The Life Of Abigail Adams Essay, Research Paper
This was written in the first person…
I was born in November 11, 1744. My mother s name was Elizabeth Quincy Adams and My father s name was Reverend William Smith. My mother was a descendent of the Quincy s. A descendent of a 17th century puritan preacher, Thomas Shepard of Cambridge. My father and other forbearers were Congregational ministers. My father was a well-educated man. He was well-off. He was easy going and very friendly. He told me to “to say all the handsome things you could of persons, but not evil.” I often went with my mother to help the needy. We would take food, fuel and clothing to them. We also visited the sick. As a child I was stubborn but shy. I was always sick. My parents, specially mother worried that I would have a short life span as many children that time did. I often complained to my sisters about my mother. I complained about how she was very protective. My mother Elizabeth expected obedience and good conduct out of her children. My father lightened things up a little. Our household wasn t very severe. My father balanced things out. People at the time believed that only boys should be admitted to the schools. So I like other woman that time didn t receive any formal education. But my grandmother taught me what I needed to know. But the lack of formal education spurred a interest in reading for me. I d read anything from the Bible, to poems, history, philosophy, essays, and sermons. I loved it, I was curious to know more and that was the way I learned. Reading created a bond between John Adams and me. John Adams was a graduate from Harvard, and started a career in law. John and I met a my sister, Mary s wedding. I think John might at first been intimidated by me because he was intimidated my intelligent women. When we met I was fifteen and he was twenty-seven. We talked and read together. One evening, in the middle of a storm john got down on one knee and proposed. I of course accepted. John and I got married in 1764. Whereas John was short and pudgy with a round, almost bland face, Abigail was tall and slender with sharp and striking features. Bernard Bailyn, an artist who painted the couple early in their marriage, left a vivid description of the twenty-two-year-old woman who sat for her portrait: “Abigail’s face is extraordinary, not so much for its beauty, which, in a masculine way, is clearly enough there, as for the maturity and the power of personality it expresses. The face is oval in shape, ending in a sharp, almost fleshless, chin; a rather long arched nose; brilliant, piercing, wide-spaced eyes. It is about as confident, controlled, and commanding a face as a woman can have and still remain feminine” We lived in Braintree and later in Boston while his practice was expanded. Ten years into my marriage I bore five children. The first and eldest was Abigail, Nick named Nabby. Of course she was named after me. She was born in 1765. The second was John Quincy in 1767. He was named after his father and my grandfather. He later became the six president. My third child was Susanna. Susanna was born on December 1769. Months went by and she became terribly ill. John and I soon realized that we could do nothing about it. In February 1770, thirteen months later, she died. My fourth child was Charles 1770 and next came Thomas 1772. In 1779 I became pregnant again. But my child was still born. I stayed home and watched after our home and watched after the children since John was away most of the time. We wrote letters to each other all the time. I gave him advise on some things he was doing. I did not support slavery. I believed all men and women were equal. Therefore I believed that women didn t get the credit they deserved. I believed we were entitled to our own things such as rights. I once wrote this in one of my letters”…remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands…. 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.”
Since girls weren t accepted into schools at the time, as I ve said before. I taught Nabby myself. I made sure she received good education.
In 1784 I was happy to join John in Paris. I was put in the difficult role of the wife of the first United States Minister in great Britain. In 1788 we returned very happily home. We returned back to Braintree later called the Quincy Home. In 1789 through 1801John was vice president. And as the vice president s wife I became good friends with Martha Washington, who was the first first lady. Though in 1791 I got very ill. I was forced to go back to Quincy to rest. When John became president I went back to him. And later when they found the capital we went to live there. We the Admass retired in 1801. John had lost in his reelection to his once friend then, foe. Though we were retired the stress didn t go away. Neighbors, close friends and family died, including my dear daughter Nabby. She had cancer and had died. My two daughters gone. In October 28 1818 I died. After a fifty-four year marriage, I left my husband a lonely man. John later died 8years after me, on July 4, 1826. I am buried next to him in united First Parish Church. When my son John Quincy became the sixth president he made a special private tribute in his journal to me “There is not a virtue that can abide in the female heart but it was the ornament of hers. She had been fifty-four years the delight of my father’s heart, the sweetener of all his toils, the comforter of all his sorrows, the sharer and heightener of all his joys. It was but the last time when I saw my father that he told me … [that] through all the good report and evil report of the world, in all his struggles and in all his sorrows, the affectionate participation and cheering encouragement of his wife had been his never-failing support, without which he was sure he should never have lived through them”
I am now remembered as the 2nd president s wife, a first lady, and a mother of another. People today still have letters I have written and take interests in them.