B. Massachusetts Constitution
2. John Adams and the Rule of Law
a. Writs of Assistance
b. Boston Massacre
3. Thoughts on Government
4. Adams's Resolution Authorizes Colonies to Establish Legitimate, Independent Governments
5. Massachusetts Invents Constitutional Convention
6. John Adams Drafts Massachusetts Constitution
7. Massachusetts Constitution
C. Abigail Adams
John Adams and the Massachusetts Constitution
C. Abigail Adams
Throughout their fifty-four year marriage, Abigail Adams was her husband's most trusted advisor on the subjects of family, career, and politics. Because Adams's political life resulted in lengthy absences from his wife, they regularly communicated through letters. This massive collection of letters has made Abigail one of this nation's best known and most beloved women.
In Abigail's most famous letter, dated March 31, 1776, she writes to John of her desire that members of the Continental Congress "remember the ladies" when they create a new code of law:
I long to hear that you have declared an independency - and by the way in the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If perticuliar care and attention is not paid to the Laidies we are determined to foment a Rebelion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.
In addition to championing the cause of women, Abigail also championed freedom for slaves. On September 22, 1774, she wrote:
I wish most sincerely there was not a Slave in the province. It allways appeard a most iniquitious Scheme to me - fight ourselfs for what we are daily robbing and plundering from those who have as good a right to freedom as we have. You know my mind upon this Subject.
Years later, Abigail would support the right of an African-American child to attend school with white children. In 1797, Abigail enrolled a young African-American servant boy in a local school. When a neighbor reported objections, Abigail responded as follows, as recounted in her letter to her husband dated February 13, 1797:
[The neighbor, Mr. Faxon] inform me that if James went to School, it would break up the School for the other Lads refused to go. Pray Mr. Faxon has the Boy misbehaved? If he has let the Master turn him out of school. O no, there was no complaint of that kind, but they did not chuse to go to School with a Black Boy. . . This Mr. Faxon is attacking the principle of Liberty and equality upon the only Ground upon which it ought to be supported, an equality of Rights. The Boy is a Freeman as much as any of the young Men,and merely because his Face is Black, is he to be denied instruction? How is he to be qualified to procure a livelihood? . . . . Tell them Mr. Faxon that I hope we shall all go to Heaven together. Upon which Faxon laugh'd, and thus ended the conversation. I have not heard any more upon the subject.