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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Living Politics

Abigail Adams wrote to John on July 5, 1775:

I hope we shall not now have famine added to war. Grain Grain is what we want here -- meat we may have enough and to spair. Pray dont let Bass forget my pins. Hardwick has applied to me for Mr. Bass to get him a 100 of needles no. 6 to carry on his stocking weaving. He says they in Phyladelphia will know the proper needle. We shall very soon have no coffee nor sugar nor pepper here -- but huckle berrys and milk we are not obliged to commerce for.

And on March 31, 1776:

I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If perticuliar care and attention is not paid to the Laidies we are determined to foment a Rebelion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.

That your Sex are Naturally Tyrannical is a Truth so thoroughly established as to admit of no dispute, but such of you as wish to be happy willingly give up the harsh title of Master for the more tender and endearing one of Friend. Why then, not put it out of the power of the vicious and the Lawless to use us with cruelty and indignity with impunity. Men of Sense in all Ages abhor those customs which treat us only as the vassals of your Sex. Regard us then as Beings placed by providence under your protection and in immitation of the Supreem Being make use of that power only for our happiness.

Bottom line: politics is more real for some than it is for those who live and work in the rarified, philosophical air of what we call 'politics' today.  Whether it be the war on women, attacks on voting rights, or the healthcare debate.


PS--Thought of this as we passed through NH's Presidential Range, which has a subsidiary peak named for Abigail.

November 22, 2012 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink


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