She's one of the most important people in American history.
The founding mother who helped shape the newborn nation, almost as profoundly as some presidents.
The wife of John Adams, Abigail Adams was many things, the first second lady, the second first lady.
She was also one of only two women to ever be both the wife of a president and the mother of a president after her son John Quincy Adams became the sixth commander-in-chief .
But while we may remember her today for a role in her husband and son's lives.
There was so much more to Abigail Adams than her famous family.
A voracious learner at a time when women were seen primarily as baby making machines, Adams was one of the best red people in the whole of America.
She was also an incisive thinker penning, one of the nation's earliest most influential opinions to equality.
Yet this intellect came with a hidden dark side.
One that would lead her to support massive curtailment of civil liberties.
Founding mother thinker one time hate figure.
This is the life of Abigail Adams, American icon.
Born on the 22nd of November 1744 or November 11th in the old-style Julian calendar that was still in use at the time, Abigail Smith's family were practically Massachusetts royalty.
Her maternal grandfather or speaker of the Massachusetts Assembly a title that it hold for 40 years while her father William Smith was a highly esteemed local minister.
Luckier still by the standards of the time he was also incredibly progressive.
In this era the idea of giving girls an education was considered as ludicrous as the suit made of custard.
They should be taught to do chores and be marryable but stuff like books theology and science.
Well that was for boys but not in William Smith's household.
Against his wife's wishes Abigail's dad pressed her to read not just poetry and the works of john milton but also history , philosophy and more.
By the time she was 11 Abigail was extremely smart and extremely comfortable in her smartness.
Among William's friends, she was renowned for a back chat, one even declared half-jokingly.
"you will either be a very good woman, or else a very bad one" .
Still while letting abigail get the education she deserved was great and all.
We should point out that william smith wasn't completely progressive despite living way up in massachusetts.
The family still owned slaves, four of them to be exact, Phoebe, Tom, Cato and Tower.
If you already know a bit about Abigail John Adams and their son John Quincy this might come as a bit of a shock.
Today all three are lauded for their opposition to slavery.
Yet Abigail's position would always be more complex than that of a husband and son.
While she would support Massachusetts as 1783, abolition laws she never regretted growing up around four enslaved people.
In later life she would even keep in touch with Phoebe after she was freed it said she even regarded her as a friend.
But while William Smith's progressive credentials may have only applied to equality among the sexes that still had one incredibly important impact in Abigail's life.
Aged 11, her education was placed in the hands of Englishman Richard Cranch who quickly developed a crush on her older sister Mary.
In 1759 Cranch popped around to woo Mary with a friend a balding 24 year old lawyer with a developing belly and his own reputation as an argumentative know-it-all.
That friend's name was John Adams and meeting him was destined to change Abigail's life.
Well eventually it would their first meeting you see was not a success.
Tiny Abigail barely five feet tall was only 15 and John was hardly a looker.
In fact the day ended with John Adams privately dismissing her as not fond not frank not candid.
While Abigail's mom declared John vulgar and unmannered.
Still the meetings continued partly because the Adams's and the Smiths were vaguely related and partly because Richard Crench was determined to get into Mary's oldie timey pants.
Finally in 1761,something clicked at a social gathering, John suddenly found himself looking at the petite intelligent forthright girl with new eyes, eyes in which the pupils had been replaced by cartoon love hearts .
Their subsequent engagement was long by the stands at the time Abigail's parents insisted that she not wed until she was 18.
At last on October 24,1764, the pair tied the knot and immediately moved to John's place in nearby Braintree, today the town of Quincy.
Just eight months later their daughter naby was born.
Two years after that Abigail gave birth to john Quincy Adams who'd grow up to be the sixth president.
But for that to happen America first needed to become independent.
And both Abigail and John were going to have front row seats to the coming war.