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Abigail Adams helped plant the seeds that would start women and men thinking about womens rights and roles in a country that had been founded on the ideals of equality and independence Introduction Abigail Adams was born Abigail Smith on November 22 1744 in Weymouth Massachusetts a farm community about fifteen miles southeast of Boston Her family on both sides had lived in the colonies for several generations and was well established in the more influential circles of society Her father William Smith the son of a well-to-do Boston merchant was a Harvard graduate who served as a minister in Weymouth Her mother Elizabeth Quincy Smith descended from a long line of prosperous educated and well-reputed New Englanders Abigail with her two sisters Mary and Betsy and one brother Billy enjoyed a happy childhood growing up in the Weymouth parsonage The family was financially comfortable and had servants a house full of fine furniture and a lush productive farm Their large sprawling house sat on a hill overlooking farmland that spread across the surrounding area The Smith home was busy and active visitors came often and relatives lived nearby Shy but stubborn As a child Abigail was shy and quiet but also determined and stubborn Throughout her youth she suffered from one minor sickness after another She later recalled being always sick Akers p 5 Her parents especially her mother worried about their daughters weak constitution fearing that some disease or infection would cut her life short as so often happened to children of this time Abigail often complained to her sisters about their mothers constant worrying and overprotectiveness She sometimes felt smothered by Elizabeths hovering presence With her somewhat austere nature and strict approach to child rearing Elizabeth insisted on obedient and excellent conduct from her children However life at the Smith home was not overly harsh or severe
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