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Home > History > My Dearest Friend - Letters between John and Abigail Adams

My Dearest Friend - Letters between John and Abigail Adams

This article describes the letters sent between Abigail and John Adams when he was away from his Massachusetts home.

John and Abigail Adams were one of the most famous couples of the American Revolution. They were both deeply involved in the political and social movements of the time, and their letters to each other provide a unique insight into the thoughts and feelings of two of the most important figures of the era.

My Dearest Friend

During their marriage, John and Abigail Adams were often separated due to John's political duties. Despite the distance, they maintained a close relationship through their letters. They wrote frequently to each other, discussing everything from their personal lives to the political events of the time. Abigail typically addressed her letters to her husband with the words, "My Dearest Friend." Together, the couple wrote over 1,000 letters to each other.

The Roles of Women

John and Abigail's letters also provide a unique insight into the lives of women during the 18th century. Abigail's letters reveal a woman who was intelligent, politically aware, and deeply engaged in the events of her time. She often discussed politics and current events with her husband, and her letters show that she had a deep understanding of the issues of the day. In the quote below in one of here letters to her husband, Abigail describes the importance of women.

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 principals which are instill'd take the deepest root, great benefit must arise from literary accomplishments in women. 

In a different letter, Abigail laments the treatment of women during the era,

"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."


Challenges of the Times

The letters also reveal the challenges of the era, the difficulties of long-distance relationships, and the sacrifices that people made for their country. They also reveal the strong bond between the couple, even when separated by hundreds of miles and years.


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