Abigail Adams was one of the most remarkable women in American history. She was significant not only for what she did herself, but for the influence she had on her husband and on successive generations of the Adams family.
Scholar Henry Adams looks at his great-great-great-great-great grandmother's life and accomplishments on Wednesday, April 3, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. at the Kansas City Public Library's Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
Wife of one president and mother of another, Abigail Adams was a tireless letter writer and diarist whose often caustic impressions of Benjamin Franklin, George and Martha Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and King George III provide valuable insights into the American Revolution.
She saw the Battle of Bunker Hill from a hilltop near her home, and soldiers marching past her door frequently stopped for a drink of water. Because she was so close to the scene, she was able to give firsthand reports of the American Revolution to her husband and other leaders creating a new government. And she might be viewed as an early feminist, one who urged her husband and other Founding Fathers to "remember the ladies" as they created a government and body of law for the new nation.
Henry Adams is the former Samuel Sosland curator of American art at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Currently he is a professor of American art at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Among his many books are Tom and Jack: The Intertwined Lives of Thomas Hart Benton and Jackson Pollock, Eakins Revealed: The Secret Life of an American Artist, and What's American About American Art?
Adams' presentation is part of the 2013 Beyond the Gowns Series on American first ladies made possible by Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Legacy Fund Grants to the Kansas City Public Library and to the Truman Library Institute. This series is co-sponsored by KCUR's Up to Date.
Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. RSVP at kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3407.