“My Dearest Friend” is how she began nearly all her letters to her husband, John. I refer, of course, to Abigail Smith Adams, first Second Lady and second First Lady of the United States. Her famous correspondence with John Adams produced nearly 1,200 letters over a span of some 40 years, leaving us with a priceless record of early American lifefrom household routines to war and politics to expressions of personal worry and devotion. Abigail’s handwriting, while not the most beautiful, is sure and expressiveas befitting her extraordinary sway and intelligenceand carries a genuine flavor of the period.
In making the font that bears her name, I focused chiefly on “Portia’’s letters from the 1780s and ’90s, when she’d taken to using a disconnected cursive, which struck me as distinctive and alluring. OpenType features include scores of ligatures, stylistic and contextual alternates, lining and old-style figures, crossouts, ink blots, and complete Central/Eastern European alphabets. US$39.