Spotlight: Abigail Adams

The United States has been a work in progress since the day it was created. Many brave and intelligent men and women have led this nation by the hand to where it is today. We are going to spotlight one of the first women’s equality activists in US history. This month US History Poster would like to talk about Abigail Adams.

You’ve probably heard a lot about John Adams. He was the second president of the United States and was a major contributor to the U.S. Constitution. Little did you know, his wife was an important part of his political career. She stood behind him and helped him draft many of his ideas. She was very much involved in the politics of the time.

In 1776 Abigail Adams’ sent a letter to the husband with regards to women’s rights. She wrote, “…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. Remember all men would be tyrants if they could. 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.”

John Adams turned this request down. Still, Abigail’s influence was felt throughout the nation. Abigail Adams knew that using her husband’s sphere of influence she could push the nation towards true equality.

John and Abigail Adams were both against slavery. They both believed slavery to be evil and a threat to democracy. In Philadelphia in 1791, a free black youth came to her front door and asked that she teach him to read and write. Much to the schoolmaster’s dismay, she enrolled him in classes and helped him learn to read and write. When her decision was questioned she said that the boy was, “a Freeman as much as any of the young men and merely because his face is Black, is he to be denied instruction? How is he to be qualified to procure a livelihood? … I have not thought it any disgrace to my self to take him into my parlor and teach him both to read and write.”

This month we salute Abigail Adams. She was ahead of her time. Her influence has been felt throughout US history.


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