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Abigail Adams

  • American lady
  • Born December 22, 1744
  • Died October 28, 1818

Abigail Adams (née Smith; November 22, [O.S. November 11] 1744 – October 28, 1818) was the wife and closest advisor of John Adams, as well as the mother of John Quincy Adams. She is sometimes considered to have been a Founder of the United States, and is now designated as the first Second Lady and second First Lady of the United States, although these titles were not used at the time. Adams's life is one of the most documented of the First Ladies: she is remembered for the many letters she wrote to her husband while he stayed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, during the Continental Congresses.


Wisdom and penetration are the fruit of experience, not the lessons of retirement and leisure. Great necessities call out great virtues.




I've always felt that a person's intelligence is directly reflected by the number of conflicting points of view he can entertain simultaneously on the same topic.




Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and diligence.




Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of 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.




I begin to think, that a calm is not desirable in any situation in life. Man was made for action and for bustle too, I believe.




Well, knowledge is a fine thing, and mother Eve thought so; but she smarted so severely for hers, that most of her daughters have been afraid of it since.




Arbitrary power is like most other things which are very hard, very liable to be broken.




Great necessities call out great virtues.




A little of what you call frippery is very necessary towards looking like the rest of the world.




We have too many high-sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them.




If we do not lay out ourselves in the service of mankind whom should we serve?




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.'




If we mean to have heroes, statesmen and philosophers, we should have learned women.



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