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Quick. Which First Lady comes to mind when you read this description? "Sharp intellect and equally sharp tongue. Keen businesswoman with financial interests in defense industries. Advocate for women and racial minorities. Highly involved in the policy and politics of her husband's presidency. Scorned by her enemies as a power-hungry shrew."

Hillary Clinton? No.
Nancy Reagan? No. (!!!)
Eleanor Roosevelt? Again, no. It's Abigail Adams, second "First Lady," loving wife to John Adams and a Revolutionary firebrand in her own right. Read on for more about this complex and engaging intellectual, one of our most important Founding Mothers.

Founding Mothers is a continuing series about early American women, inspired by mkfox's terrific "Forgotten Founding fathers" series.  Crossposted at Progressive Historians

Abigail Smith, Auto-Didact
The daughter of a Congregational clergyman in Weymouth, Massahusetts, Abigail Smith received a formal education typical for girls of her day-- not much!  She and her sisters were encouraged to read voraciously in their father's library, however. There they devoured Shakespeare, Pope, and all the literature,  theology, and philosophy that they could get their hands on. Throughout her life, Abigail remained keenly aware of her educational shortcomings, but  her intellectual attainments were remarkable for anyone of her era, especially for someone so completely self-taught.

In 1764, at 20, she married the irascible young lawyer John Adams. They shared a love of books and enjoyed a genuine intellectual connection that fueled over fifty years of a  passionate marriage. Although frequently separated for long periods, they wrote voluminous  letters. In these, they consistently addressed each other as "dearest friend," writing political philosophy, sharing current news, and composing  playfully erotic passages expressing their yearning for each other.

As a young couple, they settled on  John's farm near Braintree, Massachusetts. There, Abigail demonstrated her   remarkable talents for business and management.

Abigail Adams, Colonial Businesswoman
As was true for most 18th century households, the Adams farm played a key role in the family's economic fortunes. In their pre-industrial world, men and women did not separate  "housework" from paid work, making most households centers of production as well as consumption.

In the household, families might make sausages, process milk into dairy products, or grow grain to sell.  Many businesses (such as  printing, candlemaking, and weaving) were be conducted entirely from the household, with father as the owner, mother as manager, and children and servants as workers. Because the later 18th century colonial economy mixed both cash and barter, households might trade some items, and buy others. Households served as both factories and farms--- husbands and wives were, essentially, "in business" together.

But for John and Abigail, the picture was little different. John Adams was an ambitious lawyer pursuing cases far away from Braintree. His cases were not always profitable; supporting their growing family fell heavily onto Abigail's shoulders. It was a task she relished;  even after their household moved to Boston in 1768 she continued to manage the farm and other household production.  Her financial support freed John to take an active role in  contentious colonial politics, virtually abandoning his law practice entirely during the Continental Congresses.

Abigail Adams, Patriot and Manufacturer
Abigail was a keen Patriot, conversant with the political theory of her day. She wrote angrily to John about a church leader who used the pulpit to council obedience to the king:

I could not join to-day in the petition of our worthy pastor for a reconciliation between our no longer parent. state but tyrant state and these Colonies. Let us separate; they are unworthy to be our brethren. Let us renounce them; and instead of supplications, as formerly, for their prosperity, let us beseech the Almighty to blast their counsels and bring to naught all their devices

Abigail gave John frequent updates on the war in Boston as he labored in Philadelphia. The war came uncomfortably close; she gave him heart-rending reports of disease and privations caused by the British blockade of Boston's harbor, not to mention the the Battle of Bunker Hill, which she and son Quincy personally observed. A statue in Quincy Massachusetts commemorates their witness.

She also offered reports on her own and other household's support for the Continental Army, which included  learning to make saltpeter to aid the Continental forces with gunpowder.

Like other good Patriot households, the Adams farm diverted many of its precious  resources to manufacturing the arms and supplies that the army so desperately needed. We may think the picture of Martha Washington knitting socks for the troops is quaint; in fact, in the era before textile factories, such female home production was the only way to outfit the Revolutionary forces.

