Friday, October 26, 2007

October 25, 1764:

The Marriage of John and Abigail Adams

Until 2001, only one woman had the distinction of being the wife of a president as well as the mother of one, and that was Abigail Adams, nee Smith. In the fall of 1764, before such an office as President of the United States was even imaginable, the 19-year-old Abigail married the 29-year-old John, an attorney. The ceremony took place at the Smith family home in Weymouth, Massachusetts, presided over by Rev. William Smith, a Congregationalist minister and the bride's father.

According to the Library of Congress' American Memory project, "Abigail Smith married a young lawyer by the name of John Adams on October 25, 1764. Their union launched a vital 54-year partnership taking the couple from colonial Boston through the politics of revolution, to Paris and London and the world of international diplomacy, and finally to Washington, D.C., where they became the first presidential couple to occupy the White House.

"A talented commentator and chronicler of events with a broad knowledge of history, Abigail Adams left an important account of many of the events of the nation's founding in her letters. She and her husband corresponded regularly; first when he attended the Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia between 1774 and 1783, and again from 1789 to 1800, when she traveled between the family home in Quincy, Massachusetts, and Philadelphia, where John Adams was serving as the nation's first vice president before becoming its second president in 1797.

"After the presidential term, the Adamses retired to their family home where they spent the next 17 years. In 1825, John Quincy Adams, the couple's eldest son, moved into the White House, succeeding James Monroe to serve as the nation's sixth president."

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