“Remember the Ladies”

  First Lady Abigail Adams (1744-1818)

On this last day of March – Women’s History Month – it is fitting to note that on this day – March 31, 1776 – in a personal letter  – Abigail Adams urged her husband John Adams “to remember the ladies.” As the Continental Congress met to write the laws of the new nation to come, she wanted representation for women. It would be nearly 150 years before the House of Representatives voted to pass the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. Abigail Adams letter was a private first step in the fight for equal rights for women

In a letter dated March 31, 1776, Abigail Adams writes to her husband, John Adams, urging him and the other members of the Continental Congress not to forget about the nation’s women when fighting for America’s independence from Great Britain.

The future First Lady wrote in part, “I long to hear that you have declared an independency. And, by the way, 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 favorable 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 bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”

Read more here at the Adams National Historic Site/National Park  website.