John and Abigail Adams
ASSIGNMENT: In a letter that Abigail Adams wrote to her husband, John Adams in 1776, she stated: “...in the new Code of Laws...remember the ladies...” Explain the significance of this comment.
The letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, March 31, 1776
Abigail Adams to John Adams, March 31, 1776
"I long to hear that you have declared an independancy [sic]-and by the way in the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I would 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 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.
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 immitation of the Supreem Being make use of that power only for our happiness."
View the text of the entire letter here
View excerpts from The Adams Family Correspondence for more background information