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A Report On Womens Rights In Colonial America, Using Source Documents.

853 words - 3 pages

There were many groups demanding to protect, or reaffirm their rights along the path to drafting the Constitution, and the subsequent Revolutionary War that ensued. History has done much to call attention to the Northerners looking to abolish slavery, and put high tariffs on imports, and the Southerners looking to promote the slave trade, and reduce or eliminate tariffs on imports. The farmers, who were separated into the lowland, and backcountry factions, and a whole host of religious groups, attempting to practice without, or with Government intervention. A less publicized, but definitely discriminated group of settlers was also hoping to gain freedom in this new country, and that group was women.Arguably the most outspoken of the women during the 1770's was Abigail Adams, the wife of John Adams. John Adams, who would be elected President in 1824, was a member of the Continental Congress in Pennsylvania in 1776. During this time, Abigail Adams wrote several letters to her Husband, urging him to"remember the ladies" while they drafted their new "code of laws". A series of letters between John and Abigail Adams, were compiled from The Adams Family Correspondence, eds. L.H. Butterfield et al. (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press 1963), vol. I, 29-31. The following is the first of those letters written to John from Abigail on March 31, 1776. I can not paraphrase her feelings adequately, so with respect to Mrs. Adams, I copied her letter in its entirety."I long to hear that you have declared an independency, and by the way in the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I would desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hand 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 not voice or Representation. That your Sex are naturally Tyrannical is a Truth so thoroughly established as to admit of no dispute, but such of you as wish to be happy willingly give up the harsh title of Master for the more tender and endearing one of Friend. Why then not put it out of the power of the viscious (sic) and the Lawless to use us with cruelty and indignity and impunity. Men of Sense in...

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