Abigail Adams on Personal Appearance

JQAAs a member of the United States Senate, John Quincy Adams, son of the second president and founder John Adams and himself a future president, received a letter from his mother Abigail Adams saying:

“Seriously, I think a man’s usefulness in society depends much upon his personal appearance. I do not wish a senator to dress like a beau, but I want him to conform so far to the fashion as not to incur the character of singularity nor give the occasion to the world to ask what kind of mother he had.”

– Harlow Giles Unger, John Quincy Adams (Boston: Da Capo Press, 2012), 135.

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