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Facts about Abigail Adams

  • Abigail Adams, nee Abigail Smith, was born on November 11, 1744 in Weymouth, Massachusetts.
  • Her father was William Smith, a reverend from the Congregational Church. Her mother was Elizabeth Quincy, from a well known political family in Massachusetts.
  • Abigail was the second born. Her siblings were: Mary, William and Elizabeth.
  • Abigail did not go to school due to chronic illness since childhood. Until she was 11 her mother oversaw her education.
  • When she turned 11 a college professor, Cranch, introduced her to the best literary authors and philosophy. She studied at home using his father’s extensive library.
  • John and Abigail met in 1759 when she was 15 years old.
  • They were reintroduced in 1761 when John became attracted by her intelligence and wit.
  • The courtship between John Adams and Abigail Smith lasted for three years.
  • John and Abigail married on October 25, 1764. Abigail was 19 years old.
  • The couple had six children:

1765: Abigail (Nabby)

1767: John Quincy

1768: Susanna

1770: Charles

1772 Thomas Boylston

1777: Elizabeth, stillborn

  • Abigail became First Lady in March 1801, at 52 years of age.
  • Abigail was the first First Lady to live in the White House in Washington, DC.
  • She assumed an active role as an informal adviser to the president and as the First Lady.
  • Abigail was an advocate for women’s rights and equal public education for women.
  • She supported the emancipation of slaves which she considered a threat to democracy.
  • John and Abigail exchanged over 1,100 letters from 1762 until 1801.
  • Older daughter Nabby died in 1813 from breast cancer.
  • She suffered of poor health during her last years.
  • Abigail Adams died of typhoid fever in her home in Quincy, Massachusetts on October 28, 1818 when she was 73 years old.