The First Ladies and Their Presidents
The wives of United States presidents are sometimes important American figures as well. While
they have no formal duties, the wives are an essential component of the US government. The
function of the firstlady has evolved over hundreds of years, from welcoming and entertaining
guests in the Whitehouse to campaigners for public policy.
What follows is a summary of 2 incredibly renowned presidents' wives and also their respective
husbands, nevertheless further information may be found on them in history books to read.
Mary Lincoln: Mary Ann Todd was born in Kentucky in December 1818 to a prominent slave-
holding family. A move to Illinois in her teens was fortuitous since it was in this place that she was
to meet and eventually marry an up-and-coming politician and attorney, Abraham Lincoln. This
marriage produced four boys, however only 2 of them, Thomas and Robert, lived to adulthood.
In November 1860, Lincoln was chosen the 16th President of America. This triggered a lot of
southern states to split from the Union. Most Kentuckians in the Todd's social circle, and in fact
her stepfamily, were sympathetic to the southern cause, however Mary was a wholehearted and
untiring ally of the Union.
Mary was sat beside the president in a theatre when he was shot by an assassin. Lincoln died the
following day and Mary Todd Lincoln never completely recovered. She returned to Illinois and,
upon the loss of her son Thomas in 1871, fell into a deep depression. Mary's sole remaining son,
Robert, had her committed to an insane asylum. Mary was freed three months later, but she could
never forgive him for the betrayal. She spent her latter years travelling in Europe, despite the fact
that she suffered from declining health. She passed away on 16 July 1882 at age 63.
Abigail Adams: Born Abigail Smith on 11 November 1744 in Massachusetts, daughter of a
minister. Abigail was a writer and eager reader, liking especially the works of Shakespeare and
Milton. She didn't go to school as that was customary for girls at that time. During 1761 she was to
meet an attorney by the name of John Adams and in 1765 they got married. John and Abigail had
four offspring, one of whom was John Quincy Adams, who was elected as the sixth president of
the USA 7 years after Abigail's death in 1825.
Together with a demanding law practice and John's later involvement with the American
Revolution, her husband spent a lot of time away from home, leaving Abigail to cope with their
farm and take care of the children on her own. The duo stayed close by sending letters to each
other, of which there were many.
Contained in one of these letters, Abigail spoke of her concern for women and asked that her
husband would not put unlimited authority into the hands of men - stating all men would be bullies
if they could. Abigail went on to say: "If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we
are determined to foment a rebellion and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we
have no voice, or representation."
Abigail regularly expressed her views on matters of state with her husband and served as an
informal adviser to him all through his career. After the revolution, Abigail Adams joined her
husband in England where he served as the first United States minister to the Court of St James
from 1785 to 1788.
When he returned from England, John Adams was voted president in 1797 and Abigail was widely
detested by certain critics who objected to her because of her lavish spending during the course of
the Civil War, her candor and the influence Abigail had over the president.
Additional information on many of the first ladies, the presidents themselves and American history
may be found in books on history as well as biographies books.