Abigail Adams: First Lady (Women of Achievment) by Janet Hubbard-Brown

By Janet Hubbard-Brown

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Phyllis Lee Levin, Abigail Adams: A Biography. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2001, p. 179. • 51 52 • Abigail Adams Jefferson, could not have been more different in looks and in philosophy, but both had been vital to American independence. The bonds they formed in Paris were strong. Jefferson became like a second father to John Quincy; Nabby thought of him as an uncle. Adams was happier than anyone had seen him in a long time. He had promised that if he could ever be with his family again he would change and not be irritable and melancholy.

By the time he left in February 1777, Abigail was pregnant. Over the next nine months, Abigail was concerned about the pregnancy. When she had a shaking fit just before giving birth, she was filled with dread. Her baby was stillborn. She was sad that Nabby would not have a sister, but she was also relieved that she survived. ”5 By the end of the year, John was appointed to a joint delegation in France to negotiate a treaty of alliance. It was important that America have the support of France, and it was a great honor for John to be asked.

Abigail had learned in September that Charles was supposed to come home, and eventually word reached her that Charles and his guardian had left Spain, but after that she knew nothing. The lack of information was a constant source of worry. The end of the war came late in October 1781, when British forces commanded by General Lord Cornwallis surrendered at the Siege of Yorktown to American forces led by General Washington and allied French forces led by General Comte de Rochambeau. After six long years, American independence had been won.

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