Abigail Adams: Historian of Women

June 22, 2017

Join us on September 19, 2017, at Pittsburgh’s Rivers Club to hear Dr. Edith Gelles discuss “Abigail Adams: Historian of Women.” To register, please contact Brenda Vinton at blvinton@gcc.edu or (724) 450-1541. And, please bring a friend. The cost of lunch is $17.76.

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Abigail Adams’ letters are a unique national treasure. They are the most sustained record we have of the Revolutionary War and the early national periods of American history written from a woman’s point of view. Although she accepted a world in which male power prevailed over most institutions, including religion, government, the economy and the family, Abigail valued being female. She insisted that women’s roles were equally valuable with those of men. She was fundamentally proud to be a woman. Her letters remind us that the Revolution and founding of our nation included women’s participation and viewpoint. Abigail’s letters are valuable not just because they are a unique historical record, but she was a keen observer of people and events and had the capacity to express her reactions and her emotions in beautiful prose. Her letters are literature.

Dr. Edith Gelles is senior scholar at Stanford’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research and a biographer of Abigail Adams. She has most recently edited a volume of Abigail’s letters for the Library of America. She has written several books about Abigail Adams, one a prize-winner from the American Historical Association and another a finalist for the prestigious George Washington Prize. She has taught at Stanford and the University of California, Irvine. Her current work focuses on John and Abigail in retirement.

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