REMEMBER THE LADIES
ABIGAIL ADAMS TO JOHN ADAMS, March 31, 1776
"...I have sometimes been ready to think that the passion for Liberty cannot be Equally Strong in the Breasts of those who have been accustomed to deprive their fellow Creatures of theirs. Of this I am certain: that it is not founded upon the generous and Christian principal of doing to others as we would that others should do unto us.
…I long to hear that you have declared an independency….In the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bounds by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.
That your Sex are Naturally Tyrannical is a Truth so thoroughly established as to admit of no dispute….Why then, not put it out of the power of the vicious and the Lawless to use us with cruelty and indignity with impunity…? Men of sense in all ages abhor those customs which treat us only as the vassals of your sex. Regard us then as beings, placed by providence under your protection, and in imitation of the Supreme Being make use of that power for our happiness."
JOHN ADAMS TO ABIGAIL ADAMS, April 14, 1776
"As to your extraordinary Code of Laws, I cannot but laugh. We have been told that our Struggle has loosened the bands of Government everywhere. That children and Apprentices were disobedient - that schools and Colleges were grown turbulent – that Indians slighted their Guardians and Negroes grew insolent to their Masters. But your Letter was the first Intimation that another Tribe more numerous and powerful than all the rest were grown discontented….Depend upon, it, We know better than to repeal our Masculine systems….We have only the Name of Masters, and rather than give up this, which would completely subject Us to the Despotism of the Petticoat, I hope General Washington, and all our brave Heroes would fight…."
ABIGAIL ADAMS TO JOHN ADAMS, May 7, 1776
"…Arbitrary power is like most other things which are very hard, very liable to be broken…"