Abigail Adams: One Tough Lady

Who Wore the Pants in the Adams Family?

Who Wore the Pants in the Adams Family?



On This Date in History:  When the Continental Congress got together, it was a congregation of white men.  People of color certainly were not welcome and neither were the women folk.  So, it’s not surprising that the documents that came out of that political body and the later Constitutional Convention left those two groups of people a little short in the equal rights department.  But, women had a bit of an advantage as the old saying “behind every great man is a great woman” was as appropriate then as it is today.

Somehow I think Abby Would Approve of Rosie

Somehow I think Abby Would Approve of Rosie

There was one delegate who had a particularly strong wife.  His name was John Adams and her name was Abigail.  She not only supported him, she also provided some political advice.  On this date in 1776, Abigail Adams wrote her husband, “I long to hear tht you have declared 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.”

Whoa!  Looks like to me old Abby didn’t really think much of men in general and specifically to men in power.  But, this left John between a rock and a hard place.  He had his colleagues on one hand as well as prevailing law but on the other hand he had his beloved wife.  He may have spent his working time with the men but he did not have to spend the night with them.  So, on April 14, 1776 Adams delicately replied, “As to your extraordinary Code of Laws, I cannot but laugh…Depend upon it, We know better than to repeal our Masculine systems…in Practice you know We are the subjects.  We have only the Name of Masters, and rather than give this up, which would compleantly subject Us to the Despotism of the Peticoat, I hope General Washington, and all our brave Heroes would fight.”

The Ghost of Abby Probably Helped with the last Buttons

The Ghost of Abby Probably Helped with the last Buttons

Abigail was not amused.  She wrote back on May 7, 1776, “…whilst you are proclaiming peace and good will to Men, Emancipating all Nations, you insist upon retaining an absolute power over Wives.  But you must remember that Arbitrary power is like most other things which are very hard, very liable to be broken-and…we have it in our power not only to free ourselves but to subdue our Masters, and…throw both your natural and legal authority at our feet.” 

From this little exchange, it’s easy to see how Abigail Adams and her outspoken, independent and forceful position on issues earned her the nickname “Mrs. President” when her husband John served as the nation’s second President.  She obviously was interested in more than just the women’s right to vote.  And, while that did not come around until August 18, 1920 when Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, I suspect that Abigail would be quite pleased at the gains that women have made in society and politics in the 21st Century.  Nevertheless, I suspect she would still find something to say about it and other things on her mind. 

NAM Has Man System South On Thursday Evening

NAM Has Man System South On Thursday Evening

Weather Bottom Line:  The forecast is running pretty much on track.  On Tuesday we move to the mid to upper 60’s in advance of another in a series of storm systems coming across the country.  This guy will be the most benign of the trio to come this week.  I think Tuesday will generally be dry but when we get toward sunset or maybe a bit earlier, rain chances will increase.  A few rumbles of thunder can’t be ruled out but it shouldn’t be overly worthwhile.  Wednesday and most of Thursday will be dry and temperatures will be mild on Wednesday but back up to the upper 60’s and possibly low 70’s on Thursday.  As I write this at 11:30 on Monday night, the SPC hasn’t shown much interest in calling for strong storms around here late Thursday but, I’m telling you that its possible.  If you recall, several days ago I noted that the GFS was showing that to be the case but then it backed off.  Well, the GFS indicates some potential problems on Tuesday night but the NAM does not agree and I tend to think that the overall pattern is

European Has System Through By Monday Morning

European Has System Through By Monday Morning

not overly supportive of the more menacing GFS solution.  But, for Thursday, both the GFS and NAM indicate a very strong veering pattern very similar to what we had over the weekend.  And the timing appears to be similar which is well after sunset so I would suggest a similar potential.  A few strong storms will be possible but they will probably be in a weakening phase.  Now, the third amigo comes on Sunday afternoon and the GFS and that guy is showing signs of being a trouble maker. I made note of it yesterday as it developed over Japan and how the models really kept it going and becoming quite ferocious around here over the weekend.  That potential is there.  The only thing that I see here that may be an inhibiting factor would be not enough time for the full brunt of Gulf moisture to get in here and our temperatures will be warm, but not all that warm as we get to near 70 on Saturday and Sunday we probably won’t get there before the system gets here.  Still lots of time for several things to happen and so the SPC still does not have an outline for it but does make mention.  Just keep aware that if you have activities planned on Sunday, have a plan B in the kitchen drawer.





2 Responses

  1. I guess you’ve seen the HBO “John Adams” series, haven’t you? So, do you think that they got most of their facts straight on that show? It was very well made nonetheless. I’ve been pretty slammed lately but I’ve been reading. Nice posts on the Los Hermanos Penitentes. How do folks concoct such things? Did someone just make that up one day? There is absolutely no biblical basis for such nonsense, at least that I can think of. “He that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin.” (I Peter 4.1) is about as close as I can get to justifying that. I suppose that you could commend them for wanting to commemorate our Savior’s suffering but it’s a stretch to believe that such acts have any basis in scripture. I guess when you don’t accept the Bible as the only rule of faith and practice any kind of silliness can come about in the name of religion. I guess their heart is in the right place…sort of.

  2. Yeah, it seems a bit of a stretch to me and not based on anything substantial. Somehow whatever was being taught by the Franciscans got altered in translation. I knew about such practices in the Philippines, but not in North America, let alone the United States. As for Abigail, I don’t think the series portrayed her quite as tough as her letters would indicate.

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