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Adams, Abigail (Smith)

  • By: Veronica I. Arreola
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Abigail Smith (1744–1818) was born at Weymouth, Massachusetts, and married John Adams in 1764. While she was the first woman to be the wife a President and mother to another, she may be better remembered for her letter writing, especially to John during the Continental Congress of 1776. Her appeal to John to “remember the ladies” makes her one of the United States first feminist icons even among women who may scoff at the label: “… 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 ...

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