved by time—nor have the dreary years of absence in the smallest degree effaced from my mind the Image of the dear untitled man to whom I gave my Heart.” (Letter to John Adams, 1792). Another letter written by Abigail started with poetry; Abigail Adams. “The morning lours, the Dawns oer’cast And heavily in clouds brings on the Day Big with the fate of Liberty, and Man.” On the decisions of this Day, hangs perhaps the Destiny of America, and may those into whose hands the Sacred Deposit is committed be guided and directed by that wisdom which is from above, and the results prove the prosperity, peace and happiness of our Country. This is my most fervent wish and petition to Heaven, totally divested of every personal feeling and Sentiment” (Letter to John Adams, December 7, 1796). As Abigail Adams penned letters to her husband she was known for starting her letters with “My Dearest John” and often times when John corresponded to Abigail he would start his letters with “My Dearest Friend”. John and Abigail not only shared a love story in person but also on paper.
Abigail Adams was could have been known as the First Lady of the American Revolution and was definitely known as Mrs. President. The American Revolution started taking shape and John often correspondence with Abigail about certain situations and sought advice from Abigail and she ended up becoming and unofficial adviser to John as the fight for America’s independence was transforming and throughout his future political career. Abigail advised John on many different political affairs to include the Alien Act, the XYZ Affair, and the Sedition Act. Abigail Adams often fought for Women’s rights and reminded John in more than one way not to forget about the women of America. Abigail always fought and was a voice for equal representation for women, she believed strongly in women’s rights. During the American Revolution John often confided in Abigail through letters. Abigail used her corresponding letters as an opportunity to voice her opinion; she did not want women held to certain laws they had no true representation in creating.
On April 21, 1789 Abigail Adams became the first Second Lady of the United States. On March 4, 1797, Abigail Adams became the second First Lady of the United States of America. Prior the John Adams being Vice President and President Abigail Adams worked on his presidential campaigns. After becoming the First Lady, John Adams confided in his wife even more and she became known as Mrs. President. Abigail was his advisor and in public she defended her husband and voiced her opinion of various dislikes or disagreement. Abigail was admired by many, in 1798, a Massachusetts volunteer regiment asked for Abigail’s permission to rechristen themselves as “Lady Adams Rangers.” Flattered, she happily consented. (Facts About Abigail Adams, 2017). Her voice of reason echoed throughout the Federalist Party. President John Adams respected his wife and definitely valued her opinion. When John Adams was defeated by Thomas Jefferson during his second bid at President Abigail was more than ready to leave the public life, she was ready to return home to Quincy, Massassuettes.
The First Second Lady and the Second First Lady of the United States, the mother, the presidential adviser, the voice of women then and now, Abigail Adams was a strong woman whose voice never went unheard. Abigail Adams lived a life she never dreamed of being from becoming a quiet girl John met years ago to the voice of the nation for many women. Abigail played an important role in John’s decision making throughout his political career. Abigail Abigail Adams lived to be 73 years old. Abigail died at home of typhoid fever on October 28, 1818 in Quincy, Massuessetts. Abigail and John were truly life partners, her strong willingness helped John Adams be successful in life. Abigail Adams was an unshakeable, remarkable women.
- Cullen-DuPont, Kathryn (August 1, 2000). Encyclopedia of Women’s History in America. Infobase Publishing. pp. 3–4. November 28, 2011.
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abigail. Adams
- http://mentalfloss.com/article/71174/13-Facts About Abigail Adams, November 11, 2017.
- Letters from Abigail Adams to John Adams, 1792-1776 (Electronic Edition) Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society.
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