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A New Nation
(1776-1830)

Abigail Adams



Abigail Adams
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.22

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    diplomat, founders, hostess, schooled, writing, description, responsibility, reading, politics, absence, running, unfinished, luckily, presidency, thoughts, education
     content words:    Abigail Adams, Revolutionary War, United States, Abigail Smith, John Adams, George Washington, Martha Washington, Federal City, White House


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Abigail Adams
By Jane Runyon
  

1     If it weren't for people like Abigail Adams, we might not know how our ancestors lived. We might not know their thoughts and opinions. We might not know their struggles. We have learned a lot about these things because Abigail Adams loved to write letters. She did not hesitate to put her true feelings down on paper. And luckily for us, her letters were preserved by her family. We can now read what life was like for her as the wife of a leader of the Revolutionary War. We can read what life was like for the wife of the second President of the United States. We can read about what was important to her. She wrote about changes she wanted to make in this new country. She wrote about what she thought was fair and unfair. Her letters have become our path to the past.
 
2     Abigail Adams was born Abigail Smith in 1744 to a Congregational minister and his wife in Massachusetts. She did not attend school. School in those days was for the boys. She had a very curious mind, however. This curiosity led her to seek knowledge where she could find it. She learned to read. Reading every book she could put her hands on helped to satisfy her strong curiosity. Her interest in books led her to make the acquaintance of a young lawyer named John Adams. She married John in 1764.
 
3     John Adams' law practice and future career in politics caused many separations for the couple. Abigail began her practice of writing letters to her busy husband. She was able to make these letters seem like she was talking to him face to face. She told of events in the household. She kept him up on community news. She offered her opinion on the changes taking place in the colonies. In John's absence, she had the responsibility of running the family farm without much help. Most of the men were busy fighting a war. She raised their four children and schooled them at home. Her letters told John of her struggles and how much she missed her best friend, her husband.

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