JP

Letters of Note: Remember the Ladies

In Despicable reader on March 8, 2012 at 3:54 pm

As you read the following letter, in which Abigail Adams boldly asks her husband — future U.S. President, John Adams — to “remember the ladies” when drafting new laws or else fear rebellion from the female population, bear in mind that it was sent over 200 years ago, at the start of the American Revolutionary War — a time when women had very few rights to speak of.

At the time of writing, John Adams was away from home working as the Massachusetts representative to the Continental Congress; a few months later the Declaration of Independence would be adopted, due in no small part to his efforts. His 31-year-old wife, meanwhile, was at home caring for their four children.

Full transcript follows.

“I long to hear that you have declared an independancy—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 perticuliar care and attention is not paid to the Laidies we are determined to foment a Rebelion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.”

via Letters of Note: Remember the Ladies.

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