The Founders pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor in support of American self-government. They believed that ordinary people really can govern themselves and are even capable of extraordinary deeds. Every American hero demonstrates what James Madison called “the capacity of mankind for self-government.”
To kick off our American Heroes webinar series, we began with two of our earliest heroes to pledge themselves to the American experiment in self-government. John Adams was instrumental in the passage of the Declaration of Independence, and his wife Abigail Adams was no less instrumental to him. Abigail was John’s closest advisor and also a strong advocate for human equality and freedom. Prior to the Second Continental Congress she urged John to “remember the ladies” in the event they declared independence.
In this webinar, Executive Director Jeff Sikkenga discussed John and Abigail Adams with Dr. Natalie Taylor, chair of the Department of Political Science at Skidmore College and a member of Ashbrook’s national faculty. Dr. Taylor is an engaging teacher and a great scholar of political thought and the American Founding.
Jeff and Dr. Taylor explored the following primary documents from American history:
- Abigail Adams to John Adams, 31 March 1776
- John Adams to Abigail Adams, 14 April 1776
- From John Adams to Mercy Otis Warren, 8 January 1776
- Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams, 10 June 1778
- Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams, 19 January 1780
- Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams, 10 August 1796
A recording of the webinar is available below.