American Women!
A Celebration of Our History
April 22 -- October 29, 2000

First Lady and First Mother


"Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power in the hands of the Husbands."

Abigail Adams raised four children and ran their farm so that her husband, John, could help found a new nation. His mission kept him away from home for ten years, 1774 to 1784, and when peace came, she moved the family to be with him.

For 27 years she managed the home and business matters while her husband served in various positions from delegate to President--and no doubt shared her political views with John all along the way. When the Adams family finally came back home to Massachusetts, she continued her public service, preparing her son John Quincy Adams to be the sixth President of the United States.

Her 1776 message "Remember the Ladies." was a reminder to her husband and the other members of the Continental Congress that women made it possible for men to pursue their dreams. As would be expected in the 18th century (and still not entirely surprising in the 21st century), Abigail's celebrated plea drew more serious attention from modern scholars than it did from her husband.

Historic Artifacts:

CHINA PLATE owned by Abigail Adams
CURLING IRON of Abigail Adams
-- On loan from the Adams National Historic Site, Quincy MA

LETTER (reproduction) from Abigail Adams to John Adams, admonishing him to "Remember the Ladies" 3-31-1776 to 4-5-1776
LETTER (reproduction) in reply from John to Abigail, 4-14-1776
-- On loan from the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston MA

SET of STAYS worn by Abigail Adams
-- On loan from the Quincy Historical Society, Quincy MA

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