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Great Onelers in History: Abigail Adams April 13, 2010

Posted by Onely in Honorary Onely Awards.
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1 comment so far

Ok, technically Abigail Adams was married. But Lisa and I believe that married people can be Onely too–they just have to work a little harder at it maintaining their independence. Abigail Adams paid her Onely dues, at a time when Onely just wasn’t done.

Her husband John was one of the U.S.’ “Founding Fathers”, the second president, and generally a busy statesman who was away on business–sometimes across the Atlantic ocean–for much of their marriage, while Abigail ran the estate and managed their finances. They seem to have had a respectful and affectionate union, and John trusted her investment sense, which turned out to be far more acute than his.

Even though she had no legal right to John’s money or property, she put aside funds for her own use/payment, telling him she was doing so, as if it were the most natural thing in the world–at a time when such actions were not at all natural. She accumulated a good amount of wealth that she willed to a number of her female friends and descendants, even though she had no legal right to compose such a document. Her husband honored the will, even though he didn’t have to. Therefore, we decree that John Adams is an Honorary Oneler as well.

I got all this info from a great article by Woody Holton in American History magazine.

Copious Readers, do you know married people who defied the conventions of their time (past or present) and should be named Honorary Onelers?

Christina

Photo credit: Adams National Historic Park; Gilbert Stuart

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