Further, women's maintenance of a boycott against British goods put important economic pressure on the merchant class of Great Britain in an attempt to weaken British political enthusiasm for military action against the rebellious colonies. Hostile political speeches and cartoons like the one below mocked the women who formed Revolutionary associations and pledged–in writing--to keep up the economic pressure; the mockery only highlighted the efficacy of the boycott.

Abigail Adams, Women's Advocate
All of this took tremendous resources away from normal household manufacturing, and Abigail, like other women, faced economic hardship during the course of the war, at times fearing their farm might fail completely. Perhaps this motivated her to encourage John to do something about ensuring married women's rights in the new Republic. In 1776, she famously wrote him:

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 you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable 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. If perticular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebelion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.

The language seems quaint, almost charming, especially with Adams' idiosyncratic spelling. But to chalk this as some amusing "battle of the sexes" discussion is  to ignore the very real problem Adams was addressing.

Legally speaking, 18th century women disappeared upon marriage. Under the English legal concept of "femmes couvert," these ladies simply did not exist under the law. They could expect no protection for themselves–nor for their children–if their husband was abusive. If they left, he still owned everything and had an absolute right to his children. Even a woman who earned her own money did not "own" that cash—it all went the husband. Husbands were free to starve and beat wives and children if they saw fit.  

Abigail was reminding John that not all husbands and wives shared a happy partnership like their own. What about those trapped in unhappy, even life-threatening situations? Just as the Congress  sought to limit the tendency of those in political power to abuse it, Abigail hoped for the same in the domestic realm.  Her plea, if heeded, might have been a major step forward for American women and families.

But it was not to be. Although women's civil rights were occasionally mentioned in the conversations of the male Founders, legal personhood for married women remained in the distant future. It is worth noting that Abigail was not advocating full political participation for women, and she accepted most of the 18th century's gender distinctions. Rather, she was concerned that women's roles be honored and their opinions considered by those in power:

Let each planet shine in their own orbit, God and nature designed it so. If man is Lord, woman is Lordess — that is what I contend for, and if a woman does not hold the Reigns of Government, I see no reason for her not judging how they are conducted.

"Dr." Abigail Adams, Female Intellectual
Abigail found her husband  more in sympathy when she pressed on her concern about the state of  education amongst America's women:

I regret the trifling narrow contracted Education of the Females of my own country. You need not be told how much female education is neglected, nor how fashionable it has been to ridicule Female learning... If we mean to have Heroes, Statesmen, and philosophers, we should have learned women.

Abigail Adams's travels in Europe only deepened her commitment to improving women's intellectual attainments. She found herself astonished by the easy erudition of  French women, who often had been thoroughly educated at convent schools----institutions with no clear equivalent in the mostly-Protestant United States. Always eager to improve her own mind, she even attended a series of science lectures in England, learning about the wonders of electricity, magnetism, hydrostatics, optics, and pneumatics.

She described this heady intellectual experience as "... like going into a Beautiful country, which I never saw before...A Country which our American Females are not permitted to visit or inspect."  Her deepening appreciation of science may have driven her embrace of Unitarianism, which rejected the notion of Jesus's divinity and the  wrathful Puritan God; instead, the movement embraces God as a loving, somewhat distant, benevolent force behind the laws of Nature.

In her lifelong correspondence with such intellectual heavyweights as Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Rush, and Mercy Otis Warren, Abigail Adams more than held her own. Jefferson affectionately referred to her as a learned  "doctor" and seems to have enjoyed her wit as much as he appreciated her assistance in rearing his motherless daughter.

Abigail Adams, Education Reformer
 Abigail's continued advocacy for women's education encouraged other reformers like Judith Sargeant Murray, and helped fuel a wider movement that resulted in an explosion of ladies' academies in the early republic. At these schools, girls learned household skills and "female graces"—but also, increasingly, literature, languages (especially French), and history. Sadly, Abigail did not live to see  Emma Willard open the country's  first publicly-endowed institution of women's higher education in 1821.

Adams was also appalled by the limited educational opportunities afforded African-Americans in her country. Abigail Adams' thoughts on race were not enlightened by our standards. Although opposed to slavery, she was uncomfortable with the idea of inter-racial marriage and was shocked at seeing the same represented in a London production of Othello.

