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A Belated President’s Day Message

February 22, 2008

-or- John Adams Gives His Two Cents, Daughter Says WTF?

Locked up in their cabin in the woods this winter, my parents have taken to reading classics and sending me excerpts as a way of teaching life lessons. My Dad is currently reading the Pulitzer Prize winning biography on John Adams by David McCullough.

Earlier in the week, my dad handed this one over to my mom for urgent delivery:

Daughter! Get you an honest man for a husband, and keep him honest. No matter whether he is rich, provided he be independent. Regard the honor and moral character of the man more than all other circumstances. Think of no other greatness but that of the soul, no other riches but those of the heart. An honest, sensible, humane man, above all the littleness of vanity and extravagances of imagination, laboring to do good rather than be rich, to be useful rather than make a show, living in modest simplicity clearly within his means and free from debts and obligations, is really the most respectable man in society, makes himself and all about him most happy.
John Adams to his daughter, Nabby

I searched high and low for an appropriate literary retort from such gems as The Awakening or anything by Sylvia Plath. I’m no feminist, but I became briefly hooked on the cause after taking a “Hysteria in Modern Literature” class in college. (I kept the bra on, thank you very much).

Realizing I was spending far too much of my precious time on something of no use, I did a simple Wiki search on what happened to dearest daughter Nabby.

I needed to look no further for inspiration of what to send back to Mom and Dad.

Glad to hear that Dad’s enjoying the book!

Guess Dad hasn’t gotten to the part where his daughter marries a man who …” was involved in a series of speculative ventures that led to financial and political difficulties. Nabby’s parents used their influence when possible to obtain government jobs for William, but this did not keep their daughter from penury”.

Just goes to show you kids never listen to their parents. 😉

Daughter Dearest*

* Not to worry, I’m sure the whole Mommie Dearest/Daughter Dearest reference (a la Joan Crawford) will be the subject of a Mother’s Day posting. Or a therapy session or two..

One Comment leave one →
  1. Anne Browning permalink
    July 5, 2008 11:33 AM

    Go and find out about how poor Nabby died of cancer. Also read about how John Adams cared for her in her last days. A true story of a father’s devotion. Broke my heart.

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