Saturday, February 4, 2012

"Remember the Ladies"

Back in December of 2010, my husband and I watched HBO's John Adams. It was so compelling and we felt enlightened learning about his crucial role in the foundation of our nation. However, while watching, I found Abigail Adam's character unbelieveable. Especially the scene where she asks John to "Remember the ladies" as the Continental Congress gathered to form a new code of laws for our nation. "Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands.  Remember all men would be tyrants if they could." When this came out of the actress's mouth I thought "no way would a women back then say something like that. It must be feminist propaganda!"

When I told my mother my reaction to Abigail Adams, she said "no...I believe that Abigail Adams would have said that!" So I had to find out for myself. I found a biography of Abigail Adams. (I actually borrowed it from my grandmother the week before she died of a heart attack. I kept the book when she died. She hadn't had a chance to read it yet and I'm sad I didn't get to tell her how much I enjoyed the book.)

But I was fascinated about her life from the first page! And what a shock to find out that "remember the ladies" was not feminist propaganda, but a direct quote from a letter Abigail wrote to John.

In the biography, Abigail meets Martha Washington and that made me wonder..."What was Martha Washington like? Was she as instrumental to George's political career as Abigail was to John? I ought to read about her next...Actually I'd like to read about ALL the first ladies!"

So that's what I'm going to do. It may take awhile. I've only read five in the past year. But, as my mother said, "what's the hurry?"

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