Aug 13

Revolutionary Responses by Emma Okaty

Abigail and John Adams were both exquisite writers and impactful leaders in Early America. They wrote back and forth often, both looking to each other for support and advice. Abigail Adams has a greater influence over the structure of the nation than one may think. In fact, she often included early ideas about the expansion of women’s rights and expanding education to a greater degree. In one of her letters to John while he was at the Constitutional Convention, she explained: ““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.” To quantify, There are more than 1,160 letters between the two of them, all preserved in the Adams Family Papers of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Their letters display two major themes. Firstly they include many historical events from their own perspectives, such as Washington’s inauguration. Secondly, they display an incredible relationship. The letters embody a pristine marriage dynamic where each person fully loves and supports the other even in times that they are separate and preoccupied. They were separated often due to John’s occupation, but distance was no obstacle. John wrote to Abigail reminding her to keep his letters dear to her, as “you will never be alone with a poet in your pocket.”

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Emma Okaty
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