John Adams and Abigail Smith Adams exchanged over 1, letters, beginning during their courtship in and continuing throughout John's political career until
It was during these times that Abigail and John would write to each other, sharing thoughts on a range of topics political, intellectual as well as the everyday happenings of their lives.
Though months would sometimes pass between letters, it was through this communication that Abigail and John strengthened their relationship in politics, Abigail became more so an advocate and ally.
I requested that our legislators would consider our case, and as all Men of Delicacy and Sentiment are averse to exercising the power they possess, yet as there is a natural propensity in Humane nature to domination, I thought the most Generous plan was to put it out of the power of the Arbitrary and tyrannick to injure us with impunity y establishing some Laws in our favour upon just and Liberal principals.
But you must remember that Arbitary power is like most other things which are very hard, very liable to be broken — and notwithstanding all your wise Laws and Maxims we have it in our power not only to free ourselves but to subdue our Masters, and without voilence throw both your natural and legal authority at our feet.
Was not Adam safe whilst Eve was Innocent? If you render us wicked you inevitably bring ruin upon yourselves. With regard to the Education of my own children, I find myself soon out of my depth, and destitute and deficient in every part of Education.
I most sincerely wish that some more liberal plan might be laid and executed for the Benefit of the rising Generation, and that our new constitution may be distinguished for Learning and Virtue. If we mean to have Heroes, Statesmen and Philosophers, we should have learned women.
At the same time I regret the trifling narrow contracted Education of the Females of my own country. I haveever entertaind a superiour opinion of the accomplishments of the French Ladies ever since I read the Letters of Dr.
Sherbear, who professes that he had in all rather take the opinion of an accomplished Lady in matters of polite writing than the first wits of Itally and should think himself safer with her approbation than of a long List of Literati, and he gives this reason for it that Women have in general more delicate Sensations than Men, what touches them is for the most part true in Nature, whereas men warpt by Education, judge amiss from previous prejudice and refering all things to the model of the ancients, condemn that by comparison where no true Similitud ought to be expected.
I cannot forbear transcribing a few Generous Sentiments which I lately met with upon this Subject. If women says the writer are to be esteemed our Enemies, methinks it is an Ignoble Cowardice thus to disarm them and not allow them the same weapons we use ourselves, but if they deserve the title of our Friends a tis an inhumane Tyranny to debar them of priviliges of ingenious Education which would also render their Friendship so much the more delightfull to themselves and others us.
Nature is seldom observed to be niggardly of her choisest Gifts to the Sex, their Senses are generally as quick as ours, their Reason as nervious, their judgment as mature and solid. Add but to these natural perfections the advantages of acquired learning what polite and charming creatures would they prove whilst their external Beauty does the office of a Crystal to the Lamp not shrowding but discloseing their Brighter intellects.
Excluded from honours and from offices, we cannot attach ourselves to the State or Goverment from having held a place of Eminence. Even in the freeest countrys our property is subject to the controul and disposal of our partners, to whom the Laws have given a soverign Authority.
Deprived of a voice in Legislation, obliged to submit to those Laws which are imposed upon us, is it not sufficient to make us indifferent to the publick Welfare?
Yet all History and every age exhibit Instances of patriotick virtue in the female Sex; which considering our situation equals the most Heroick of yours.“This new edition of the John and Abigail Adams letters, including some never before published, refreshes what many observers consider the paradigmatic correspondence in American history.
It also showed Abigail Adams as a woman of prodigious talents and shrewd insights on matters small and large.” /5(47). In March , Abigail Adams wrote this celebrated letter to husband John, who was serving as the Massachusetts representative to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.
In printing these texts, CFA for some reason did not allude to the corrupt and popular version or versions of them until he issued the JA–AA Familiar Letters description begins Familiar Letters of John Adams and His Wife Abigail Adams, during the Revolution. Abigail Adams’ letters to her husband and the influence of this correspondence on his political life cannot be understated.
John’s work first as a lawyer then, a delegate and other political positions made for long absences while she tended to the vast duties of the household in . Abigail Adams, Letters of Abigail Adams, the Wife of John Adams with an Introductory Memoir by her Grandson Charles Francis Adams, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Wilkins, Carter, and Company, ) p.
99, to John Adams, June 30, Of the 1, letters exchanged between John and Abigail Adams featured on this website, all but one are part of the Adams Family Papers of the Massachusetts Historical Society.
(One letter from John to Abigail, 23 June , is from the Warren-Adams Collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society.).