and Mary Wollstonecraft. met each other when Mary was only twenty-four and Abigail was a middle aged matron who had told John to “Remember the Ladies.” Well, that’s what I think at least. No one can really prove they met, but there’s all sorts of evidence to support a friendship. The best point is that they both went to the same church when John was appointed Ambassador to England right after the Revolution and the Adams moved to London. How could they Not know each other, especially since the church was tiny. Actually, it was a Unitarian Meeting House called the Gravel Pit. The kind of people who went there were the kinds of people who boycotted sugar to protest the slave trade. I love Unitarians. I am glad to see they haven’t changed over the years. The Adams would follow MW’s work and celebrate it. In later years, John would tease Abigail by calling her a “Wollstonecraft disciple.”
What I find uncanny about this is just ten days ago I was walking past the lilacs Abigail planted in Quincy. I was admiring her china and gazing out her windows, wondering what she saw. Discoveries like this make me feel I am meant to be writing this book — a sentimental and superstitious idea, perhaps. But still one of my favorite thoughts, that it is still possible to feel the currents and hear the gossip of the summer of 1785, June, in particular,which was when the Adams were in the same town as MW. If the walls would only dissolve. If just one of those women would speak to me. Though I am terrified at the thought of ghosts, so actually I hope they don’t.