Who Is Abigail Adams?


Quick Answer

Abigail Adams was the wife of the sixth President of the United States, John Adams. The second of five children, Adams was born in Weymouth, Massachusetts in 1744. She is known for being an adviser to her husband, advocate of equal education for girls and for the correspondence between her and her husband while he served on the First Continental Congress.

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Full Answer

Abigail Adams had poor health throughout her life. Though she had no formal education, she was taught to read and write at home. Her father and grandfather had large libraries and she spent time reading philosophy, theology and ancient history. She married her third cousin, John Adams, in 1764 when she was 19 years old. They moved to Boston where John practiced law, then bought a farm in 1787.

During the revolution, Adams was appointed, along with two other women, to a committee designed to question Massachusetts women about their loyalty to the British crown. It was also during this time while John was away that they began their extensive correspondence. When the Second Continental Congress was drafting the Declaration of Independence, Abigail wrote to her husband encouraging him to consider women and their place in the new government. These writings are some of the earliest discussing women's rights. Adams died of a stroke on October 28, 1818.

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