Abigail Adams (1744-1818)
Abigail Adams, formerly Abigail Smith, was born on November 22, 1744 to William and Elizabeth Quincy Smith. She was born and raised in Weymouth, Massachusetts, where her dad was the minister of the local church (Noble 1-2). Even though Adams’ maternal family was well-known in the community, she was still down to earth and similar to other girls her age. In her early life, she learned domestic skills and was never formally educated. In 1764, when Adams was twenty years old, she married John Adams, who eventually became the second president of the United States of America. Together, they had six children, but unfortunately two of them died at a very young age. One of her sons, John Quincy Adams became the sixth president of the United States. Adams accomplished many things in her lifetime and remains to be a very influential and respected figure in American history (National Park Service).
Nature Abigail Adams lived in a seaport town with her family. Her summers included bright skies, a blue bay, big fields, and animals all around. On the other side of the spectrum, the winters were cold and gray (Levin 3). The climate in Massachusetts most likely did not have that much of an effect on Adams and her personality. She was affected by her other surroundings, however, For example, she had a loving family who she learned many things from. She was also surrounded by books and other educational materials that always kept her curious. She read books from her father’s library every chance she could get and wished more than anything to have a formal education. On multiple occasions later on in life, she states that she wishes she had gotten a real education as a child (Noble 2). The environment that Adams grew up ultimately made her who she was later on in life. It influenced the way she thought and saw the world, especially while her husband was president. She gave him advice and tips while he was in office based on her own personal opinions.
Supernatural William Smith, Adams’ father, was the Reverend at North Parish Congregational Church of Weymouth. He was a Unitarian and a liberal Congregationalist, which Abigail Adams inherited from him (Noble 3). Through his sermons and conversations with others, Adams learned to respect God and lead a simple life of faith. Unlike other ministers, her father did not teach original sin, predestination, and the divinity of Christ. He was more focused on morality and reason within one’s faith (Noble 3). Unitarians believe that God is one person, instead of the three people belief among Trinitarians. Therefore, they see God as the good that unites all things, but they believe Jesus to be an everyday man.Unitarians have a fairly open-minded religion (BBC).
Universe Since Adams was a Unitarian and part of North Parish Congregational Church, it is likely that she believed in the typical Christian creation story. She believed in God and that he brings good to everyone. Since she did not get a formal education and mostly read books as a child, it is not likely that she has a very scientific view on the creation of the world. Based on how she lived her life and how she treated others, Adams probably saw herself as part of something bigger than herself. The way she advocated for various rights and influenced her husband’s decisions, it is highly unlikely that she saw herself as the center of the universe. Even in the church teachings from her father, she probably learned God is the center and ruler of the world, not humans.
Time It is unknown how Abigail Adams personally viewed time. Like other people in her era, she probably believed in cyclical time because they knew they could not control the future. In terms of timing and change, Abigail Adams was a big advocate of change. In more than one of the many letters she wrote to her husband, Adams wrote that there needed to be more rights for women (National Park Service). In