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The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Adams, Abigail Smith

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ADAMS, Abigail Smith, wife of President John Adams: b. Weymouth, Mass., 23 Nov. 1744; d. 28 Oct. 1818. She was daughter of a Weymouth clergyman, who opposed the match and took for a text “My daughter is grievously tormented with a devil.” Though lacking strength and regular school education, she became a self-made force of high order in public affairs and one of the best of early American writers; her letters to her husband, collected and published, are not only of great historical and social value, but full of delightful genial humor and acute comment and judgment. Her husband's position kept them apart for years; but she joined him in France in 1784, went with him to his life of torment in London, and lived in Washington 1789-1801; thence till death at Braintree, now Quincy.