Overview: This is the life of Abigail Adams, wife of patriot John Adams, who became the most influential woman in Revolutionary America. Rich with excerpts from her personal letters, Dearest Friend captures the public and private sides of this fascinating woman, who was both an advocate of slave emancipation and a burgeoning feminist, urging her husband to “Remember the Ladies” as he framed the laws of their new country. John and Abigail Adams married for love. While John traveled in America and abroad to help forge a new nation, Abigail remained at home, raising four children, managing their estate, and writing letters to her beloved husband. Chronicling their remarkable fifty-four-year marriage, her blossoming feminism, her battles with loneliness, and her friendships with Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Dearest Friend paints a portrait of Abigail Adams as an intelligent, resourceful, and outspoken woman. (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dearest-friend-lynne-withey/1001815951)
NY Times Book Review:
John and Abigail’s Letters are read aloud by members of the Mass. Historical Society, including Ted Kennedy and others:
By the same Token that the Bearer hereof satt up with you last night I hereby order you to give him, as many Kisses, and as many Hours of your Company after 9 O’Clock as he shall please to Demand and charge them to my Account: This Order, or Requisition call it which you will is in Consideration of a similar order Upon Aurelia for the like favour, and I presume I have good Right to draw upon you for the Kisses as I have given two or three Millions at least, when one has been received, and of Consequence the Account between us is immensely in favour of yours,
Discussion Questions created by John:
1. What made the situation in Boston so much more severe before and at the beginning of the revolution than for the rest of the country?
2. How did this play a role in making Abigail and John among the more fervent advocates for the independence?
3. How did John’s role in politics affect Abigail as mother, wife and provider?
4. How did this in turn affect the children and how they developed and the choices they made for careers and the adults they became?
5. Discuss the complicated relationships between the Adams, Franklin and Jefferson.
6. Why has history not treated the Adams better until recently?