Kennedy American Pageant 12e -
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The American Pageant: A History of the Republic, Twelfth Edition
David M. Kennedy, Stanford University
Lizabeth Cohen, Harvard University
Thomas A. Bailey
Examining the Evidence Activites
Chapter 8: America Secedes from the Empire, 1775-1783

Examining Related Evidence: A Revolution for Women?
This internet activity is based on the Examining the Evidence feature found on page 147 of The American Pageant, Twelfth Edition. Or you can view the feature here.

Historians widely recognize Abigail Adams is perceived by historians as being an outspoken advocate for about the relative equality of women, at least in her letters to her husband. The Adams family's correspondence is fascinating and valuable to historians (partly because they all have fairly good handwriting!). In addition to evaluating her own writing, iIt is interesting to speculate about how she Adams was perceived by her contemporaries. One way that historians can look at public perception is to examine obituaries. To investigate further, go to the American Memory Project website and read the Obituary Notice for Abigail Adams.

Read the first paragraph of the obituary carefully and answer the following questions:

  1. When did Abigail Adams die?
  2. What aspects of Abigail's character did the author consider "masculine" and "feminine?"
  3. What does the last sentence of the first paragraph tell you about the dangers for women of interacting with the world?
  4. Read the rest of the obituary and summarize how Abigail was perceived by her peers. What were her major accomplishments?