Abigail Adams Essay

962 words - 4 pages

Abigail Adams

Abigail Adams was and still is a hero and idle for many women in the United States. As the wife of John Adams, Abigail used her position to bring forth her own strong federalist and strong feminist views. Mrs. Adams was one of the earliest feminists and will always influence today's women.

Abigail Adams was born Abigail Smith in 1744 at Weymouth, Massachusetts. She was a descendent of the Qunicys', a very prestigious family in the colonies, on her mothers' side. On her fathers' side Abigail was a descendent of Congressional Ministers. During a time when women did not receive a formal education, her grandmother at home taught Abigail. Her eagerness to learn and to read is what created a bond between John Adams and her.

Abigail was married to John Adams in 1764. Their marriage has been described as one of the mind and the heart. The young couple moved to a small farm in Boston as Johns' law practice expanded. In the next ten years Abigail gave birth to three sons and two daughters. The main goal in her life had now become watching over the family and home without her husband.
The time apart from John was spent teaching her children, dealing with wartime shortages, inflation, and running the farm with little help and writing letters to ease her loneliness.

It was in these letters that Abigail Adams views on government and feminism were made apparent to John Adams. While John was away helping the country declare independence, Abigail wrote her most famous letter to him. On March 31, 1776 Abigail wrote:
" 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."
"Remember all men would be tyrants if they could. If perticular 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."
The reaction of John Adams was less than satisfactory. He responded by telling Abigail that he had laughed at her request. He called her letter saucy and told her he had more to deal with than the request of women.

This angered Abigail and she wrote to Mercy Otis Warren on April 27, 1776:
"He is very saucy to me in return for a List of Female Grievances which I transmitted to him. I think I will get you to join me in a petition to congress. I thought it was very probable our wise statesmen would erect a new government and form a new code of laws. I ventured to speak a word on behalf of our sex, who are rather hardly dealt with by the laws of England which gives such unlimited power to the husband to use his wife."
"I believe I even threatened formenting a Rebellion in...

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