Abigail Adams - The Revolutionary War

Abigail Smith Adams wasn't just the strongest female voice in the American Revolution; she was a key political advisor to her husband and became the first First Lady to live in what would become the White House.

Abigail Adams - Women's Rights National Historical …

Peacefield was the home and farm of John Adams and his wife, Abigail Smith Adams

Abigail Adams was the second First Lady of America

Abigail Adams learned to singlehandedly maintain the household and run their farm in Braintree during her husband's absences on the legal circuit. This independence and self-sufficiency served her well as John became increasingly busy with revolutionary politics. During the Battle of Bunker Hill (Breed's Hill) on June 17, 1775, Abigail and son John Quincy watched the fighting from nearby Penn's Hill. John Quincy recalled watching his mother sob upon receiving the news that their close friend, Dr. Joseph Warren, had been killed in that fighting.

Abigail Smith Adams | National Women's History Museum

John Adams' duties as a delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses kept him away in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and other towns for long stretches. The resulting correspondence between John and Abigail documents the forming of a new nation and the influence Abigail Adams had on her husband's opinion. In a letter of March 31, 1776, Abigail famously reminded her husband to "remember the ladies" when considering new rights and liberties for the young nation.


Adams are well known to American readers

Known for her intelligence and wit, Adams was born November 11, 1744, in Weymouth, Massachusetts, to William and Elizabeth Quincy Smith. Plagued by poor health as a child, she acquired an extensive education through reading. She later wrote that her sister's husband, Richard Cranch, was a tutor who put "proper Bookes into my hands, who taught me to love the poets and to distinguish their Merrits." When her mother worried about Adams' bookish nature and strong opinions, Adams' grandmother assured her that "wild colts make the best horses."

With Tim Wilson, Michael O'Hare, Wesley Addy, David Birney

The Adamses endured an even longer series of separations beginning in February 1778 when John Adams was appointed a diplomatic envoy to Europe. Travel across the Atlantic was very dangerous at that time as British warships seized any American ship they could capture and often imprisoned the passengers. John and Abigail decided together that the conditions were too risky to endanger the children. Returning from his first appointment in April 1778, John Adams was sent France in November 1779, beginning a five-year separation as Abigail Adams and the children (except John Quincy, who travelled with his father) remained in Massachusetts. They were finally reunited in France in 1784. They moved to London in the spring of 1785 when John Adams was appointed the first U.S. minister to the Court of St. James (Great Britain). Abigail and Nabby were presented to Queen Charlotte, the wife of George III, in June. They sailed back to America in April 1788.

Abigail Smith Adams (1744-1818) - The American …

The Adams family had little time to enjoy domestic life after their return because John Adams was elected vice president under George Washington in March 1789. Abigail did not join John until November 1790, by which time the capital had moved from New York to Philadelphia. Abigail abhorred Philadelphia so much that she remained only six months before returning to Massachusetts. After Adams' election to the presidency, Abigail returned to Philadelphia in May 1797. Historians have speculated that her support for the Alien and Sedition Acts, which doomed her husband's chances for re-election, swayed John into signing them and that she became his sole political advisor in the controversial aftermath of the signing. In November 1800 Abigail joined John in the new capital at Washington, D.C., thereby becoming the first First Lady to live in what would become the White House. After Thomas Jefferson defeated Adams for in the hotly contested election of 1800, the couple returned to Massachusetts.

ABIGAIL ADAMS (1744-1818) - uuquincy . org

There was then no pension for former presidents, so the couple lived simply on the savings she managed to accumulate over her husband's career of public service. The sole governmental privilege was John Adams' postal franking authority, which allowed him to send mail for free. Bitter that the nation heaped accolades on the deeds of Washington, Franklin, and Jefferson while disregarding her husband's substantial contributions, Abigail Adams encouraged her friends and acquaintances to send their letters through John Adams' free mailing service.