The Enshrinement Of Abigail Adams

I expect 2018 to be an unusual year and I can think of few ways better to start than by enshrining what many may initially think is an unusual choice for the Progressive Hall of Fame. Abigail Adams is mainly known for being the wife of our second President, John Adams, and the mother of our sixth President, John Quincy Adams. While that alone is notable, it doesn’t even figure into her induction. After reading the next few paragraphs I think you will agree with her worthiness for induction.

Abigail had the ears of several of our founding fathers. In that capacity she was anything but timid in communicating her ideas for the founding of our nation. It is said that slavery was America’s original sin. If that is so I think it’s second was denying women the right to vote. Fortunately we have rectified both; although still today there are many on the right that have reservations about the equality of any other than white, land owning, Christian males. Abigail was vehemently anti-slavery from her youth to her death. She also, unsuccessfully lobbied for women having the right to vote from the inception of America.

She was strongly in favor of public education for all. That included non-Caucasians. She successfully fought for the right of a young black freeman to attend a previous all-white school. This was unheard of in the 18th century. Public school in many states in this country weren’t desegregated until during my lifetime. Remember she died more than a century before Brown v Board of Education. Abigail Adams found prejudice in any form repulsive.

She had a genuine love of and opinion about politics which to her mainly meant policy. She was actually more comfortable in conversation with people like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin than the ladies in the courts of London or Paris.

Equal pay wasn’t an issue in the late18th and early19th centuries but I can hardly envision Abigail Adams endorsing any form of inequity. I can only speculate as to what her opinions on women’s reproductive rights or sexual harassment would be, but I feel she would fit right in with today’s women’s movements. (Considering her devout religiousness I will not hazard a guess on the later. On the former I hardly can see where she would condone or ignore women not being treated as equal people.) One measure of greatness is a person’s ideas either being ahead of their time and/or enduring. Abigail Adams passes that test with flying colors.

I doubt the word progressive was even in the political nomenclature of her day but Abigail Adams certainly held and courageously espoused progressive values during her lifetime.

Therefore, commences 2018 by inducting Abigail Adams into its Progressive Hall of Fame.

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