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Social History for Every Classroom

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James Sullivan, a state court judge in Massachusetts and colleague of John Adams, was often sympathetic to those who thought women and non-elite men should have a voice in the new nation’s government. Adams disagreed, explaining to Sullivan why men…

James Sullivan, a state court judge in Massachusetts and colleague of John Adams, was often sympathetic to those who thought women and non-elite men should have a voice in the new nation’s government. Adams disagreed, explaining to Sullivan why women…

In this letter, John Adams offers his wife Abigail information and opinions about the ongoing war, commentary on class divisions in the southern colonies, and a flirtatious dismissal of her earlier plea that the new nation provide suffrage for women.

Writing to his friend, James Sullivan, who was a member of the Massachusetts General Court, Adams sets forth his arguments against giving women, children, and property-less men the right to vote.

In this famous letter, Abigail Adams shares wartime news and opinions with her husband. Already planning for the war's successful conclusion, she admonishes him to consider the rights of women when developing laws for a newly independent nation.
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