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Abigail Adams was the wife of President John Adams and the mother of John Quincy Adams, who became the sixth president of the United States.
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Throughout President John Adams’ career, his wife, Abigail Adams, served as an unofficial adviser to him, and their letters show him seeking her counsel on many issues, including his presidential aspirations. Adams remained a supportive spouse and confidante after her husband became the president in 1797, and her eldest son, John Quincy, would become president 7 years after her death in 1825.
"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."
"All Men would be tyrants if they could."
Former first lady, writer. Born Abigail Smith on November 11, 1744, (by the Gregorian calendar we use today) in Weymouth, Massachusetts. Abigail Adams is best known as the wife of President John Adams and for her extensive correspondence. She was also the mother of John Quincy Adams who became the sixth president of the United States. The daughter of a minister, she was a devoted reader, studying the works of William Shakespeare and John Milton among others. Adams did not, however, attend school, which was common for girls at the time.
In 1761, she met a lawyer named John Adams. Three years later, the couple married and soon welcomed their first child, a daughter named Abigail, in 1765. Their family continued to grow with the addition of John Quincy in 1767, Susanna in 1768, Charles in 1770, and Thomas Boylston in 1772. Sadly, Susanna died as a toddler and later the family suffered another tragedy when Abigail delivered a stillborn daughter in 1777.
With a busy law practice, her husband spent a lot of time away from home. This situation only worsened as John Adams became an active member of the American Revolution and the Revolutionary War. As a result, the couple spent a lot of time apart. She was also left to carry much of the burden at home, raising their children and caring for the family farm. The couple remained closed by corresponding with each other. It is believed that they exchanged more than 1,100 letters.
Abigail Adams expressed concern about how the new government would treat women. In one of her many letters to her husband, she requested that he “Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable 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 perticuliar care and attention is not paid to the Laidies we are determined to foment a Rebelion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.” Odd spellings aside, Abigail Adams often expressed her thoughts on political matters with her husband. Throughout his career, Abigail had served an unofficial advisor to him. Their letters show him seeking her counsel on many issues, including his presidential aspirations.
After the revolution, Abigail Adams joined her husband in France and later in England where he served as the first American minister to the Court of St. James from 1785 to 1788. When her husband became vice president the next year, Abigail Adams stayed with her husband in the capitol for only part of the time, often returning to Massachusetts to look after their farm and to tend other business matters.
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During their courtship and marriage, John Adams and Abigail Smith Adams exchanged over 1,100 letters, many filled with intellectual discussions on government and politics considered an invaluable account of the Revolutionary War. Abigail, a fierce advocate of rights for women and African-Americans, was an important partner throughout John's political career. The couple lived on a farm in Quincy, Massachusetts, where they raised five children. Abigail died in 1818; John died in 1826, 16 months after their son, John Quincy Adams, was sworn in as the sixth President of the United States.
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