Interesting Facts about First Lady Abigail Adams

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Abigail Adams is renowned as the wife of American President of John Adams who was elected in 1796 and mother of future President John Q. Adams. She had strong opinions on many political issues and advised her husband on issues of women’s rights and slavery.

Here are some facts about her.

  • Abigail’s father was the Congregation Church’s Reverend, William Smith while her mother Elizabeth Quincy hailed from a wealthy and popular political family of Massachusetts. She had 3 siblings and was the second among them.

  • Abigail grew up seeing her mother spend time visiting the sick and helping the poor and needy families with food, clothing and firewood as a result of which similar values were imbibed in her and made her a compassionate woman.

  • It is the duties and various positions that Abigail’s grandfather Colonel Quincy served that made Abigail aware of her public duties and of the importance of freedom for the American slaves.

  • She suffered from a chronic illness due to which she was home-schooled till the age of eleven.

  • Abigail met her future husband John Adams at the age of 15 when he was a young lawyer. A 3 year courtship followed during which they kept in touch through frequent letters.

  • In John Adams, Abigail found an intellectual match and in spite of the many hardships that the couple went through, their marriage was a success.

  • Abigail and John Adams had five children together.

  • Abigail Adams is the First Lady to have lived in the White House at Washington DC.

  • She supported the formal education of women stating that it is educated woman who will be capable of raising educated children.

  • The Revolutionary War had impacted the Adams’ family. Even during the war, Abigail managed to provide shelter and food at all times of the day when soldiers stopped by or help escaping soldiers hide in their home.

  • The letters that Abigail and John Adams exchanged when they remained away from each other, especially during the War years reveal the situation of America during that time and contribute to the account of American history.

  • John Adams spent long periods away at the Continental Congress during which Abigail successfully managed her family, educated the children, handled finances and took other important decisions all by on her own.

  • She joined her husband in Paris and then accompanied him to England after the British surrendered at Yorktown. In 1788 they returned to America and her husband was elected as Vice President under President George Washington.

  • Abigail also nursed the sick and took care of ailing children when in the fall of 1775 Braintree inhabitants suffered epidemic dysentery.

  • She died in October of 1818, in their home in Quincy due to typhoid.

The lack of formal education was a lifelong regret for Abigail. In spite of that, the detailed letters that was exchanged between John Adams and Abigail Adams is proof of how she was a woman ahead of her time and also provides a historical account of the contemporary issues of the time. She was a comparatively well-versed and knowledgeable woman than most in 18th century America.

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