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Abigail Adams’ Inspiring Rebellion for Women’s Rights

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Born on November 11, 1744, Abigail Smith entered the world in the Massachusetts colony during troublesome time of England rule that was destined to end one day.1 Her family was well respected in the town of Weymouth, where she was born. Her father, William Smith, was a Congregational minister and her mother, Elizabeth Quincy, hailed from a prominent family in the colony.2 Abigail spent her time at her grandmother’s house where she was schooled in English, French, and history, meanwhile, gaining a well-rounded education from the many hours she spent in her father’s library. Her mother’s father, John Quincy, was a member of the colonial Governor’s council and colonel of the militia. He was also the Speaker of the Massachusetts Assembly, a post he held for 40 years until her death at age 77.3 His interest in government and his career in public service influenced her greatly, her grandfather died three years into her marriage to John Adams.

Married at the age of 22, Abigail and her new husband, John Adams, settled on a farm in Braintree, Massachusetts. John Adams was a recent graduate from Harvard and was eager to start his career in law. Despite the differences in their formal education, their marriage was a partnership of equal minds. With his growing interest in politics, he became a Massachusetts delegate to the Continental Congress in 1774; this governing body of the colonies met regularly in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. With her husband’s new political responsibilities, Abigail was frequently alone on the farm to raise and educate their five children in addition to the management of all the business affairs on the farm.

Between the years of 1774 - 1784, Adams and her husband were separated more frequently and communicated m...

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...er. Web 17 Jan. 2012.

Lester J. Cappon, et al. The Adams-Jefferson Letters: The Complete Correspondence Between Thomas Jefferson And Abigail And John Adams/ Edited By Lester J. Cappon. Chapel Hill: Published for the Institute of Early American History and Culture at Williamsburg, Virginia by the University of North Caroline press, c1988.,1988. UNIV OF LA VERNE’s Catalog. Web. 17 Jan. 2012.

The National First Ladies’ Library. Abigail Adams Biography. National First Ladies’Library. Web. 10 Jan. 2012.

Madeline. Women’s Hero Abigail Adams. The My Hero Project. 12 March. 2005. Web. 14 Jan. 2012.

Pearson, Judy C. Conflicting Demands In Correspondence: Abigail Adams On Women’s Rights. Today’s Speech 23.4 (1975): 29-33. Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web. 17 Jan. 2012.

Stevenson, Keira. Abigail Adams. Abigail Adams (2005):1. EDS Foundation Index. Web 13 Jan 2012.
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