Abigail Adams Portraits

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Portrait of Abigail Adams by Gilbert Stuart

Abigail Adams Portrait
Abigail Adams by Gilbert Stuart - Hand Tinted Engraving. Photo by Stock Montage/Getty Images

This portrait of Abigail Adams, based on a painting by Gilbert Stuart, is the best-known image of the wife of America's second President. This particular engraving is a hand-tinted version of an engraving by A. Adams for a book, By Popular Demand: Portraits of the Presidents and First Ladies, 1789 - Present.

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Abigail Adams as a Young Woman

Portrait of a youthful Abigail Adams
Abigail Adams as a Young Woman. Photo by Stock Montage/Getty Images

Familiarity with portraits of an older Abigail Adams makes this portrait of a much younger woman quite surprising. Flowers in her hand emphasize the beauty and fragility assumed of a young woman, though she was to prove a strong woman. The surroundings and her pearls mark her as a member of a well-to-do family.

This image is of a hand-tinted engraving which was based on a portrait painted from life.

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Abigail Adams Portrait (black and white engraving)

Engraving of Portrait of Abigail Adams
Abigail Adams by Gilbert Stuart - Engraving. Hulton Archive / Getty Images

This black and white engraving is the best-known image of Abigail Smith Adams, married to John Adams, the second President and first Vice President of the United States. She was also the wife of the sixth President, John Quincy Adams.

The engraving shown here was based on a painting by Gilbert Stuart. Learn more: Abigail Adams

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Portrait of Abigail Smith

Portrait of Abigail Adams Smith
Abigail Adams Smith, daughter of John and Abigail Adams. Kean Collection / Getty Images

First Lady Abigail Adams was born a Smith; her daughter, born Abigail Amelia Adams, became a Smith after marriage. "Nabby" was the eldest child of Abigail and John Adams, born July 14, 1765. She married William Smith, her father's secretary, and they had four children. She died in 1813 after a struggle with breast cancer, including a mastectomy in 1811.

She is named as Mrs. William S. Smith in records of the time, including in a contemporary description of the inaugural ball for the new president, George Washington.

The portrait that this engraving is based on is dated about 1788.