Yet she saw no reason that blacks and whites should not be schooled together. Back in Massachusetts, she caused a stir in 1791 by enrolling a young black servant in the local evening school. Several whites complained, which exasperated Adams. She argued that the young man was

...a Freeman as much as any of the young Men and merely because his Face is Black, is he to be denied instruction? How is he to be qualified to procure a livelihood? . . . I have not thought it any disgrace to my self to take him into my parlor and teach him both to read and write.

"Queen" Abigail, Political Partner
During the later 1790s, Abigail served as a counselor and able political networker to her husband during his troubled presidency.. He wrote to her during an absence:

I never wanted your Advice and assistance more in my life...The Times are critical and dangerous, and I must have you here to assist me.

Abigail's  influence was sneered at by John's political opponents, who mocked "Her Majesty" as a power-hungry queen wannabe. And indeed, Abigail's opinions, like John's, took a decidedly authoritarian (and arguably un-Constitutional) turn during the widespread national security fears of the 1790s. She vigorously defended the Alien and Sedition Acts, confessing herself in fear for her husband's life. She and John broke decisively with Thomas Jefferson, their old friendship withering in bitter political disagreement.

But the charge that Adams had regal ambitions is a bit unfair.  She was doing what she had always done: offering John and others her sincere political opinion while continuing to run the domestic economy. It was the same old routine for Abigail, whether  hanging laundry up to dry in the unfinished east Room of the presidential mansion and or  drumming up political support for her beloved John at Federalist soirees.

Abigail Adams, Founding Mother
After John's presidency was over, Abigail led the way in forging a reconciliation between her tempermental husband and Jefferson. Upon learning of the death of his daughter,  Abigail wrote Jefferson a conciliatory letter that was the first step in a slow rekindling of the closeness that had once characterized the two families.

In her last years, Abigail continued to farm with John,  and to maintain her correspondence, counseling her son John Quincy Adams in his overseas ambassadorial duties, and offering sound advice to her successor Dolly Madison. She died in 1818, at 73 years old.

Although the term "First Lady" was not used during her day, Abigail Adams certainly earned the title,  and  through more than merely being married to one president (and mother to another).  In 2003, Abigail Adams was honored with a statue at the Boston Women's Memorial, taking her place alongside Lucy Stone and Phyllis Wheatley in honor of her role in helping to secure the rights of women—and all Americans.

Further Reading and About the Series
For younger readers, Abigail Adams: Courageous Patriot provides a nice introduction to Abigail Adams. Natalie S. Bober's Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution is aimed at middle grades and high school readers, but offers enough complexity to be an enjoyable read for adults. Edith Gelles' scholarly treatment Abigail Adams: A Writing Lifetreats Adams as serious literary figure.

The best way to get to know the Adamses is from their own words. The Letters of John and Abigail Adams provides a complete look at the lifelong partnership and marriage between these two fiery intellects. The Adams Letters offers up the complete correspondance amongst Jefferson and both the Adamses, providing a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the beginnings of the United States. (Those who would like to skip the reading altogether might enjoy the PBS American Experience John and Abigail Adams or the more commercial A&E Biography episode about the same.)

Founding Mothers is an ongoing DKos series about early American history examining women such as Revolutionary solider Deborah Sampson, Puritan rebel Anne Hutchinson, and Matoaka, the Real Pocahontas. Next week, look for a special crossover between Founding Mothers and Unitary Moonbat's History for Kossacks when your humble author takes a turn in the Moonbat's cave! I'll examinine the role of women abolitionists and the Seneca Falls movement in American politics 1830-1860. Until then, get your history fix with the terrific Forgotten Founding Fathers series by mkfox, or check out my other series, Canadian History for Americans.  

Originally posted to aphra behn on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 02:36 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  ye olde tippe jar (28+ / 0-)

    Salt-peter and Continental uniforms gladly accepted!

    "He that knew all that learning ever writ/Knew only this - that he knew nothing yet"

    by aphra behn on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 02:24:14 PM PDT

    •  Pins, aphra behn... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aphra behn, Turbonerd

      You'll never know how invaluable this diary is to me at this very moment.  I am playing Abigail Adams on stage next month and having this wealth of material all in one place is a godsend.  Many, many thanks.

