Abigail Adams: Letters presents 450 texts—including more than a hundred published here for the first time—chosen and annotated by acclaimed Adams biographer Edith Gelles.
From virtually the moment she married the ambitious young lawyer John Adams in 1764, Abigail Smith Adams (1744–1818) was on her own, raising and educating the couple's children, managing their farm and investments, and caring for an extended web of family and friends. Her frank and keenly observant letters to John and others in the 1760s and 1770s offer an unrivalled portrait of the American Revolution at the home front, revealing the emergence of one of the most talented and insightful correspondents of her age. In 1784, Adams and daughter Abigail joined John and their son John Quincy in Europe, opening a grand new field for her talents as social commentator and political advisor. Upon her return to America four years later, Adams became the first Second Lady and second First Lady of the United States, placing her at the very heart of the founding of the new nation. Now, joining George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Marshall, and husband John, Abigail Adams becomes the first woman from America's founding era to have a volume in The Library of America devoted entirely to her writings. Abigail Adams: Letters presents 450 texts—including more than a hundred published here for the first time—chosen and annotated by acclaimed Adams biographer Edith Gelles. Featuring letters to her husband and children and to such correspondents as Thomas Jefferson, Mercy Otis Warren, James and Dolley Madison, and Martha Washington, the collection showcases Adams's astute political sense and her understanding of the American Revolution; the presidential administrations and personalities of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison; and the beginning of the political career of her son, future president John Quincy Adams. It is published simultaneously with John Adams: Writings from the New Nation 1784–1826, the third and final volume in The Library of America John Adams edition.