Abigail Adams was the wife of John Adams, a Founding Father and the second President of the United States. She was well-read, especially for a woman of the time, and never withheld her opinion when speaking or writing to her husband. In fact, while John Adams was in Philadelphia for the First Continental Congress in 1775, he often consulted Abigail for advice on the matters at hand. Over their lifetime they would write at least 1200 letters to each other. As a New England Unitarian, she was an early opponent of slavery and told John that it was hard to trust the Southern slave-owners commitment to Liberty. She was also an early proponent of women's rights, especially in relation to education and ownership of property. The life of Abigail Adams is the subject of serious historical study as so much of the correspondence with her husband and other Founding Fathers was maintained and eventually published in later generations. Many historians have written about Abigail Adams as the mother of the country.
Abigail Adams life started in 1744 in Weymouth, Massachusetts. She was born to the Reverend William Smith and Elizabeth Smith. Her mother was originally a Quincy of the family political family in Massachusetts. In Abigail Adams biography, it is noted that she was too sickly to attend school but her mother insisted upon her learning to read and write. By the time she met John Adams when he visited her home with his friend, Richard Cranch, who was engaged to her sister, she was so well-read and intellectual that John was immediately struck with interest. Two years later, when she was only 19 and he was 29, they were married in Abigail Adams' house with her father presiding as minister. Despite their great love, John and Abigail Adams were often separated by his career and later his duty to the nation. Together, they had six children between 1765 and 1777, but the last died before birth. Abigail Adams facts include that she raised her children mostly on her own, but when she moved to Europe to join her husband on his diplomatic mission, her younger children were sent to live with relatives.
As the First Lady, after John Adams' election to the presidency in 1796, Abigail never shied from the political fray. She had written many letters to Thomas Jefferson, a friend and political rival of her husband, and openly shared her differences in opinion with him as well. In 1800, her rebellious son Charles died of alcoholism. It was a great travesty for Abigail, even though she had condemned his life of vice for years. Her parenting style was mainly about virtue and upholding the family tradition. She had forced Charles to attend Harvard and follow a career in law, like his father before him, although it was very apparent that he was not suited for that life. Her eldest son was much more successful, John Quincy Adams followed his father's footsteps all the way to the White House, becoming the sixth President of the United States. In her close relation to the Founding Fathers and familial ties to two presidents, there is one mother of the United States who is Abigail Adams.