A call to “Remember the Ladies”

On March 19, 1776, months before our grandfathers declared independence, Abigail Adams wrote to John:  “. . . in the New Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.”[1]

As descendants of these remarkable women, we are pleased to announce a biography project to discover more about our grandmothers and highlight their role as wives of the Signers.  These women suffered the prolonged absences of their husbands, the burden of running households, the loss of children, epidemics of smallpox and dysentery, the enemy at their door, and tremendous fear.

As we approach the 250th anniversary of the Declaration in 2026, it is exceedingly appropriate for us, their descendants, to “Remember the Ladies.”  We ask for your participation by writing a biography of a Signer’s wife.  There is also significant value in cataloguing family lore about these ladies, which may otherwise be lost to history, and later proven, or dispelled.  Distinctions will be made between documented facts and family stories within the biographies.  Project guidelines, research resources, and assistance are provided.

To volunteer to write a biography, conduct research, or share information please contact:  Shirley Hunter Smith at [email protected].

[1]Margaret A. Hogan and C. James Taylor, ed.  My Dearest Friend:  Letters of Abigail Adams and John Adams.  Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2007, 110.