Abigail reminded him of men's tyranny once again, and a few weeks later, she wrote to Mercy Otis Warren about their conversation, indicating she could urge Mercy to join her in petitioning Congress for redress of women's concerns against males, as stated in her letter to John. At the time, women were not allowed to vote.
Mercy responded by saying that if Abigail wanted to get something done, then she should send letters to everyone she could think of, including John Quincy Adams. He was at this time serving as our ambassador to France and would soon be elected president pro tempore of the Senate, so he would have some influence there.
Adams sent letters to about 20 people, including Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. She also copied George Washington into the correspondence because he had been president and knew how things worked in Congress.
The first woman to serve on a U.S. federal court was Abigail Adams's daughter Louisa Catherine Adams Young. In 1875, Congress passed the Court Act which established courts for Indian affairs. The courts were to be made up of three judges, one of whom could not be an attorney or a member of the Indian tribe involved in the case. The act also provided for the appointment of a marshal for each court who was to be an officer of the United States Marshals office.
Mercy Otis Warren received a letter from Abigail on April 27, 1776, in which she expressed her dissatisfaction with John. "To me, he's really saucy," she wrote. "I believe I can persuade you to sign a petition to Congress."
Abigail then went on to criticize John for his lack of patriotism and said that if he did not change his ways, she would have no choice but to marry someone else.
When John learned that Mercy was one of the women who had signed Abigail's letter, he felt betrayed. He believed that she had agreed to marry him only because of financial incentives offered by other people. This incident caused the relationship between John and Mercy to deteriorate even more.
In the years to come, many women would sign letters written by Abigail. Some of these letters are now included in publications that explore the life of John Adams.
Abigail also sent letters to friends and relatives about her situation. In one such letter, she said that if John did not agree to her terms, she would be forced to marry someone else.
This threat was not empty rhetoric from Abigail. She really wanted to marry John.
But despite all her efforts, she was still married to John Hancock when he died in 1793 at the age of 67.
Abigail frequently discussed political issues with John. She famously asked the writers of the Constitution to "consider the ladies," assuring her husband that "if men could be dictators, they would be." She also informed John that she thought the Alien and Sedition Acts were necessary. These acts made it illegal for Americans to criticize Congress or the president and created a system of military tribunals to try suspected terrorists.
John responded by asking whether there was anything else he should know about women. He apparently never got around to mentioning the acts, but she probably had something to do with their inclusion.
Their correspondence shows that Abigail was an important partner in John Adams's presidency. They discussed politics, policy, and some of the most significant events of John's life. In turn, John encouraged Abigail to participate in government by serving on committees and acting as ambassadors during diplomatic missions.
They were married for only five years before John died at age 57. But during their time together, they had ten children who all lived past infancy. This means that four of their children died before reaching adulthood. This is not unusual for its time; mortality rates were high due to disease and accidents. But despite these losses, Abigail continued to live with her family in Philadelphia until just a few months before John died. She then moved back home to Braintree where she spent the rest of her life.