This Week's Story

Few people knew the many ways Abigail Adams used her brilliance and skills for the cause of American freedom.

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

Please Speak, Abigail.

“Abigail Adams, your voice is needed. Even though you died almost 200 years ago, your times had troubles like ours. You helped to bring solutions, even though you were expected to stay out of politics, because you were a woman. Your husband, John Adams, fought powerfully with pen and spoken words against unfair government.”

“That is true, Barbara. In the 1700’s John was a leader in the Continental Congresses and often away from home, but we worked closely through letter-writing. We discussed tangled problems affecting our country. When John was too busy to support the family as a lawyer, I supported our family of five children by managing the family’s large farm.”

“Abigail, few of your peers realized the many ways you used your brilliance and skills for the cause of American freedom. You reported to Mr. Adams how people were surviving on the home front lines during the Revolutionary War. Your house was open to people, who needed help. You passed information about the movement of enemy troops and supplies in Boston during the war. You helped search women smugglers who were suspected of carrying illegal papers to the British. Your correspondence with your husband continues to be helpful in the study of American history. Why did people sometimes criticize you as First Lady?”

“When John Adams became president after President George Washington, people expected me to entertain governmental officials and visitors with gracious style. They did not expect me to affect official business. However, the president appreciated my knowledge and skills and asked me to write many official letters for him. Some people criticized my active involvement.

“Could we talk, Barbara, about what is now on the minds of Americans for the nation?”

“Abigail, we Americans are having huge problems. We do not agree on their causes or what to do. We are being torn apart, as your society was when fighting with the British. Too often our politicians refuse to work together. Too many people treat each other with contempt, because they disagree. How did you handle intense disagreement?”

“It was difficult, especially for me as a woman who wanted to participate in change. My husband and I focused upon helping the country. We worked hard to practice consistent respect for human choice and justice.”

“Abigail, now we women are allowed a voice in public and private areas. But, many of us are so busy and disgusted with what we hear of elected officials that we withdraw from trying to bring changes.”

“I understand that problem. When I was first married, England owned America. We were taxed unfairly and we could not elect representatives to present our views in the British Parliament. Our men got involved in public discussions and trying to decide what to do.

“We women generally had no public voice. As married women we could not legally control our own property and were expected to stay out of business. We could not vote or hold public offices, yet we could be charged with treason. For all public governmental purposes, we were to be invisible.

“Much of why I disagreed with being an invisible woman was because of my childhood and my husband. I was sick often; so my mother taught me to read, write, and do general mathematics. People in my home discussed government, current events, and church matters. I listened, read, and became an independent thinker.

“When I was nineteen, I married John Adams, a brilliant and fair lawyer. We shared counsel about personal and public issues. For 36 years my husband’s life revolved around bringing freedom to the 13 Colonies and building a new nation. I was part of that progress.”

“Thank you, Abigail.”

This is Barbara Steiner with hope for our voices. Please check out thisweeksstory.com.

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