Abigail Adams helps give modern people an insight into the life of a remarkable colonial correspondent.
She understood important issues that tore the new nation apart. Abigail showed her affection for her country and her husband by documenting her life for all to read. Without her letters, America would not be as well informed about the Revolutionary War and the second President as it is today.
Abigail Adams was born in the small town of Weymouth, Massachusetts on November 11, 1774. Her father, William Smith, was a wealthy clergyman who married Elizabeth Quincy Smith.Together they had Mary, Abigail, Elizabeth and William.
Abigail often spent long hours at her Grandmother Quincy’s home learning how to cook and sew. Grandmother Quincy was witty and sharp and taught Abigail to think for herself. As a young child Abigail was often sick and couldn’t attend school. When she was home sick her father gave her full access to the family library and gave her numerous books to read. One of Abigail’s favorite pieces of literature was Shakespeare’s Macbeth, which she read many times. Her dark brown hair and fair creamy face could most often be found in the library behind a book.
When Abigail came of a marrying age, many men came to call, but none caught her eye until John Adams. John treated her like an equal and delighted when she shared her opinions. Abigail and John could discuss the political happenings and controversies of the time as equals. They married on October 25, 1764. Abigail and John moved to Braintree, Massachusetts where they had Nabby, Charles, Thomas, John Quincy and Susanna. When John left for Boston to be a lawyer, Abigail was left to take care of the children and the farm for ten years. John once wrote, ” Sometimes I fear the farm is in etter hands with me gone.
With John gone, the educating and raising of four children was given to Abigail. She had no formal education for herself, yet she taught her children. Abigail’s words of self-educating her children are, “l have always found it very important that children should in the early part of life be unaccustomed to such examples as would tend to corrupt the purity of their words and actions. ” Abigail taught them at home so Nabby could learn along with her brothers because, at this time, girls were not required to go to school. Abigail learned Latin and French o teach to John Quincy.These languages would help in his future roles of ambassador to Russia and president of the United States. Around this time signs of a Revolutionary War were everywhere.
The First Continental Congress started meeting in August of 1774. John was again reluctantly torn away from Abigail and his children. It adopted a Declaration of Rights and Grievances. When the Second Continental Congress convened they created the Continental Army because of their distrust toward England. They also sent the peaceful Olive Branch Petition to King George Ill, who angrily refused it.The petition stated the colonies hope for a peaceful secession from Britain.
Another official document created by the Continental Congress was the Declaration of Independence. The most popular religions of the time included Deism, Unitarianism, Congregationalism, and Moravians. The Deists believed that God created the world and then abandoned it. Unitarians denied the Trinity and didn’t believe that Jesus was God’s son, but that He gave His powers to Jesus temporarily. Congregationalists believed that God loved them and wanted to interact with them but couldn’t. The Moravians came fromGermany to be missionaries to Indians, slaves, and immigrants. They thought God wanted their religion to be worldwide.
One of the most famous artists of the time was John Singleton Copley. He was said to be, ” The greatest painter to ever work in colonial America. ” Gilbert Stewart was another famous painter of the time.
He painted the portrait of George Washington that is currently on the dollar bill. The most famous book read by all Americans at this time was the Bible. There were many things that led to the Revolutionary War. The Townshend Act taxed items such s glass, paper, lead, and tea.
The Stamp Act required people to purchase stamps to put on certain legal documents. It taxed things like newspapers, calendars, playing cards, and all other legal documents. The Intolerable Act closed the port of Boston until the tea destroyed in the Boston Tea Party was paid for. The Boston Massacre was the first incident of Americans revolting that resulyed in death. A mob of men gathered to throw snowballs and rocks at the British soldiers around Boston. The soldiers shot into the mob, killing five and injuring six.
The Boston Tea Party is nother good example of America revolting.When taxed British tea came into port in Boston, the Bostonians refused to let it be unloaded. Later that night a group of fifty to sixty men dressed as Indians illegally dropped all of the tea into the harbor. Every colony longed for independence from Britain.
American sailors were being impressed, which means men were being illegally taken off of ships and forced to work on British ships. This violated the equal rights at sea and infuriated Americans. Slavery was also an issue that would arise and tear the nation in two. Abigail once rote to John about slavery, ” I wish most sincerely that there was not a slave in the province.It has always appeared a most iniquitous scheme to me – fight ourselves for what we are daily robbing from those who have as good a right to freedom as we have. ” Some people believe Abigail to be the first feminist. Her view on women’s rights was this, ” If we mean to have heroes, statesmen, and philosophers, we should have learned women.
” Abigail had incredible insight on issues that would soon tear the nation apart. She even wrote to him when he was with the Continental Congress aying, ” I long to hear that you have declared independency.And, by the way, in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you to remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your As often as she could Abigail wrote to John.
Normally she wrote to ancestors. ” him three times a day, describing even the smallest things, Just to include him in her life. Through her diligence to include him, she even wrote to him during her labor so he could feel present. Some people thought Abigail had too strong a hold on the resident. Was it a hold or was it true love?While home on the farm, Abigail had many tasks to take care of even as a war raged on in her own backyard.
She was an eyewitness along with John Quincy of the Battle at Bunker Hill. When minutemen started resting at her house, she overheard one of them complain about a shortage of bullets for the muskets. Abigail then took her pewter spoons and melted them down to mold into bullets. John Quincy called it “Bullet Soup. ” This is Just one of the many things that Abigail sacrificed for her country. As the first lady, Abigail only ived in the White House for four months.
The Adams was the first to occupy the Executive Mansion, as it was then called. When Abigail and John moved in, only six rooms were habitable. The East Room had no windows and Abigail saw it as the perfect place to hang the wash. Even in these terrible living conditions, Abigail was the perfect hostess for events at the White House. Home to Abigail would always be Braintree, Massachusetts where she and John retired for seventeen years after his presidency. Both John and Abigail were Unitarians and Abigail often said, ” True eligion is from the heart, not from a person’s good deeds. Abigail Adams always wanted what was best for her country and family.
She often sacrificed having her husband with her so he could attend to political matters. Her sacrifices led toa new country. On October 25th , 1818, Abigail came down with a bad case of typhoid fever, a virus she often had as a child. John said about her state, ” I cannot bear to see her struggle like this.
” On October 28th , 1818 Abigail died. ” We shall meet again and know each other in our future state,” said John as his final goodbye.Abigail’s any letters to her husband concerning women’s rights show that she was the first documented feminist that tried to confront the injustice head on. S he also wanted women to have the right to own their land and property in her own name, not her husbands. John Jokingly laughed at that suggestion. Abigail was also strongly opposed to women neglecting their education. Abigail wrote John, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington, all of whom she easily matched wits with, about her views on the male sex being looked on as superior. She wanted to make her point clear that women as equally as important as men.
If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies,” she wrote, ” we are determined to foment a rebellion and we will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no Throughout her years, Abigail Adams practically gave voice, or representation. ” everything for the well being of her homeland. From melting down her pewter spoons for bullets for the soldiers to letting her husband travel at first as a lawyer and then onto the Continental Congress’s, she cared deeply for what she thought was right. Would America be the wonderful nation it is today without the sacrifices Abigail Adams made for it?