|Abigail Adams (Public Domain)|
A naturally curious and open-minded person, Abigail had avidly read the great literature within her family’s large collections. Her father was a progressive Congregational minister who “emphasized the importance of reason and morality.” She herself “became one of the most erudite women ever to serve as First Lady.”
Abigail became a dear friend to those whom society often shunned. Adamantly against slavery, she defied convention by placing a “free black youth” in a local school. When criticized for doing so, she replied: …merely because his Face is Black, is he to be denied instruction?
While living in the White House, Abigail noted the abject conditions under which slaves there were living. From a window, she watched “12 negroes… employd with four small Horse Carts to remove some dirt in front of the house.” These enslaved landscapers were described as “half fed, and destitute of clothing.”
This is in direct contrast to Bill O’Reilly's recent assertion that White House slaves were “well fed.” Faithful readers of this "Dear Abby's" meticulous correspondence will likely side with her.
Copyright July 29, 2016 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved