- Abigail Adams is best known as the wife of second President John Adams and as mother of the sixth President John Quincy 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
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.
- Their collection of letters is part of the Adams Family Papers in the Massachusetts Historical Society.
- 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.