Saturday, May 14, 2011

John Adams week 6

Well, I can not begin to express the relief I feel at being caught up finally!! By some miracle, my 9 month old took a 2 1/2 hour nap this morning so I was able to finish reading the last two chapters.
Since I have no computer at home today, I am forced to write everything on my phone.

I think Abigail was one patient woman and I have to believe that she was truly the most patriotic person of all. I would probably not be quite as patient as she had I been the one taking care of everything at home, farm, family--for 4 years straight. I can understand John's ideals and his desire to make the country a better place for his children and posterity but I probably would have questioned his devotion to his children. I think I would have wondered at times if he had a French mistress. But I am getting sidetracked.

Abigail made a lot of interesting observations when she arrived in Paris and one in particular that got me thinking was one in which she speaks of this country (France)"grown old in debauchery and lewdness" where marriages are arranged and not considered holy and honorable (comparing it to the one-America-"where the wise laws and institutions of one consider it holy and honorable")
Speaking of debauchery, it got me thinking and I remembered that in 1999 I was travelling in France as a student and the woman ticket agent who was selling me the train ticket at the station took the opportunity of asking the American why our country was so upset about our president being unfaithful to his wife.
I suppose Abigail would have had something to say about that.

I loved getting to know Jefferson a little bit better. I'm glad that he kept such perfect accounts of what he bought as it says a lot about a person. His love of books and excitement in the bookstores of Paris was something I could relate to, but I loved how much art he purchased and in particular the green Moroccan leather he used to outfit his carriage!
Aside from his irresponsible spending--he was a serious shopaholic--and probably a hoarder as well-- and his insane "sensation" about blacks and whites,all of that aside-- he was surely a fascinating person, and one who suffered a great deal. I like that these two very different individuals, one a staunch New Englander and the other an elegant Virginian, represented in France the diversity of America even in it's first days as an independent nation.

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