For those of you who don’t know who Abigail Adams is, she was the wife of the second President of the United States, John Adams. John Adams was also Vice President under George Washington, making her the first Vice President’s wife. She had an amazing life filled with many different accomplishments. Here is a little more about her.
Abigail Adams was born on November 11, 1744. She was born in Weymouth, Massachusetts which is a province of Massachusetts Bay. Her family came from lineage such as Kings of England and the Quincys, a very well known family in Massachusetts. Her father was a Congregational minister that wasn’t your ordinary preacher for the time. Instead of teaching things like the divinity of Christ or original sin, he taught about reason and morality.
Even though Abigail Adams never really had a formal education, she was still one of the brightest women of the age. She was taught by her mother and sisters because she was often sick and couldn’t attend school. Her father had a huge library filled with tons of books that she would read to educate herself.
Abigail Adams met her future husband in 1759. They began to exchange love letters calling each other loving nicknames. John Adams and Abigail married on October 25, 1764. She was almost twenty years old. They had six children, named Abigail, John Quincy, Susanna, Charles, Thomas, and Elizabeth. Elizabeth was stillborn, and a few of their children died early on in their lives. The rest of the children went on to do amazing things, including the fact that John Quincy later became the President of the United States, just like his father had been.
Communication and traveling was extremely hard back in those days, and so when John Adams would go off on business trips and work as a circuit judge, Abigail was left to do everything herself. She had to take care of not only the house but the family farm too.
She also entertained a lot. While her husband was Vice President, she and Martha Washington, wife of George Washington, would host events and dinners for the political guests their husbands would receive. Abigail Adams learned a lot from Martha Washington and used that knowledge later on when she was First Lady.
Abigail Adams could be thought of as the woman who started getting things going for the women of our country. She was very involved politically and was often thought of as Mrs. President while she was First Lady. She helped to influence and help her husband in some of the polical decisions and helped to make this country what it is today.
John Adams was a representative for Massachusetts at the first and second Continental Congresses. While he was away shaping our country, she wrote him letters to “remember the ladies”. She was trying to make the men see that women weren’t given any rights and didn’t have any political freedom just like what they wanted. Women weren’t thought of as having much value then and so weren’t treated as equal to men. She wanted women to be able to have those same rights that men had. She began the movement for women’s rights. The men at the Continental Congress obviously never did anything, but it was a start.
Abigail and John Adams never believed in slavery and thought that it was completely wrong. They helped slaves learn to read and to write. It was a time when people didn’t understand why they did what they did, but the Adams just said that they were the same as anyone else.
Abigail Adams did a lot in her life. She was an amazing woman that did a lot with not much to work with. She died on October 28, 1818 from typhoid fever. She was optimistic until her dying day.
Learn more with these John Adams websites.