Abigail Adams was the famous wife of John Adams, the second president of the United States. A Federalist, and one of the founding fathers of the country. He was also on the committee who was responsible for the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, along with Jefferson, Franklin, Sherman and Livingston.
Adams has been remembered by history as a strong, hard-headed president who firmly believed in a strong government( in contrast to Jefferson). Yet, history tends to forget the importance of Abigail Adams in his life.
She has been refereed to as the first Second Lady of the United States, and the second First Lady of the United States. However these are both labels that are attached to her husband’s career, and to be honest with you I do not care much for them.
The point is that Abigail Adams was a strong woman who always stood by John Adams throughout his political career. She went along with Adams when he became the first U.S ambassador to the U.K and stood by him in Washington during his presidency. In the times when they were apart they always sent letters to each other- during the Revolutionary War and the years following until their retirement.
Abigail’s letters serve as important historical evidence of events and life during the American Revolutionary war, the position of women in the Declaration of American Freedom, and the institution of the first drafts of the American Constitution.
Abigail Adams never fell short on reminding her husband of the importance of his work in building the American nation. She never gave up on him, and specially on the Adams’s family. Interestingly if you read many of their letters, you can sea a warm-hearted and loving relationship between two strong people. Even though they were married for most of their lives they still began their letters with “My Dearest Friend”.
Despite the famous American letters, Abigail Adams is also well known to have been a stringent opponent of slavery and the subjugation of women in the private sphere. She believed that women had equal property rights as men and that they also had a right to free education.
Both Abigail and Adams opposed the monstrosity of slavery that plagued the American nation, she made this clear in the letters that they both shared through the years.
So you might task what is the point of this article? How was she strong? Although women haven been subjugated throughout history that does not mean that they did not have invaluable input in its making and the construction of society as a whole.
Abigail’s Adams was a Founding Mother of the great American nation and her input in influencing and supporting her husband is invaluable. Although she did not achieve things directly, it is important to value her achievements and the achievement of all women in history.
The study of women in history is very important. It must not be undermined as it is in today’s historiography.
Read More About Abigail Adams Here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abigail_Adams
Read the letters between John Adams and Abigail: https://www.masshist.org/digitaladams/aea/letter/index.html
Published in The Art of Polemics, Issue 1, on June 18th, 2014.