Monday, December 5, 2011

R.E.S.P.E.C.T aka Putting Our Founding Mothers Where They Belong

I recently watched the HBO miniseries “John Adams”.  Anyone who knows me (or has read some of my blog) knows I am OBESSED with antiques.  This obsession carries over into my TV viewing (or DVD watching as the case may be.  Even though I pay for cable, with hundreds of channels, I find there is normally nothing on.  That would be a topic for another blog…but I digress).  I love to watch period pieces and not for the reasons you may think.  I watch them to see the “antiques” (or set reproductions as the case may be).  I call it my antique porn (kind of like Dinners, Drive-Ins and Dives is my food porn; once again, another blog topic).

I will watch these period pieces and geek out over the sets.  Most of the time my long suffering husband will sit through them with me.  I’ve been known to pause the show when I see a really awesome piece and say “Aaron – did you see that (fill in the blank)?  I would love to have one of those!”  Aaron will briefly look at what I’m geeking out at, momentarily taking his attention away from Gamefaqs  where he is getting up to speed on the latest game, and say “Yes, Dear”.  Aaron is a very intelligent man after all.

Getting back to “John Adams” - As I watched this miniseries my attention was rapt.  Not just because of the beautiful sets.  The story gave me pause.  Whenever I think of the sacrifice of our founding fathers to form this new nation, I am overcome with gratitude for that sacrifice.  If the English had won the Revolutionary War, all the signers of the Declaration of Independence would surely have been hanged as traitors.  Benjamin Franklin said “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately”.

We revere and honor these men.  We celebrate the 4th of July.  We put founding fathers on out money.  We even celebrate George Washington’s birthday.  Indeed we owe these men a lot.  However, in watching John Adams, it made me think of the unsung heroes, or heroines as the case may be.  Abigail Adams had to keep charge of the children and the farm when John was away at the Continental Congress and later when he was sent to France and Holland.  I have heard that Abigail was a better farmeress than John was a farmer (Go girl power!).  Taking over for John, I am sure, was no small feat.  I wonder, why don’t we celebrate the women who helped us win our independence?    Why isn’t Martha Washington or Abigail Adams on our money (I’m not counting the first lady coins; everyone knows, much to the chagrin of the US Mint, Americans don’t use dollar coins).  Why don’t we know more about the women “behind” the founding fathers?

In this week’s blog, I am going to set out to learn more about our founding mothers and give them the respect they assuredly deserve.  Will you come on this journey with me?  ‘Til Tomorrow - Melissa

Abigail Smith Adams


  1. Yay! I'm all about women in history.

    My favorite woman-behind-the-man (or men) is Rosalind Franklin. It was her data that led Watson and Crick to discover the double helix of DNA, and she's only gotten credit for it in recent years. Not a founder of America, but definitely a key player in science. :)

  2. I will have to look into Rosalind Franklin! I'm sure my husband, a science teacher, could tell me all about her. I think there are a lot of women who did great things who have been lost to history. I'm glad some people are doing the research and putting women back in their proper place in history.