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Friday, March 05, 2010

Women in American History...........# 1

There are too many amazing women to choose from, so I decided to go in alphabetical order. I'm starting off with...ta da!

Abigail Adams. Born in Weymouth, MA in 1744, she was the wife and mother of US Presidents. She was only 20 years old when she married John Adams and went on to have five children with him. Two girls, three boys-though one daughter died in infancy.

Once her husband got involved with the Continental Congress and the American revolution, Abigail was left alone with the kids for ten years. She ran the family farm, raised and educated the kids and looked after the family's financial welfare.

Over the years, she and her husband wrote to each other often. Abigail's letters give a first hand account of life during this period. But more than that, John Adams frequently went to his wife for advice--and Abigail had plenty to say. For example, she defended women's rights when it was far less than popular. She was an advocate of married women's property rights, and more opportunities for women, particularly in education.

One famous letter to her husband and the congress reads in part... "Remember all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies, we are prepared to foment a Rebellion and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice, or Representation..."

Along with her husband, Abigail believed that slavery was not only evil, but a threat to the American democratic experiment. When, in 1791, a free black youth came to her home asking to be taught to write, Abigail not only worked with him herself but saw to it that he was enrolled in a local school.

Abigail Adams died of Typhoid Fever in 1818, several years before her son was elected President.


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