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Letter (draft) from Abigail Adams to Mercy Otis Warren, [3] February 1775

Letter (draft) from Abigail Adams to Mercy Otis Warren, [3] February 1775


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    • Main description

    [ This description is from the project: Coming of the American Revolution ]

    In this letter to Mercy Otis Warrren, Abigail Adams reacts with anger and surprise to King George III's rejection of colonial Massachusetts' attempt to form a fair trading relationship with Britain through the Suffolk Resolve.

    "the die is cast"

    The colonies are abuzz following the adjournment of the First Continental Congress on 26 October 1774. As colonists deliberate and implement Congress's mandates, they also ponder the future of their relationship with Great Britain. How will the King respond to Congress's petition? Will the proposed Association (a comprehensive non-importation and non-exportation scheme) force Parliament to repeal the Coercive Acts? Colonists wait only a few short months for an answer. The first document ratified by Congress--the Suffolk Resolve--is carried to Great Britain in October 1774. In response, King George III opens Parliament on 30 November 1774 with a speech condemning Massachusetts and declaring the colony to be in a state of rebellion. As news of the speech spreads throughout Massachusetts and the American colonies, residents share their hopes, fears, and opinions with one another.

    Questions to Consider

    1. How would you describe the tone of Abigail Adams' letter? Use words and phrases from the document to support your answer.

    2. What is Adams' opinion of the King? Of Parliament?

    3. What does Abigail mean when she writes, "the fate of Rome will be renued [renewed] in Brittain"?

    4. On page 3 Abigail refers to "the admired Farmer." To which patriot author is she referring?

    Further Exploration

    5. Read more about the Suffolk Resolves in your textbook (or click here to read the text of the Resolves). Why do you think the king condemned Massachusetts after reading them?