As an adult, Abigail Adams strongly opposed the institution of slavery, yet she grew up in a slaveowning household. Her father, the Rev. William Smith, owned a male servant named Tom and a female servant named Phoebe, and they both played significant roles in Abigail’s life.
The fact that Weymouth’s town minister owned slaves was not unusual in New England. Indeed, ministers were part of a community’s elite, and sometimes independently wealthy. It was common for a genteel young woman marrying a minister to receive an enslaved person as a wedding present to help her set up her new household.
Michelle Marchetti Coughlin, author of One Colonial Woman’s World, will speak about the details of Tom’s and Phoebe’s lives within the Smith household and in the larger context of New England slavery.
Admission to this even is $15 per person, $10 for members of the society. It will take place from 7:00 to 8:00 P.M. at the Tufts Library, 46 Broad Street in Weymouth. Reservations are not necessary.