Presidential First Lady. She was the wife of second United States President John Adams, and the mother of sixth United States President John Quincy Adams. Born in Weymouth, Massachusetts, on her mother's side she was descended from early prestigious leaders of the colony. Having received a basic education from her mother, Abigail and her sisters were largely self-taught by utilizing the extensive libraries of their father, grandfather and uncle. An avid reader, Abigail formed a strong bond with her third cousin, John Adams, who was a Harvard graduate, and they were married in 1764; three sons and two daughters were born to this union, which was to last more than fifty years. John's traveling as a circuit judge, a delegate to the Continental Congress and an envoy abroad led to long separations, and Abigail's many letters, written just a she spoke, with clarity, told the vivid story of a woman who stayed at home dealing with wartime shortages, running a farm with minimal help and educating her children. Even before the colonies had declared their independence from Britain, Abigail wrote to John to urge him to "Remember the ladies" when drafting the basis of law for the new nation and to not give husbands unlimited power over their wives. Abigail joined John in Paris in 1784 when he was named Ambassador, and she took great interest in the customs of the French Royal Court. When her husband became the first Vice President of the United States, she and the President's wife, Martha Washington, became good friends. Abigail was of great assistance in the official entertaining because of the experience she had gained from the courts and society abroad. When John Adams was elected President, she managed to continue a formal pattern of entertaining in spite of the primitive conditions of the "President's House" (now known as the White House), which was still under construction. After John Adams's presidential term ended in 1801, they retired to Quincy, Massachusetts and enjoyed seventeen years of companionship that they had longed for during the years of public life. Abigail's correspondence is feted for exhibiting strong leadership of Women's Rights.
LIBERTATEM AMICITIAM FIDEM RETINEBIS
D. O. M.
Beneath these Walls
Are deposited the Mortal Remains of
Son of John and Susanna [Boylston] Adams,
Second President of the United States.
Born 30th October 1735.
On the fourth of July 1776
He pledged his Life, Fortune and Sacred Honour
To the INDEPENDENCE OF HIS COUNTRY.
On the third of September 1783
He affixed his Seal to the definitive Treaty with Great Britain
Which acknowledged that Independence,
And consummated the Redemption of his Pledge.
On the fourth of July 1826
He was summoned
To the Independence of Immortality,
And to the JUDGMENT OF HIS GOD.
This House will bear witness to his Piety;
This Town, his Birth-Place, to his Munificence;
History to his Patriotism;
Posterity to the Depth and Compass of his Mind.
At his Side
Sleeps till the Trump shall Sound
His beloved and only Wife,
Daughter of William and Elizabeth [Quincy] Smith.
In every Relation of Life a Pattern
Of Filial, Conjugal, Maternal and Social Virtue.
Born November 22th 1744.
Deceased 28 October 1818.
Married 25 October 1764.
During an Union of more than Half a Century
They survived, in Harmony of Sentiment, Principle and Affection
The Tempests of Civil Commotion;
Meeting undaunted, and surmounting
The Terrors and Trials of that Revolution
Which secured the Freedom of their Country;
Improved the Condition of their Times;
And brightened the Prospects of Futurity
To the Race of Man upon Earth.
From Lives thus spent thy earthly Duties learn;
From Fancy's Dreams to active Virtue turn;
Let Freedom, Friendship, Faith, thy Soul engage,
And serve like them thy Country and thy Age.
AS DAUGHTER WIFE AND MOTHER
A MODEL OF DOMESTIC WORTH
HER LETTERS ARE AN AMERICAN CLASSIC
1744 - 1818
THE ABIGAIL ADAMS CHAPTER DAUGHTERS
OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION CAUSED
THIS TABLE TO BE AFFIXED