"My Dearest Friend"
John Adams was one of the founding fathers of the United States of America and the 2nd president; but the reason he is profiled here, on BonzaSheila.com, is his long, loving and mutually respectful relationship with his wife, Abigail, who was a woman ahead of her time. Their love story lives on in the many letters they exchanged, which they began by addressing each other "My Dearest Friend".
Although she lived at a time when many women were not educated, Abigail Adams learned to read, developing an appreciation of current events. Her intellect attracted her to a young lawyer, John Adams, and they were married in 1764. It was an intellectual and romantic relationship that would last for more than 50 years.
The Revolutionary War and other events often forced Adams to be away from home for long periods of time, so they wrote each other long, affectionate letters. John and Abigail Adams wrote over a thousand letters to each other. They had plenty to tell one another during the months (sometimes years) that John was away from home helping found a new nation.
From their initial courtship in 1761 through their time as President and First Lady over three decades later, the couple shared insights on their lives and times.
When she did join her husband, on diplomatic missions to Paris and London, and later in Washington, DC, Abigail was a valued partner, entertaining with style and observing people with interest.
In 1801 the Adamses left the White House and retired to their farm in Quincy, Massachusetts, where they lived in contented companionship. They were the parents of 5 children, including John Quincy Adams, the 6th president of the USA.
My Dearest Friend,
...should I draw you the picture of my heart it would be what I hope you would still love though it contained nothing new. The early possession you obtained there, and the absolute power you have obtained over it, leaves not the smallest space unoccupied.
I look back to the early days of our acquaintance and friendship as to the days of love and innocence, and, with an indescribable pleasure, I have seen near a score of years roll over our heads with an affection heightened and improved by time, nor have the dreary years of absence in the smallest degree effaced from my mind the image of the dear untitled man to whom I gave my heart.
-Abigail Adams to John Adams, written December 23, 1782 (excerpt)