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 Abigail Amelia “Nabby” <I>Adams</I> Smith

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Abigail Amelia “Nabby” Adams Smith

  • Birth 14 Jul 1765 Braintree, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Death 15 Aug 1813 Quincy, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Burial Quincy, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Plot Old cemetery across the road from the church
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  • Memorial ID 7683041

Nabby Adams Smith was the eldest child and only surviving daughter of John and Abigail Adams and the sister of John Quincy Adams. She married William Stephens Smith in London on June 12, 1786 while her parents were in residence there but the marriage was not a happy one. Abandoned on numerous occasions while her husband went "seeking his fortune", Nabby showed herself to be a true child of her parents, strong-willed, uncomplaining and able to keep herself and her children together under one roof, earning the unstinting respect of John and Abigail and of John Quincy, who loved her dearly ... one of the few people he did love dearly.

In October of 1811, Nabby discovered a lump in her breast and a mastectomy was performed without any anesthesia. Her parents were holding her hands during the brutal surgery and, according to John, she never cried out once. After recuperating at the Adams homestead in Quincy, she returned to her dreary life in New York. But the cancer proved too much for even Nabby's resilient spirit and, in the summer of 1813, in agony, she returned to her parents in Quincy and died in The Old Homestead. The elderly John Adams grieved in a letter to his old friend Thomas Jefferson: "Your friend, my only Daughter, expired, Yesterday Morning .... in the 49th Year of her age, 46 of which She was the healthiest and firmest of Us all: Since which, She has been a monument to Suffering and to Patience." It has been said that neither John nor Abigail ever truly recovered from her death.

Cause of death: Breast cancer


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  • Created by: Kathleen
  • Added: 13 Jul 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7683041
  • Just another taphophile
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Abigail Amelia “Nabby” Adams Smith (14 Jul 1765–15 Aug 1813), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7683041, citing Hancock Cemetery, Quincy, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Kathleen (contributor 20098197) .