“But, Mr. Adams” – Vol. I

“But, Mr. Adams” — Vol. I, April 12, 2011

With “My Dearest Friend” by Mary G. Kron now completed and Nov. 11 – 13, 2011 set at Dog Story Theater, I thought I’d start to prime the pump a bit over the coming months with historical information about John and Abigail Adams. This month, we begin a four-year commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the US Civil War, a time of great upheaval that threatened to permanently divide the bonds of a nation less than 90 years old. Despite some revisionist history, the disagreement at the time revolved mainly around the issue of the expansion of slavery.

But slavery was not a new issue. Even at the time of the Continental Congress in 1776, delegates were clearly divided over the issue. The committee assigned to prepare a Declaration (of which John Adams was a part) included a denunciation of slavery, despite the fact that the principle drafter, Thomas Jefferson, was himself a slaveholder. That clause was stricken from the Declaration at the insistence of the delegates from the deep south. Adams was an outspoken opponent of slavery and suggested that “giving in” on the slavery clause would result in future civil revolt.

His wife, Abigail, was even more strident. Her father had owned slaves (yes, at that time even some northerners owned slaves), but she was vocally anti-slavery. There was a famous incident in which she sponsored a young, free African-American for admittance to the local school. The young man’s admission was protested by other parents, who threatened to remove their children from the school. Abigail chided them: He was “a Freeman as much as any of the young Men and merely because his Face is Black, is he to be denied instruction? How is he to be qualified to procure a livelihood? ? I have not thought it any disgrace to my self to take him into my parlor and teach him both to read and write.”

“My Dearest Friend” opens November 11, 2011. Come see history come alive! Come watch us play!

Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: