SUMMARY: Abigail Adams (November 11, 1744 – October 28, 1818) Wife of the second president of the United States.
Abigail Adams was the wife of the second President of the United States, John Adams. As First Lady and the wife of one of our Founding Fathers, she is one of the most amazing and extraordinary women in our nation’s history. Let’s learn a little more about her.
Abigail Adams was born on November 11, 1744 in a province of Massachusetts Bay. Abigail Adams was the daughter of a Congregational minister. Her father didn’t preach about the normal things like original sin or the divinity of Christ, but taught about morality and reason. She never really went to school as she was often sick when she was younger, but she learned by reading from her father’s library and was also taught by her mother and sisters.
She met John Adams in 1759 and they exchanged love letters throughout their courtship and their life. She married John Adams in 1764. She had six children, the last of which was stillborn. Their children’s names were Abigail, John Quincy, Susanna, Charles, Thomas, and Elizabeth. Their children went on to do extraordinary things themselves, for example John Quincy himself became President of the United States years after his father held the position.
While her husband was away for work, Abigail Adams would look after the farm and the house. Because traveling back then took weeks where now it takes hours, they were often away for a lot longer time period, and so the women had to completely take over the farm and anything else that the family did for a living in order to survive.
Throughout her husband’s political career she hosted numerous dinners and social events. She had to have her home ready to present and to entertain guests or politically important people. She learned a lot from Martha Washington, George Washington’s wife. They became good friends while George Washington was President of the United States and while John Adams was Vice President.
While her husband was at both of the Continental Congresses, she wrote him letters and to “remember the ladies”. She wanted to let him know that women were also very persecuted against and had little rights. She wrote that women would rebel against the men someday, just like the colonies did against the British. Nevertheless, nothing came about from the letters and it took more than a hundred years for women to even gain the right to vote. However, she did do a wonderful job in letting the world know about the problems of women and that they need their freedom too.
Abigail Adams didn’t believe in slavery just like her husband. They never owned slaves and thought that people who did, didn’t really believe in “all men are created equal.” They even helped a young black man who came to their house asking if they would teach him to read and write. They sent him to a school and said that it didn’t matter what color your skin was, everyone is the same underneath.
Throughout her life, Abigail Adams often had health problems. She would comment on the sweet things of life, and tried not to think about the bad. She was very optimistic and was until the day she died. Abigail Adams died on October 28, 1818.