• Closing Women’s History Month W/ Abigail Adams

    ABIGAIL ADAMSAs we conclude the month that celebrates the history of the women in this country, I thought we might look at Abigail Adams, one of only two women to have the distinction of being both the wife of one president and the mother of another. The second, of course, is Barbara Bush, first lady of George Herbert Walker Bush as well as mother of George W. Bush. Not only did protocol force both of these women to stand silent to the criticism of their husbands, they both had the much more difficult job of doing the same for their sons…not an easy task for any mother.

    I study the woman that my mind simply calls Abigail for several reasons, all of which lead me to understand that this First Lady was born way ahead of her time, her formal education (as one would expect)  limited…her self-education extensive.

    Abigail was tremendous letter writer. On March 31, 1776, her husband John Adams was where most of the leading men in the country were: planning the future of the country. On this day, his wife wrote him a letter as she was prone to do. This one stands out because Abigail had an order for him as he helped adopt a new world order or at least a new American order. The exerpt below has some grammatical corrections.

    I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of 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.

    A “buttoned up and bonnetted” real-life women’s libber in 1776? History records it as so. Yes, the demure 18th century woman that you see pictured here actually told her husband that if the laws of what was to be a new country did not favor the ladies, those same ladies would plan their own rebellion!

    I am actually a John Adams fan in many ways; however, I must admit that his April 14, 1776, answer to his wife makes me want to bop him one! I have shortened the exerpt below quite a bit, but you can read the rest of Adams’ response here.

    As to your extraordinary Code of Laws, I cannot but laugh. We have been told that our Struggle has loosened the bands of Government every where. But your Letter was the first Intimation that another Tribe more numerous and powerfull than all the rest were grown discontented. — This is rather too coarse a Compliment but you are so saucy, I wont blot it out.

    (Rickey would say, WHERE DID WE GO WRONG?) :)

    Yes, I don’t like that John Adams lauged at his wife, but I will say that a second look at her photo makes me stop and notice the set of her mouth and chin. I’m thinking that old John might have talked big on paper and many miles from home, but somehow I’m also thinking that he might have changed his tune when next he returned home!

    On a more serious note, Abigail Adams wrote to her son, John Quincy Adams, in 1780:

    You have seen  how inadequate the aid of man would have been if the winds and the seas had not been under the particular government of that Being Who “stretched out the heavens as a span” [Isaiah 40:12], Who “holdeth the ocean in the hollow of His hand” [Isaiah 40:12], and “rideth upon the wings of the wind” [Psalm 104:3]. . . The only sure and permanent foundation of virtue is religion. Let this important truth be engraven upon your heart. And also that the foundation of religion is the belief of the only one God, and a just sense of His attributes as a Being infinitely wise, just, and good, to Whom you owe the highest reverence, gratitude, and adoration…

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    About Fredda Jones

    Fredda Davis Jones was raised “in the country” in Comanche County and learned very early that creativity and innovation are traits that can flourish even in small-town Texas and that with enough effort, indeed nothing is impossible, including being married to the same man for over 40 years! Rickey and Fredda have 2 children, 5 grandchildren, and a crazy life that includes sitting in the bleachers several times a week. The rest of her time is spent creating great content for texansunited.com and marketing small-town Texas.
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    One Response to Closing Women’s History Month W/ Abigail Adams

    1. Missy Jones says:

      I have let this time pass (ladies history month) without paying tribute to Miss Iva Hart. I did not know Miss Iva Hart personally, myself, but my Daddy did insurance business with her, and he had great admiration for her. Yes, she was single, and in business, and a woman. And this was back in the long ago (maybe the 1940’s and the 1950’s). It took a lot of guts for a woman to be out in the man’s world, to compete in business and come out on top. Hey, we follow in her footsteps today. Missy Jones

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