Adams, Abigail

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Adams, Abigail,

1744–1818, wife of President John AdamsAdams, Abigail,
1744–1818, wife of President John Adams and mother of President John Quincy Adams, b. Weymouth, Mass., as Abigail Smith. A lively, intelligent woman, she married John Adams in 1764 and more than three decades later became the chief figure in the social life
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 and mother of President John Quincy AdamsAdams, John Quincy,
1767–1848, 6th President of the United States (1825–29), b. Quincy (then in Braintree), Mass.; son of John Adams and Abigail Adams and father of Charles Francis Adams (1807–86).
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, b. Weymouth, Mass., as Abigail Smith. A lively, intelligent woman, she married John Adams in 1764 and more than three decades later became the chief figure in the social life of her husband's administration and one of the most distinguished and influential first ladies in the history of the United States. Her relationship with her husband came as close to a partnership of equals as the culture of the time would allow. Her detailed letters, most written during her husband's wartime absences, are a vivid source of social history.


The correspondence with her husband was edited in a number of volumes by Charles Francis Adams and abridged by M. A. Hogan and C. J. Taylor (2007). The Adams-Jefferson Letters, edited by Lester J. Cappon (1959), includes her letters as well as John's, and letters to her sister, Mary Smith Cranch, are in New Letters of Abigail Adams, 1788–1801, edited by Stewart Mitchell (1947, repr. 1973). See biographies by J. Whitney (1947, repr. 1970), L. E. Richards (1917, repr. 1971), C. W. Akers (1980), and W. Holton (2009); E. B. Gelles, Abigail and John: Portrait of a Marriage (2009); G. J. Barker-Benfield, Abigail and John Adams: The Americanization of Sensibility (2010); J. J. Ellis, First Family (2010). See also bibliography for Adams, JohnAdams, John,
1735–1826, 2d President of the United States (1797–1801), b. Quincy (then in Braintree), Mass., grad. Harvard, 1755. John Adams and his wife, Abigail Adams, founded one of the most distinguished families of the United States; their son, John Quincy
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Adams, Abigail (b. Smith)

(1744–1818) First Lady; born in Weymouth, Mass. A minister's daughter, she married John Adams in 1764, beginning a classic partnership that lasted for 54 years. She had no formal schooling but taught herself Latin and then educated her five children, one of whom, John Quincy Adams, became the sixth president. Adams was often away on government business and she ran the family farm in Quincy. She and Adams maintained a long correspondence during those years of separation; her letters displayed a political bent which exceeded that of most Revolutionary period women. She was not overly happy as first lady; she resented both the expense of entertaining and the lack of privacy. She and Adams resided in Philadelphia until 1800, when she supervised the move to Washington, D.C. Following the presidency, she continued her letter writing (Thomas Jefferson was one of her correspondents). She is the only woman to have been both the wife and the mother of U.S. presidents.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
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(4.) Abigail Smith Adams to William Smith, July 7, 1798, Founders Online, National Archives, n.d., (accessed September 12, 2016).
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We were really intrigued by the analog-digital qualities of a flexible wall system that can be customized for different work environments," said Abigail Smith, strategy director at CO OP, on behalf of the jury, which also included Alex Iskold, Managing Director, TechStarsNYC; Matthias Hollwich, founder of Architizer and professor at PennDesign; Glen Cummings, professor at Columbia's Grad School pf Architecture; and Kyle Barker, Head of Architecture, WeWork.
NHS staff, already on a one-year wage freeze, are so outraged 18,400 have already signed a Government e-petition launched by nursing assistant Abigail Smith last month against parking charges costing up to PS8 a day.