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Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution

Winner of the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for non-fiction and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Golden Kite Award, among others.

Early in her life, as Abigail Adams began to experience the long separations from her husband, John, that would shadow and shape her marriage, letter writing became a way of life for her. Using her pen as an emotional outlet, she wrote extraordinary letters that recorded an extraordinary life – one that not only gave impetus to a husband and son to become presidents of the United States, but opened a wide window on a crucial period in history, allowing us to witness, through her eyes, the birth of our nation, and to come to know the people who played a vital role in it.

More than 2,000 letters survive today as a written legacy to us because family members ignored her pleas to “burn all these letters least they should fall from your pocket and thus expose your most affectionate friend,” as she wrote to her husband.

John’s reply to her was: “The conclusion of your letter makes my heart throb more than a cannonade would. You bid me burn your letters, but I must forget you first.” In fact, recognizing the potential importance of their letters, John ultimately asked Abigail to “put them up safe and preserve them. They may exhibit to our posterity a kind of picture of the manners, opinions, and principles of these times of perplexity, danger, and distress.”

They do just that!