Dearest Friend: A Life Of Abigail Adams

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Have you ever wondered what life would be like back in the 1700’s, and wish you could turn back the clocks just for that one moment? There were countless times that I wanted that to happen for me, so I could have gotten a chance to meet such an inspirational young woman named, Abigail Adams. She became the most influential woman in Revolutionary America. This book was able to capture the public and private sides of this fascinating woman, who was both an advocate of slave emancipation and a burgeoning feminist. She was not like the rest of the woman during this era. Right from the start, Abigail was different from the rest. She did her very best to become very knowledgeable and quite interested in the things that men were into like education and politics. Sure, her mom was not pleased with this since woman during this time were supposed to be running the house and everything that came along with it. Abigail managed to do just both. Growing up, she turned into quite the young lady that some people did not think she would be able to do. She met the love of her life; John Adams and he was quite founded with her with her knowledge in education and politics. These two lovebirds managed to write some of the most romantic yet informational letters to one another for the first couple of years before taking the next step. John and Abigail Adams got married for all the right reasons, the main one being that they both truly loved one another. During their fifty-four-year long marriage, Abigail managed to do it all. She stayed at home, raised four children, managing their estate, and writing letters to her husband. Abigail Adams was such an outstanding woman during this era, she is one person none of us will never forget and the legacy she left for us behind will always be lived up too.

Throughout this book, Abigail never had a moment where she would not let her opinion be voiced to others. Over the years, she managed to develop a very strong voice in what she believed in and what she wanted to be done. Abigail was a fiery revolutionary, denouncing British tyranny in blistering rhetoric. She refused to be intimidated by the British attacks, she raised four children, managed a farm, and conquered her intense feelings of loneliness and depression while her husband spent years away from her serving in the Continental Congress. Sure, being able to do all this there was not a moment where she felt so alone in life, and wanted nothing more than her husband’s love and compassion. With John traveling America and abroad to help forge a new nation, all that Abigail wanted was the time and attention that she deserved from John. Throughout the years, she was always by his side supporting him in his political journey and was always there by his side.

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John looked up to Abigail because she had the most amazing courage, and never showed no fear of being able to stick up for what was right. She argued for improved legal rights and education for women long before they became popular issues; but she always believed that a woman’s place was in the home and, as she got older, became more and more obsessed with delicacy and moral purity in women. She claimed to hate politics, and yet obviously thrived in her role as a politician’s wife. Abigail admitted that she was temperamental and changeable. She also believed that anyone with an independent mind would not ever try to be consistent. Abigail was nothing if not independent all on her own without any help. Throughout her life, she was temperamentally and philosophically conservative, despite her outspoken advocacy of the American Revolution. She was the one who feared revolution; she valued stability, believed that family and religion were the essential props of social order, and considered inequality a social necessity. She believed that women should have better education and more independence than the attitudes of the time permitted, and she managed to achieve both through her own determination.

The most powerful thing that Abigail said in this book that really hits home for me was in one of the letters she was writing to John. “By mid-October, when John had been gone for more than two months, she wrote, my much-loved friend…. I dare not express to you at 300 miles distance I long for your return… the idea plays about my heart, unnerves may hand whilst I write, awakens all the tender sentiments that years have increased and matured… the whole collected stock of ten weeks absence know not how to brook any longer restraint, but will break forth and flow thro my pen.” (Withey, 2002, pp. 61-62) After reading this, my heart truly went out to Abigail. Here was a young woman whose husband was away from her for quite sometime now, and all she is longing for was his love, attention, and simply just for him to respond back to her. Also, I feel that this was a cry out for help as well from her. She was able to express her feelings and concerns towards John about how she has been in longing need of him. It really breaks my heart to see how much she was wanting his love and attention, and yet he could not even respond back to the letter, or when he did it was very short, sweet, and got right to the point. There was no wonder that Abigail struggled with depression and loneliness for majority of her life. Despite her not having a formal education, Abigail was able to voice and express her opinions rather well. While reading the letters back and fourth from John and Abigail made me feel like I was right there with them when they were writing to one another. Those letters were quite powerful and very romantic in their own little way.

Another thing that I noticed while reading was how much I have in common with Abigail Adams. We both come from very religious backgrounds, and both lead very independent lives. That is probably why I admire Abigail so much and honestly relate is almost everything that she was going through in life. You see, she was not like everyone else. She was the one who was always in her father’s library whenever she could get a free moment. She loved being able to dive quite deep into her father’s literature and being able to read just about anything she could get her hands on. During this period, it was unlikely for woman to even get a higher education since their place in life was at home with their moms learning about what it takes to be a house wife later in life. Abigail was the one who would stick out from everyone else, but while is what makes her such an impressive young woman. This is just one of the many qualities that I have in common with her, but probably thing biggest thing is that we both do not show no fear when we are wanting our voices to be heard by others. Abigail did an outstanding job of being able to voice her opinions and her politics views to others. There is no wonder that she wanted to make a difference and wanted everyone to see this. 

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