In March 1776, future First Lady Abigail Adams famously wrote to her husband, urging him and the other members of the Continental Congress that in making laws for the newborn nation, “I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.” While it would take nearly 150 years after Abigail’s letter for women to win the right to vote, her entreaty and its future influence both underline the historical and political significance of the First Lady as a key member of any presidential administration and as a symbol for the status of women in the United States.
Importantly, Abigail Adams held a role that only one other First Lady has ever held: she was a wife and a mother to a U.S. President. In the latest installment of New America’s Women’s Decision event series, Louisa Thomas speaks candidly about her acclaimed biography of Abigail Adams’ daughter-in-law, Louisa Adams. In conversation with a panel of relevant experts, Thomas will engage from a variety of perspectives the history, present, and future of the figure of the First Lady.
Join the conversation online using #TheLadies and by following @NewAmerica.
Kate Andersen Brower
Author, First Women: The Grace and Power of America's Modern First Ladies and The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House
Author, Louisa: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs. Adams
Staff Writer, The Washington Post
Director of Studies, New America