      I have always resented that the artist should be relegated by the politician to a place with no voice in political or human affairs. -- Errol Flynn

      by Mlle Orignalmale on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 09:01:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Saltpeter, Mlle Orignalmale! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mlle Orignalmale, tovan

        Are you in 1776? You might be curious to know that the pins-saltpeter duet is a little off (though I do love it because it's just so darn cute!) John asked her if she'd made it, but she didn't wait for him to tell her how. . It's all in the same letter as the "Remember the Ladies" quote:

        -- You inquire of whether I am making Salt peter. I have not yet attempted it, but after Soap making believe I shall make the experiment. I find as much as I can do to manufacture cloathing for my family which would else be Naked. I know of but one person in this part of the Town who has made any, that is Mr. Tertias Bass as he is calld who has got very near an hundred weight which has been found to be very good. I have heard of some others in the other parishes. Mr. Reed of Weymouth has been applied to, to go to Andover to the mills which are now at work, and has gone. I have lately seen a small Manuscrip describing the proportions for the various sorts of powder,such asfit for cannon, small arms and pistols  [illegible]  . If it would be of any Service your way I will get it transcribed and send it to you. -- Every one of your Friends send their Regards, and all the little ones. Your Brothers youngest child lies bad with convulsion fitts. Adieu. I need not say how much I am Your ever faithfull Friend.

        "He that knew all that learning ever writ/Knew only this - that he knew nothing yet"

        by aphra behn on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 09:10:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, Madam (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aphra behn, Turbonerd

          1776 it is.  It really is a marvelously written piece (and so very resonant today) even though Stone and Edwards did exercise artistic license in places.  The whole "catalogue of faults" sequence, as you likely already know, is one such example.  In the musical I've always seen it played as a minor moment of marital discord when in fact the exchange occurred in their courtship correspondence as flirtation--along the lines that she is so luminous a being that her only faults are trivial:  a parrot (pigeon) toed stance, her slightly crooked posture from hunching over her books (which stemming as it did from her vigorous pursuit of learning makes her even more attractive to him) and the like.  When I read that it gave me a whole new insight.  Thanks, too, for the saltpetre background info!  I do love the "Compliments" moment when John is brought back to his sense of purpose by the delivery of kegs of saltpetre from home.  May not be historically accurate, but sure works dramatically ;-)

          I have always resented that the artist should be relegated by the politician to a place with no voice in political or human affairs. -- Errol Flynn

          by Mlle Orignalmale on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 09:38:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sherman was a history teacher (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mlle Orignalmale

            ...before becoming a lyricist, if I recall correctly? It's such a fun show and it gets people excited about history. And you're right--sooo relevant today!

            In terms of the women portrayed, it may interest you to know that Jefferson really did have a very affectionate relationship with his wife, but his concern to get home to her was because of her illness, not just, uh, "horniness" (Adams bringing her to Philly is an invention, albeit an inpiured one!) Her death in 1783 left him totally devastated. If he did have a relationship with Sally Hemmings, it was likely not begun until after Martha's death. (And Sally was likely Martha's half-sister. It just gets weirder, eh?)

            Anyway, Martha wasn't the intellect that Abigail Adams was, but she was very dear to Thomas Jefferson. He bought a pianoforte for her so they could play duets together--he really was a very good violinist.

            Little White House bio here:

            Break a leg, btw! I'm very jealous of you--getting to play Abigail is soooo cool!

            "He that knew all that learning ever writ/Knew only this - that he knew nothing yet"

            by aphra behn on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 09:57:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sherman Edwards (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              aphra behn

              was a history teacher, yes.  In our cast we have a teacher playing Rev. Witherspoon who has used the movie version of 1776 when teaching about the period.

              Sally's half-sister--wow.  And Martha was, I believe, recovering from a miscarriage at the time the musical has Jefferson so anxious to return home to his wife.  The only reference to her fraility in the show is her lyric in "He Plays the Violin":

              When heaven calls to me
              Sing me no sad elegy
              Say I died: loving bride
              Loving wife, loving life

              I had always wondered about the point of that.

