Abigail Adams, the wife of John Adams – who was a known patriot and leader during the Revolutionary War, and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence – was as dedicated to the cause of independence as her husband. She wrote frequently to John during the war to bring him news from Boston (their home and where Abigail remained while her husband was involved in the war effort), as well as to offer advice to the Continental Congress.
Today we celebrate our nation’s independence. Tomorrow I will be present for the opening ceremonies of the National Women’s Music Festival, which is expected to draw women from all around nation to Illinois for a four-day event honoring women with workshops, presentations, rituals, drumming, and music.
In light of all of this, I felt it only appropriate to share with you the words of Abigail Adams as she writes to her husband and asks that he and his colleagues “remember the ladies” as they begin their deliberations on the Declaration of Independence.
… I long to hear that you have declared an independency – and by the way, in the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If perticular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies, we are determined to foment a Rebelion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or representation.
That your Sex are Naturally Tyrannical is Truth so thoroughly established as to admit no dispute, but such of you as wish to be happy willingly give up the harsh title of Master for the more tender and endearing one of Friend. Why, then, not put it out of the power of the vicious and the Lawless to use us with cruelty and indignity with impunity. Men of Sense in all Ages abhor those customs which treat us only as vassals of your Sex. Regard us then as Beings placed by providence under your protection, and in immitation of the Supreem Being, made use of that power only for our happiness.