John Adams, a Harvard graduate and well-educated politician, married Abigail Smith in October of 1764. She was the daughter of a wealthy minister. Despite the lack of formal education because of illness, Abigail learned to read, write, and converse on level of great dignity. Ten years into their marriage, Mr. Adams was elected into Congress to represent Massachusetts. He was to attend a conference in Philadelphia in August and was going to have to leave Abigail at home with their seven-year-old son, Johnny. During the time that he was away, more than “three hundred letters passed between the couple” (Norton 675). The letters provide excellent insight about their loving marriage and about the becoming nation.
When John left Abigail on August 10, 1774, he was en route to Philadelphia to the Continental Congress. The first letter written by Abigail was dated August 19, 1774. She expressed her love for him by saying that is seemed as if he had been away for a month or more, when in fact it had only been nine days. This shows us that the bond between the two was immense. Abigail felt deeply for John and with him being gone, sickness and sorrow were soon to set in. In many of Abigail’s letters, she mentions different friends and family members. She wanted to let John know that he was in everyone’s hearts and prayers. Many times they discussed matters of the two gentlemen that lived in one of their houses. From Abigail’s letters, the impression of danger in their colony was intriguing. Although they never mentioned why the place was unsafe, the topic arose several times.
We learn more, however, from the letters of John to Abigail. The first interesting fact was that on their first meeting, the issue of prayer arose. Prayer has always been criticized by many who believe God and State are two separate entities. It is apparent that although prominent now, it started at the beginning of our country. During their first meeting, one member made a motion that their meeting should open with a prayer. However, that motion was quickly shot down because the several said that their religions were too mixed and one could not be forced to pray in the way others do. I think this is extremely important because the fuss over prayer today has caused God to be removed from all types of functions such as sporting events, schools, and even our pledge to our flag.
Another thing that we learn about the coming nation from John’s letters is that governmental discussions were secretive. This is reflected in today’s nation, too. John was very careful in what he wrote to Abigail, even at times mentioning that the letter must be carefully held secret and to be cautious about whom she shared parts with. It is important to know because the proper functioning of our nation depends on certain things being kept in private.
An important topic that John writes to Abigail about is that Congress was deciding the fate of the colonies. He mentioned that they had come to joint agreement that the colonies were to come together as states and that they would be free. This would give them the power to make war, make peace, establish commerce, and do all the other things states did. He said that the day July 2, 1776 would be one of the most memorable in the history of America. Indeed, that day is of great importance to us. John Adams knew that America would forever remember this day.
The letters between the two also talked about the illnesses that were plaguing his home while he was away. Abigail, along with others, suffered from small pox, rheumatism, jaundice, and dysentery. Despite Abigail’s history of illness, she managed to pull through this rough time with the hope of knowing her dear John would return.
As you can see, the letters between Abigail and John Adams were extraordinary. One cannot get the full effect of the letters and understand the love and concern involved without actually reading them themselves. Abigail and John’s love for each other was something that every American should understand and hold dear to them and utilize the same principles in their own relationships. Also, one must keep close to them the love that John Adam’s showed for his country. If all were to hold that same value, our country would greatly prosper.