Abigail Adams Too often in society women are depreciated because of their gender, despite their numerous abilities and achievements. During the eighteenth century, a woman named Abigail Adams became an advocate for women’s rights and fought for individual freedoms that were feasible for men, but rarely for women. She refused to stand by and allow women to be suppressed of their capabilities and their rights. Abigail Adams was not only the first lady to the president, but also an early feminist voice and an abolitionist who contributed to American History.
In order to comprehend why Abigail felt so strongly about her beliefs, it is important to know how her beliefs became rooted. Her maiden name was Abigail Smith and she was born on November 11, 1744 at the North Parish Congregational Church in Weymouth, Massachusetts. Abigail didn’t receive a formal education; she was frequently sick as a child, which may have been a factor that led to her lack of education. Although she couldn’t receive a formal education, her mother taught her how to read, write, and cipher. Her father’s, uncle’s, and grandfather’s large libraries enabled her to study English and French literature. As third cousins, John and Abigail had known each other since they were children. John was quickly attracted to the petite, shy, 17-year-old with a passion for reading and writing. The couple got married on October 25, 1764, in the Smith’s home in Weymouth.
Within a span of 12 years, she gave birth to six children. Abigail took responsibility for the family’s financial matters, including investments. John Adams was inaugurated as the second President of the United States on March 4, 1779. Abigail took an active role in politics and policy because her husband was President, unlike most women would have during that time era. Although she was most known for her letters she wrote to John, she was also a major advocate for the right of education for women which was her greatest contribution to American History. Abigail made her purpose clear that women would no longer stand for unfair and unjust treatment. In fact, she wrote to the Continental Congress as they worked on forming the United States government to “remember the ladies”.
Her lasting impact on today is her support on the fight to abolish slavery which she believed to be evil and a threat to democracy. She was extremely discontent with living in the White House due to the presence of slaves. On February 13, 1791, Abigail wrote her husband a letter about a black boy who asked her if he can go to school to learn how to read and write. Abigail immediately enrolled him in the local school, but neighbors rejected the presence of a black boy.
She stuck up for the boy, which she described as a freeman, by confronting the racist whites. On December 6, 1865, the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery was ratified. On August 26, 1920, the amendment for women’s suffrage was also ratified. Abigail Adams posed the first ideas of social revolution, starting a movement that finally utilized her ideas. She challenged the society of men all around her. Though her ideas didn’t impact during her time period, it was the basis of all social revolutions since.
Abigail Adams paved a path for women which is still being followed today. Work Cited Page: History.com Staff.
“Abigail Adams asks her husband to “remember the ladies”.” History.com, A E Networks, 2009, www.history.com/this-day-in-history/abigail-adams-asks-her-husband-to-remember-the-ladies.Baker, Chloe.
Abigail Adams’ Impact on the American Revolution…or Lack Thereof? 22 Oct. 2010, sites.google.com/site/csbhush63/home/quarter-1/essays/abigail-adams-impact-on-the-american-revolution-or-lack-thereof.
Noble, Laurie Carter. “Abigail Adams.” Dictionary of Unitarian & Universalist Biography. N.p., n.d. Web.
29 Oct. 2010. http://www25.uua.org/?uuhs/?duub/?articles/?abigailadams.html.