BISQUE DOLL - ABIGAIL ADAMS - FIRST LADIES SHE IS SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL, AN 18-INCH DOLL with bisque head/shoulders, cloth body, bisque arms, legs; nice molded details include hair, hair ribbon, shoes; lovely painted features and hair and even soft pink nails. She is really much nicer than the photos. Her dress is quite elegant and she has lace trimmed undergarments (petticoat & pantaloons). Condition of both the doll and clothing is excellent, I could find no flaws. She is marked with her name written into the bisque on her back but I could find no makers name. Abigail Adams (1744-1818) was the wife of our 4th president, John Adams, and mother of our 6th president, John Quincy Adams, and a very interesting woman. I don't know much about the history of this doll; it was a part of my mother
Purchased on Ebay October 2000
Photograph by seller/permission otu use granted
Jenniferx@aol.com Jennifer Stix P.O. Box 687
Vineyard Haven MA 02568
Jennifer wrote Oct 31, 2000
I really don't know anything about the history of this doll, I wish I did. My mother was always going to catalogue her doll collection and never did!.
Her name is written by hand into the bisque on the back, it is difficult to see and I missed it for quite a while -- it's large enough,
but the top of her dress is sewn -- just tacked in a couple of places -- onto the cloth body just below the bisque shoulders and it's hard to pull back to get a clear view of the writing, but the writing itself is quite clear.
Interestingly, there was a show on the history channel the other night about the White House celebrating its 200th birthday, and there was a segment about John and Abigail Adams -- they showed her portrait and the dolls face is really a good representation, assuming the portrait was!
My mother's name was Frances Carleton Sawyer, she lived most of her life in Massachusetts, a few years in DC, collected dolls from early adulthood, though did not have a huge collection, she was a member of the local and national doll clubs, died in 1988 at the age of 85.
I wish I could tell you when, where, how and why she got this doll -- she had no other first ladies dolls and I don't think it was a particular interest of hers so perhaps this was a gift.
Offered for sale on Ebay September 2002
This book is in my library
ABIGAIL ADAMS: A BIOGRAPHY by Phyllis Lee Levin A love story and a fascinating social history, this book presents a portrait of a brilliant woman as well as insight into the founding of America. Wife of one president and mother of another, Abigail Adams was an extraordinary woman at the center of America's most tumultuous era. A tireless writer, her penetrating and often caustic impressions of most of the major persons of her day (including Benjamin Franklin, George and Martha Washington, and Thomas Jefferson) give one of the best accounts of the American Revolution, and convey a close and believable portrait of the woman within. Paper, 592 pages, $16.95
Brookhiser's canvass starts in colonial America, when John Adams had to teach himself the law and ride on horseback for miles to find clients. It does not end until after the Titanic sinks-Henry had booked a room but changed his plans-and World War I begins, with Henry near the action in France. The story of this single family offers a short course in the nation s history, because for nearly two hundred years Adams history was American history. The Adamses were accompanied by an impressive cast of characters, from George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. to Andrew Jackson and Ulysses Grant, to Teddy Roosevelt. America s First Dynasty offers telling portraits of the great men of our past, and many of the women around them. John and Abigail s great love affair was destined to be repeated by their offspring and offspring's offspring.
As with any family, there was a darker side to the Adams story: many of its members were abject failures. Alcoholism was a familiar specter. and suicide was not unknown. Only one of the four great Adamses was a kind man and father: the others set standards so impossibly high that few of their children could meet them. Yet despite more than a century of difference from John to Henry; certain Adams traits remained the same. In the story of our first and still greatest family. we can all see something of our own struggles with family, fate. and history.
Richard Brookhiser is the author of Alexander Hamilton, American (1999). Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington (1995), and The Way of the WASP (199l),all published by The Free Press. He is a Senior Editor at The National Review and a New York Observer columnist. He contributes to such publications as American Heritage and The New York Times. He lives in New York City.