              I am having tons of fun--did it once before, in 1976 actually (when I was a mere toddler--it was a concept production ;-) Hope I'll bring a little more life experience to the portrayal this time.

              Thanks so very much again for your terrific work--I look forward to having the time to peruse your previous Founding Mother entries--I'm especially intrigued by "The Real Pocahontas" diary.

              I have always resented that the artist should be relegated by the politician to a place with no voice in political or human affairs. -- Errol Flynn

              by Mlle Orignalmale on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 10:32:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  abigail adams rocks... (8+ / 0-)

    and I wanted to say that I love your name. Took a Restpration Drama class a few years back...she was great.

    Though I confess, I did my research on Mercy Otis Warren.

    "Computer. End holographic program...Computer? Computer?"

    by kredwyn on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 02:25:29 PM PDT

  •  a wonderful contribution! n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueyedace2, aphra behn, epppie

    Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

    by MarketTrustee on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 02:39:18 PM PDT

  •  Excellent diary (5+ / 0-)

    I hope in fact, that you're planning segments on Mercy Otis Warren, and Emma Willard.  

    Emma Williard's spirit is still alive and singing in my town.  She sits in on the lawn down the block watching over all of us.  After a long spell of poverty, some mystical synchronisity in the town is drawing amazingly powerful women here, most of whom never heard of Emma Williard until we tell her story. And then there is this odd recognition that sends chills up one's spine.  

    •  John Adams was such an important force amongst (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tikkun, aphra behn, Unitary Moonbat

      founders, arguably more important than Washington or Jefferson, I think.   And his relationship with Abigail seems to have been absolutely crucial to him.  They seem to have been a little like Paul McCartney and John Lennon.

      a hope that may come close to despair

      by epppie on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 03:08:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ...except without the breakup! ;) n/t (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Unitary Moonbat, epppie

        "He that knew all that learning ever writ/Knew only this - that he knew nothing yet"

        by aphra behn on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 04:44:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Unless you believe that John and Paul (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tikkun, aphra behn, Unitary Moonbat

          never really broke up!

          I mean, don't you think they always were looking over their shoulders at each other, inspiring each other from a distance as much as they did when they were in the same studio?

          I actually haven't read the Adams' letters, but it's on my to do list.  Thanks for the extra push!

          a hope that may come close to despair

          by epppie on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 05:50:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Abigail Adams: A Biography (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Unitary Moonbat, epppie

            by Phyllis Lee Levin is an superlative book about the lady.  I highly recommend it.

          •  OT: "Let Me Roll It"... (4+ / 0-)

            It's a song on Paul's 1973 release Band on the Run. it's intended as a parody of John's style and he is dead-on. McCartney (whom I love) can be nassssssty when he wants to be. Listen and wince at the musical snark.

            The song "Here Today" from the Tug of War album, written right after John's death, though, does make it sound as if John still loomed large in Paul's mind, and in a  more positive way. It's very touching and invokes the kind of thing that you'e mentioning

            And If I Say I Really Knew You Well
            What Would Your Answer Be.
            If You Were Here Today.

            Ooh- Ooh- Ooh- Here To - Day.

            Well Knowing You,
            You'd Probably Laugh And Say That We Were Worlds Apart.
            If You Were Here Today.
            Ooh- Ooh- Ooh- Here To - Day.

            But As For Me,
            I Still Remember How It Was Before.
            And I Am Holding Back The Tears No More.
            Ooh- Ooh- Ooh- I Love You, Ooh-

            What About The Time We Met,
            Well I Suppose That You Could Say That We Were Playing Hard To Get.
            Didn't Understand A Thing.
            But We Could Always Sing.

            What About The Night We Cried,
            Because There Wasn't Any Reason Left To Keep It All Inside.
            Never Understood A Word.
            But You Were Always There With A Smile.

            And If I Say I Really Loved You
            And Was Glad You Came Along.

            If You Were Here Today.
            Ooh- Ooh- Ooh- For You Were In My Song.
            Ooh- Ooh- Ooh- Here To - Day.

