Copyright National Humanities Center, In correspondence with her husband John as he and other leaders were framing a government for the United States, Abigail Adams — argued that the laws of the new nation should recognize women as something more than property and protect them from the arbitrary and unrestrained power men held over them. Find more correspondence at Founders Online from the National Archives.
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Learn more and get the latest updates. I wish you would ever write me a Letter half as long as I write you; and tell me if you may where your Fleet are gone? What sort of Defence Virginia can make against our common Enemy? Whether it is so situated as to make an able Defence? Are not the Gentery Lords and the common people vassals, are they not like the uncivilized Natives Brittain represents us to be? I hope their Riffel Men who have shewen themselves very savage and even Blood thirsty; are not a specimen of the Generality of the people.
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And, by the way, in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would 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 to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation. Nearly years before the House of Representatives voted to pass the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote, Adams letter was a private first step in the fight for equal rights for women. Abigail bore six children, of whom five survived. Only two women, Abigail Adams and Barbara Bush , have been both wives and mothers of American presidents. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!
Of all the words that spilled from Abigail Adams' pen, none are more famous than those of March 31, Revolutionary Rhetoric If the legal lot of women was not improved, Abigail continued, " A Feminist Point of View? It is difficult to know exactly, but it is safe to say that Abigail was not a feminist in the contemporary sense, nor was she advocating women's suffrage, although many historians have ascribed that meaning to her words. Her letter, however, remains remarkable. Abigail was an outspoken, intelligent woman concerned with the state of her country and its citizens.