Abigail Adams’ letters to her husband John show that she was more than just wife and mother who kept house and raised children, she was involved in political issues of the day and advocated for the rights of women and others who she felt were in need of equality. At the founding of the new nation, she wrote and asked her husband to “remember the Ladies” when drafting the new laws and Constitution for the country. She was even daring enough to threaten to raise a revolution if attention was not given to women’s rights (Cummings 82). Reading Abigail’s words today we may tempted to view her as a feminist activist intent on organizing marches and protests. However, she was more likely a wife expressing her political views to her husband and hoping to have some influence. John Adams’ reply to Abigail’s letter show that he viewed her political advice with a mixture of amusement and surprise; he states he had no idea that the women were discontent (Cummings 82). However, Adams did value his wife’s political counsel going to her for advice throughout his career. This earned her the nickname “Mrs. President” from those who thought she had too much influence. (“Abigail Adams”). This reminded me of the First Ladies of our time. With our 24 our news cycle, the woman that is married to the President is always under close scrutiny. Hillary Clinton was criticized much like Abigail for being too involved in her husband’s administration and for not being a traditional First Lady. On the other hand, when Michelle Obama takes on an issue, like children’s nutrition, a tradition First Lady undertaking she is still accused of political meddling. Both women are accomplished lawyers yet why are they expected to have no political opinion or role because their husband won an election. Should the First Lady be just a pretty ornament to host White House parties? Shouldn’t’ the First Lady be an intelligent, well-educated woman who the President can turn to for advice? Should they not be allowed their political autonomy?
“Abigail Adams.” Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2015. Web. 15 Feb. 2015.
Cummings, Michael S. “Correspondence with Abigail Adams”. American Political Thought. 7th ed. Los Angeles: Sage, 2015. 82. Print.