Aug 23, Nancy rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Anyone interested in the early days of this country and of the "founding mothers.
Harvard Square Library Abigail Adams Abigail Adams November 11, October 28, advocated and modeled an expanded role for women in public affairs during the formative days of the United States. Married to John Adamsshe was an invaluable partner to him as he developed his political career, culminating in the presidency of the United States.
She left a voluminous correspondence, providing information on everyday life and insight into the activities in the corridors of power during her time. To her great regret, she received no formal schooling.
She certainly benefited from the many books and the lively conversation in the parsonage. Her lack of education later embarrassed her. She was self-conscious about her inability to spell and punctuate properly or to speak or read French.
Even so, Abigail was a devoted reader of history and an astute judge of its impact upon her own time. Her father, William Smithwas a liberal Congregationalist, who often exchanged pulpits with his friend, Ebenezer Gay.
Smith was an Arminian. He did not preach the doctrines of predestination, original sin, or the full divinity of Christ. Rather, he emphasized the importance of reason and morality in religious life. This simple faith his daughter Abigail confessed when she was received into membership in the Weymouth church on June 24, That same year, Abigail Smith met John Adams.
By they were exchanging frankly affectionate love letters full of mischievous humor. They were lovers, friends, counselors, and mentors to one another into old age. Rather, he took considerable pride in her accomplishments.
He told her she was so successful in budgeting, planting, managing staff, regulating live-stock, buying provisions, nursing and educating her children, that their neighbors would surely remark on how much better things seemed to go in his absence.
FromAbigail accompanied her husband on diplomatic missions to France and England. Afterwards, she was glad to return to their farm in Braintree Quincy. She told Thomas Jefferson she preferred her farm to "the court of St. James, where I seldom meet with characters so inoffensive as my hens and chickens, or minds so well improved as my garden.
Neither John nor Abigail had any use for Southern slavery accommodationists. On March 31,Abigail wrote that she doubted the distinguished Virginians in the corridors of power had quite the "passion for Liberty" they claimed, since they had been used to "depriving their fellow Creatures" of freedom.
On February 13,she wrote to her husband regarding a black servant boy who had come to her asking to go to school to learn to write. Abigail enrolled the boy in a local evening school.
Swiftly Abigail responded that the boy was "a Freeman as much as any of the young Men and merely because his Face is Black, is he to be denied instruction? How is he to be qualified to procure a livelihood? I have not thought it any disgrace to my self to take him into my parlor and teach him both to read and write.
She believed that women should not submit to laws clearly not made in their interest. Women should not content themselves with the role of being decorous companions to their husbands.
They should educate themselves and be recognized for their intellectual capabilities, for their ability to shoulder responsibilities of managing household, family, and financial affairs, and for their capacity morally to guide and influence the lives of their children and husbands.
Although she did not insist on full female enfranchisement, in her celebrated letter of March,she exhorted her husband to "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 Laws in which we have no voice or Representation.
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Biography of Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams, Second Reviews: 3.
Abigail Adams: A Biography by Janet Whitney and a great selection of similar Used, New and Collectible Books available now at regardbouddhiste.com WIST is my personal collection of quotations, curated for thought, amusement, turn of phrase, historical significance, or sometimes just (often-unintentional) irony.
One of these women is Abigail Adams, the only woman so far to be both wife and mother of a president. Sadly, however, “Abigail Adams” by Janet Whitney is far from being a biography of her life. Janet Whitney arranges her material in chronological presentation.