Lesson 2: John and Abigail Adams
As John and Abigail Adams settled into married life, tensions between the British crown and the colonies were beginning to rise. Soon, these tensions would spill over into violence and, eventually, revolution. As you'll discover in the next lesson, Abigail and John were in the middle of it all.
Questions to Discuss
- How do you think the availability of thousands of letters by and to Abigail Adams influences the work of historians writing about her life? Without those letters, do you think we would know as much about Abigail Adams? (The correspondence of the Adams family is a treasure trove for historians -- without these documents, it would be far harder to understand the personal life, views, and personality of Abigail Adams. Since she was the wife of one president and mother of another, other people in her time period would have written about her and left historical records, but the correspondence provides a unique window into her life. The number and quality of primary sources available to a historian can make a tremendous difference in the kind of work that the historian is able to do.)
- How do citations help a book's readers and other researchers interested in the same topic or a related topic? (Your child's answers may vary, but she should understand that citations can help readers ascertain the quality of research that the author has done, weigh the validity of the sources used, and go to the original source if desired to do their own research. Citations can help other researchers identify sources that they have not yet run across that may help them in their research.)
- Today's lesson covered some political events happening around Abigail Adams, like the reintroduction of the Writs of Assistance, alongside daily details of the personal lives of John and Abigail, like their long walks together as a young married couple. If someone was going to write a biography of our family, what might they include as important political events going on around us? What might they include about our daily life?
Things to Review
- Review your child's responses to the questions about the day's reading.
- Review your child's activity page for Activity 1.
- Review your child's activity page about John Adams as a suitor.