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This is pieced together and plagerised from a weirdly transcripted interview of Cokie Roberts talking about her book Ladies of Liberty (found here http://www.archives.gov/about/archivist/conversations/cokie-transcript.pdf)


After the War of 1812, Dolley Madison had worked with the women in Washington to establish an orphans' asylum because there had been many orphans left by the British invasion and so Louisa goes to this meeting of the orphan asylum trustees and is told that they're soon going to need more space because "Congress had left many females in such difficulties as to make it probable they would beg our assistance" and Louisa says, "What are you talking about?" and the answer comes back from the trustee "The session had been very long. The fathers of the nation had left 40 cases to be provided for by the public and our institution was the most likely to be called upon to maintain this illicit progeny."

There were 40 pregnant women left behind as Congress goes home to its wives and Louisa Adams is writing these letters to old John Adams, who's home in Quincy.

Abigail had died by this time, and she's trying to amuse him and so she discovers this shocking fact.

Then she says to him, "I recommended a petition to Congress' next session for that great and moral body to establish a foundling institution and should certainly move that the two additional dollars a day which they have given themselves as an increase in pay may be appropriated as a fund toward the support of the institution."

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