Smart Girl Stories
Stories of inspiration from Smart Girl Stories across the globe. Abigail Smith Adams – The 2nd First Lady

Abigail Smith Adams – The 2nd First Lady

Abigail Smith Adams was the 2nd First Lady and closest advisor to John Quincy Adams (her husband). She is sometimes categorized as one of the Founders of the United States.

  • She is well-known for her letter to her husband, when he was helping to write America’s new laws, as he was part of the Continental Congress, reminding him to “remember the ladies” and give them equality. She told him to “not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands” and to remember that “all men would be tyrants if they could”, in her letter to him.
  • She was not given a formal education, but she often went to her family’s library to learn new things. She also joined her mother in aiding the poor and sick.
  • In 1764, she married John Adams, a recent college graduate, at the start of his career in law. Together, they moved to Braintree, Massachusetts, where they had five children. As John often traveled, due to his job, and being a revolutionary and eventually a diplomat, she took care of their children, farm, and did the bookkeeping. She also made smart investments that benefitted the family well. Since she ran the household, she often referred to the property as her own, even though women were not allowed to own property, at the time.
  • She joined with Judith Sargent Murray to expand women’s education, because they agreed on the matter of educating the sons of the revolution on women’s equality, so that they could apply that knowledge when they ran the government.
  • John sought her opinions on political matters throughout his life. When he was elected to be President, he wrote to Abigail, saying that he “never wanted [her] advice and assistance more in [his] life”.
  • She helped her son, John Quincy Adams, in his political career, just like she did for her husband, but she did not live to see him elected President.

It is easy to see why Abigail Smith Adams is our SmartGirl for today! She is an inspiration to women everywhere today. 

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