By Janet Hubbard-Brown

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Extra info for Abigail Adams: First Lady (Women of Achievment)

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A week later he received her letter announcing that, because “Remember the Ladies” Abigail Adams wrote to John on March 31, 1776, “I long to hear that you have declared an independency—and by the way in the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire that you would remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember all men would be tyrants if they could. ”* It is John’s playful response that has caused historians to wonder whether or not Abigail meant her words as a joke.

Washington’s clever young ally, Alexander Hamilton wanted to avoid even the remotest chance of a tie with Washington, so he persuaded political leaders not to bunch their support behind John. Instead, they scattered their second-choice votes between John and nine other candidates. Of these votes, John received fewer than half. ”2 John, now 53, was given a hero’s farewell when he left Quincy to travel to New York, where the seat of the new national government was located. The weather was ideal for his weeklong journey, and people lined the sides of the road to see the new vice president.

33 4 A Life in Letters T hough Abigail and John were often separated, they never grew accustomed to being apart. David McCullough writes, “It was the paradox of their lives that, as much as his public role kept them apart, he always needed to be with Abigail and she with him. She would have him no other way than he was; she believed fervently in what he was doing, encouraged him in the role, and wished no other for him; she wanted him to be where he was doing his utmost for his country. And still she desperately wanted him with her.

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