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Abigail Adams

Geburtstag: 22. November 1744
Todesdatum: 28. Oktober 1818

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Abigail Smith Adams war die Ehefrau des zweiten US-Präsidenten John Adams und wird heutzutage demnach als zweite US-amerikanische First Lady betrachtet, obgleich dieser Begriff erst nach ihrem Tode geprägt wurde, außerdem war sie die Mutter des US-Präsidenten John Quincy Adams. Zu ihren Lebzeiten wurde sie als „Lady Adams“ bezeichnet. Sie hatte, indem sie ihren Mann häufig beriet, großen Einfluss auf die Politik und setzte sich sehr für Frauenrechte ein.

Zitate Abigail Adams

„If you complain of neglect of Education in sons, what shall I say with regard to daughters, who every day experience the want of it?“

— Abigail Adams
Context: If you complain of neglect of Education in sons, what shall I say with regard to daughters, who every day experience the want of it? With regard to the Education of my own children, I find myself soon out of my depth, destitute and deficient in every part of Education. I most sincerely wish that some more liberal plan might be laid and executed for the Benefit of the rising Generation, and that our new Constitution may be distinguished for encouraging Learning and Virtue. If we mean to have Heroes, Statesmen and Philosophers, we should have learned women. The world perhaps would laugh at me and accuse me of vanity, But you I know have a mind too enlarged and liberal to disregard the Sentiment. If much depends as is allowed upon the early education of youth and the first principles which are instill'd take the deepest root, great benefit must arise from literary accomplishments in women. Letter to John Adams (14 August 1776)

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„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 —“

— Abigail Adams
Context: I can not say that I think you very generous to the Ladies, for 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 notwithstanding all your wise laws and maxims we have it in our power not only to free ourselves but to subdue our masters, and without violence throw both your natural and legal authority at our feet. Letter from Abigail to John Adams, Braintree, May, 7, 1776.

„Do not grieve, my friend, my dearest friend. I am ready to go.“

— Abigail Adams
Context: Do not grieve, my friend, my dearest friend. I am ready to go. And John, it will not be long. Last words in a letter to John Adams, as quoted in Famous Last Words (1961) by Barnaby Conrad

„How difficult the task to quench the fire and the pride of private ambition, and to sacrifice ourselves and all our hopes and expectations to the public weal! How few have souls capable of so noble an undertaking!“

— Abigail Adams
Context: How difficult the task to quench the fire and the pride of private ambition, and to sacrifice ourselves and all our hopes and expectations to the public weal! How few have souls capable of so noble an undertaking! How often are the laurels worn by those who have had no share in earning them! But there is a future recompense of reward, to which the upright man looks, and which he will most assuredly obtain, provided he perseveres unto the end. Letter to John Adams (10 July 1775)

„I acknowledge myself a unitarian — Believing that the Father alone, is the supreme God, and that Jesus Christ derived his Being, and all his powers and honors from the Father.“

— Abigail Adams
Context: I acknowledge myself a unitarian — Believing that the Father alone, is the supreme God, and that Jesus Christ derived his Being, and all his powers and honors from the Father. … There is not any reasoning which can convince me, contrary to my senses, that three is one, and one three. Letter to John Quincy Adams (5 May 1816)

„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.“

— Abigail Adams
Context: I long to hear that you have declared an independency. And by the way, in the 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 particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation. That your Sex are Naturally Tyrannical is a Truth so thoroughly established as to admit of no dispute, but such of you as wish to be happy willingly give up the harsh title of Master for the more tender and endearing one of Friend. Why, then, not put it out of the power of the vicious and the Lawless to use us with cruelty and indignity with impunity? Men of Sense in all Ages abhor those customs which treat us only as the vassals of your sex; regard us then as Beings placed by Providence under your protection, and in imitation of the Supreme Being make use of that power only for our happiness. Letter to John Adams (31 March 1776), published in Familiar Letters of John Adams and his wife Abigail Adams (1875) edited by Charles Francis Adams, p. 147

„I wish most sincerely there was not a slave in this province.“

— Abigail Adams
Context: I wish most sincerely there was not a slave in this province. It always appeared a most iniquitous scheme to me — to fight ourselves for what we are daily robbing and plundering from those who have as good a right to freedom as we have. Letter to John Adams (24 September 1774)

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„I begin to think, that a calm is not desirable in any situation in life.“

— Abigail Adams
Context: I begin to think, that a calm is not desirable in any situation in life. Every object is beautiful in motion; a ship under sail, trees gently agitated with the wind, and a fine woman dancing, are three instances in point. Man was made for action and for bustle too, I believe. Letter to her sister, Mary Smith Cranch (1784)

„Man was made for action and for bustle too, I believe.“

— Abigail Adams
Context: I begin to think, that a calm is not desirable in any situation in life. Every object is beautiful in motion; a ship under sail, trees gently agitated with the wind, and a fine woman dancing, are three instances in point. Man was made for action and for bustle too, I believe. Letter to her sister, Mary Smith Cranch (1784)

„I am more and more convinced that man is a dangerous creature; and that power, whether vested in many or a few, is ever grasping, and, like the grave, cries, “Give, give!”“

— Abigail Adams
Context: I am more and more convinced that man is a dangerous creature; and that power, whether vested in many or a few, is ever grasping, and, like the grave, cries, “Give, give!” The great fish swallow up the small; and he who is most strenuous for the rights of the people, when vested with power, is as eager after the prerogatives of government. You tell me of degrees of perfection to which human nature is capable of arriving, and I believe it, but at the same time lament that our admiration should arise from the scarcity of the instances. Letter to John Adams (27 November 1775)

„I long to hear that you have declared an independency.“

— Abigail Adams
Context: I long to hear that you have declared an independency. And by the way, in the 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 particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation. That your Sex are Naturally Tyrannical is a Truth so thoroughly established as to admit of no dispute, but such of you as wish to be happy willingly give up the harsh title of Master for the more tender and endearing one of Friend. Why, then, not put it out of the power of the vicious and the Lawless to use us with cruelty and indignity with impunity? Men of Sense in all Ages abhor those customs which treat us only as the vassals of your sex; regard us then as Beings placed by Providence under your protection, and in imitation of the Supreme Being make use of that power only for our happiness. Letter to John Adams (31 March 1776), published in Familiar Letters of John Adams and his wife Abigail Adams (1875) edited by Charles Francis Adams, p. 147

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„You tell me of degrees of perfection to which human nature is capable of arriving, and I believe it, but at the same time lament that our admiration should arise from the scarcity of the instances.“

— Abigail Adams
Context: I am more and more convinced that man is a dangerous creature; and that power, whether vested in many or a few, is ever grasping, and, like the grave, cries, “Give, give!” The great fish swallow up the small; and he who is most strenuous for the rights of the people, when vested with power, is as eager after the prerogatives of government. You tell me of degrees of perfection to which human nature is capable of arriving, and I believe it, but at the same time lament that our admiration should arise from the scarcity of the instances. Letter to John Adams (27 November 1775)

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