Before Hillary Clinton, Nancy Reagan or Eleanor Roosevelt, early on there were amazing women in the political arena playing active roles in the Presidency.
Did you know that Abigail Adams worked as a trader, dealer, landlord and farmer to support her family while her husband, John Adams was commissioned as Ambassador to France?
Her work continued to support the family even when John was elected Vice President and President as those roles were not salaried at the level that they are today. While in England and France as ambassador for 7 years, John sent bolts of lace and fabric for Abigail to sell in the Boston area (where she lived). Eventually, Abigail edged out her middleman husband and chose to deal directly with the merchants herself! She used the profits to buy more land, raise crops and finance three Harvard educations for her sons: Charles, John Quincy and Thomas.
In total, she raised seven children. Her own education was founded on her father’s commitment to daily teachings, classic books, and a genuine interest in current affairs from newspapers. She was her husband’s trusted advisor on policy and the political waters of the times. Abigail’s role in history was significant. Her passion, patriotism and multi-tasking ability provided the financial, and in some cases, the intellectual support, for the forming the nation in which we live. Let’s never underestimate the role we can play in the history of our own families as Abigail did.
In our own lives today, we can look to the past to help us prioritize the importance of dual incomes, educational choices and endless multi – tasking. For more about Abigail Adams, there is a great book on tape Dearest Friend by Lynne Withy outlines the milestones of this woman of the early 19th century.