            This musical trivia has ben brought to you by the letters N,E,R, and D...

            "He that knew all that learning ever writ/Knew only this - that he knew nothing yet"

            by aphra behn on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 06:20:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Very touching! (4+ / 0-)

              John wrote some pretty effective anti-Paul snark too!  I think there was a song called "how do you sleep at night".  I see it as evidence for the ongoing creative tension between them.

              Man, nerd would be a step up for me!  Lol!

              a hope that may come close to despair

              by epppie on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 06:42:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  God bless you tube (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mlle Orignalmale, epppie

                You can check out Pauls' comments and the song here:

                "He that knew all that learning ever writ/Knew only this - that he knew nothing yet"

                by aphra behn on Mon Sep 11, 2006 at 01:44:49 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I always dismissed "Wings" Paul (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  aphra behn, epppie

                  so I cut off my nose to spite my face and missed this gem.  This is the artist who only rarely emerges without John's astringent influence. Truly touching indeed.

                  I have always resented that the artist should be relegated by the politician to a place with no voice in political or human affairs. -- Errol Flynn

                  by Mlle Orignalmale on Mon Sep 11, 2006 at 07:52:38 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  They had such different careers (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    aphra behn

                    after the Beatles.  Paul became  a pop idol and John became a God of alternative.  George became a bohemian impresario and Ringo became a troubador.  They all left quite a mark going forward - kind of like John, Tom, George and Ben!

                    a hope that may come close to despair

                    by epppie on Mon Sep 11, 2006 at 07:59:01 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  That really is a touching and beautiful song, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  aphra behn

                  and the statement is moving too.

                  A friend of mine told me about a moment she saw, on a talk show maybe, where (if I am remembering correctly) Paul was asked about John and he stopped for a moment and looked off camera and made some comment about how important they were to each other, he and John, but it was as if he was talking to John directly.

                  I love the way both John and Paul worked very hard at living their lives as both celebrities and human beings.  They didn't allow themselves to be eaten up by it all, as so many have done, and, in a way, I think they blazed a path for others, reminding everyone with their example that whatever your place in life, your humanity is the most important thing.

                  I love Linda and Yoko too.  

                  We may have to start a Beatles thread?!  Lol!

                  a hope that may come close to despair

                  by epppie on Mon Sep 11, 2006 at 08:06:57 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  excellent as mkfox's (4+ / 0-)

    thank you for this....

    what is so extraordinary is that we have a chance to watch modern-day greats emerge today.

    if we hold our first national convention, the states will run special elections for delegates. these delegates will convene and propose ideas we all know congress never will (such as securing the electoral process from corporate interests once and for all). there may be forgotten founding fathers and mothers from american history, but let's not forget, there are modern-day greats living lives across the land this very moment.

    •  interesting idea! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Unitary Moonbat

      I bet many of our Founders would be excited by this!

      "He that knew all that learning ever writ/Knew only this - that he knew nothing yet"

      by aphra behn on Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 04:40:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aphra behn

        well actually, the state applications had reached the threshold to trigger a convention call back in 1911, and each congress has been bluffing along since. so, in that sense many of the founders have been rooting for us for awhile now.

        the suit walker v. members of congress is the first of its kind, it asks plainly, does congress get to decide whether it must call a convention or not?

        i wish someone of mainstream visibility or some group would ring the bell on walker.

        if you are so moved, please do write a letter to your congressional reps and ask them about the suit and what their position is on it.

  •  Founding Mothers (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bronte17, aphra behn, Unitary Moonbat

    Such a delight - such an inspiration - Thank you so very much for posting this!!!!


  •  Another Question (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moiv, aphra behn, Unitary Moonbat

    It might also be appropriate to add an additional hint/question to your starting list:

    "Who was the mother of the president with the highest IQ?"

    I'm not qualified to seriously debate that one, but some people think so... and it's no accident his mother was Abigail Adams.

    I love the way David McCullough portrays her in John Adams.  After reading that, I told more than one friend that the smartest thing Adams ever did was marry her.

    She was also a good friend of Thomas Jefferson, and she had a long correspondence with him, as well.

    Thanks for posting this!

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