I’m a Fan

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If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”
Abigail Adams, The Letters of John and Abigail Adams

 Abigail

I have become a fan of Abigail Adams on Goodreads.  Abigail, the wife of John Adams, was as feisty as she was brilliant, eloquent as she was forthright, courageous as she was compassionate.  Wife of the second and mother to the sixth president (John Quincy Adams) of the United States, her letters are a testament to her influence during a time of nation-building. John and Abigail Adams spent a considerable amount of time apart; letters were a connecting force that motivated their actions.   The following is an excerpt from Abigail’s letter dated November 27, 1775 to her husband, John Adams, when he was in Philadelphia attending the Continental Congress.  As I read the message, I realized afresh that sacrifices have been made for the greater good.

“I am more and more convinced, that man is a dangerous creature; and that power, whether vested in many or a few, is every grasping, and, like the grave, cries “Give, give.”  The great fish swallow up the small; and he, who is most strenuous for the rights of the people, when vested with power is as eager after the prerogatives of government.  You tell me of degrees of perfection to which human nature is capable of arriving, and I believe it, but at the same time, lament that our admiration should arise from the scarcity of the instances…….

…..I believe I have tired you with politics; as to news we have not any at all. I shudder at the approach of winter, when I think I am to remain desolate.

I must bid you good night; ‘tis late for me, who am much of an invalid.  I was disappointed last week in receiving a packet by the post and, upon unsealing it, finding only four newspapers.  I think you are more cautious than you need be.  All letters, I believe, have come safe to hand.  I have sixteen from you, and wish I had as many more.

Adieu, yours.

Abigail”

A Queen & A President’s Wife

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Love in Action

“We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat.  They do not exist.”

Queen Victoria

Love is an action verb that has the energy and means to influence the course of our personal histories.  And from time to time it has changed the world.

Alexandrina Victoria, Queen Victoria fell deeply in love with her distant cousin, Prince Albert.  They met in 1839 and married in 1840.  She bore him nine children over the course of 18 years. He became her adviser, confidante and best friend.  His opinion was the one she respected above all others.   They were inseparable. When Prince Albert died in 1861 of typhoid fever, Queen Victoria withdrew from public view.  She carried out her constitutional duties, but she never recovered from the death of her much-loved prince.

Abigail and her husband John Adams, the second President of the United States, were well matched in intellect, audacity and perseverance.  Married in 1764, their love affair lasted more than 50 years during a time of great upheaval and war. Their mutual respect was strong and weathered long periods of separation. When Abigail joined her husband in state duties, he considered her a valued partner and trusted counsellor.  When John finished his presidency in 1801, they spent their remaining 17 years together at their farm in Quincy, Massachusetts.

“If we mean to have Heroes, Statesmen and Philosophers, we should have learned women. The world perhaps would laugh at me, and accuse me of vanity, but you I know have a mind too enlarged and liberal to disregard the Sentiment. If much depends as is allowed upon the early Education of youth and the first principals which are instill’d take the deepest root, great benefit must arise from literary accomplishments in women. ”

Abigail Adams, The Letters of John and Abigail Adams