” …and by the way 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 favorable to them then your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands…”
“That your sex is naturally tyrannical is a truth so thoroughly established as to admit of no dispute (her husband John had just used such a line in a speech), but such of yours who wish to be happy willingly give up the harsh title of master for the more tender and endearing one of friend. Why not then put it out of the power of the vicious and lawless to use us with cruelty and indignity with impunity. Men of sense abhor those customs which treat us as only vassals of your sex. Regard us then as being placed by providence under your protection and in imitation of the Supreme Being make use of that power for our happiness…”
Here Abigail makes her approach to John to address the non-biblical laws which wrongly withheld property rights, executive rights on the death of their husbands, etc. Note however she spoke no desire to remove herself from under her husbands protection or headship, only that he use his new authority to give all women the lawful protection they deserved under the law as citizens of the new country and of Heaven.
A letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, in John Adams, McCullough, p.104