John Adams was an American statesman, attorney, diplomat, writer, and Founding Father who served as the second president of the United States from 1797 to 1801.
186 Facts About John Adams
John Adams was the first person to hold the office of vice president of the United States, serving from 1789 to 1797.
John Adams defied anti-British sentiment and successfully defended British soldiers against murder charges arising from the Boston Massacre.
John Adams was a Massachusetts delegate to the Continental Congress and became a leader of the revolution.
John Adams assisted Jefferson in drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
John Adams was the primary author of the Massachusetts Constitution in 1780, which influenced the United States constitution, as did his essay Thoughts on Government.
John Adams was elected to two terms as vice president under President George Washington and was elected as the United States' second president in 1796.
John Adams was the only president elected under the banner of the Federalist Party.
John Adams signed the controversial Alien and Sedition Acts, and built up the Army and Navy in the undeclared naval war with France.
John Adams eventually resumed his friendship with Jefferson by initiating a correspondence that lasted fourteen years.
John Adams had two younger brothers: Peter and Elihu.
John Adams was born on the family farm in Braintree, Massachusetts.
John Adams's mother was from a leading medical family of present-day Brookline, Massachusetts.
John Adams's father was a deacon in the Congregational Church, a farmer, a cordwainer, and a lieutenant in the militia.
John Adams often praised his father and recalled their close relationship.
John Adams then attended Braintree Latin School under Joseph Cleverly, where studies included Latin, rhetoric, logic, and arithmetic.
John Adams decided to become a lawyer to further those ends, writing his father that he found among lawyers "noble and gallant achievements" but, among the clergy, the "pretended sanctity of some absolute dunces".
John Adams had reservations about his self-described "trumpery" and failure to share the "happiness of [his] fellow men".
John Adams did not go to war, but said "I longed more ardently to be a Soldier than I ever did to be a Lawyer".
In 1756, John Adams began reading law under James Putnam, a leading lawyer in Worcester.
John Adams developed an early habit of writing about events and impressions of men in his diary; this included James Otis Jr.
In 1763, John Adams explored various aspects of political theory in seven essays written for Boston newspapers.
John Adams offered them anonymously, under the pen name "Humphrey Ploughjogger", and in them ridiculed the selfish thirst for power he perceived among the Massachusetts colonial elite.
John Adams was initially less well known than his older cousin Samuel John Adams, but his influence emerged from his work as a constitutional lawyer, his analysis of history, and his dedication to republicanism.
John Adams often found his own irascible nature a constraint in his political career.
John Adams initially was not impressed with Abigail and her two sisters, writing that they were not "fond, nor frank, nor candid".
Charles and Thomas were unsuccessful, became alcoholics, and died before old age, while John Adams Quincy excelled and launched a career in politics.
John Adams's writings are devoid of his feelings about the sons' fates.
John Adams rose to prominence leading widespread opposition to the Stamp Act of 1765.
John Adams authored the "Braintree Instructions" in 1765, in the form of a letter sent to the representatives of Braintree in the Massachusetts legislature.
When no other attorneys would come to their defense, John Adams was impelled to do so despite the risk to his reputation.
John Adams believed no person should be denied the right to counsel and a fair trial.
In 1771, John Adams moved his family to Braintree, Massachusetts but kept his office in Boston.
John Adams purchased a large brick house on Queen Street, not far from his office.
John Adams, who had been among the more conservative of the Founding Founders, persistently held that while British actions against the colonies had been wrong and misguided, open insurrection was unwarranted and peaceful petition with the ultimate view of remaining part of Great Britain was a better alternative.
John Adams's ideas began to change around 1772, as the British Crown assumed payment of the salaries of Governor Thomas Hutchinson and his judges instead of the Massachusetts legislature.
John Adams wrote in the Gazette that these measures would destroy judicial independence and place the colonial government in closer subjugation to the Crown.
John Adams applauded the destruction of the tea, calling it the "grandest Event" in the history of the colonial protest movement, and writing in his diary that the dutied tea's destruction was an "absolutely and indispensably" necessary action.
Four delegates were chosen by the Massachusetts legislature, including John Adams, who agreed to attend, despite an emotional plea from his friend, Attorney General Jonathan Sewall, not to.
Shortly after he arrived in Philadelphia, John Adams was placed on the 23-member Grand Committee tasked with drafting a letter of grievances to King George III.
John Adams sought the repeal of objectionable policies, but at this early stage he continued to see benefits in maintaining the ties with Britain.
John Adams renewed his push for the right to a jury trial.
John Adams moved cautiously at first, noting that the Congress was divided between Loyalists, those favoring independence, and those hesitant to take any position.
Publicly, John Adams supported "reconciliation if practicable," but privately agreed with Benjamin Franklin's confidential observation that independence was inevitable.
John Adams kept busy on the floor of the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, helping push through a plan to outfit armed ships to launch raids on enemy vessels.
John Adams drafted the preamble to the Lee Resolution of colleague Richard Henry Lee.
John Adams developed a rapport with delegate Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, who had been slower to support independence but by early 1776 agreed that it was necessary.
John Adams chose himself, Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Robert R Livingston and Roger Sherman.
Jefferson thought John Adams should write the document, but John Adams persuaded the committee to choose Jefferson.
Jefferson, a poor debater, remained silent while John Adams argued for its adoption.
John Adams was referred to as a "one man war department," working up to eighteen-hour days and mastering the details of raising, equipping and fielding an army under civilian control.
John Adams kept extensive correspondences with a wide range of Continental Army officers concerning supplies, munitions, and tactics.
John Adams emphasized to them the role of discipline in keeping an army orderly.
John Adams authored the "Plan of Treaties," laying out the Congress's requirements for a treaty with France.
John Adams was worn out by the rigor of his duties and longed to return home.
John Adams's finances were unsteady, and the money that he received as a delegate failed even to cover his own necessary expenses.
John Adams advocated in Congress that independence was necessary to establish trade, and conversely, trade was essential for the attainment of independence; he specifically urged negotiation of a commercial treaty with France.
The ship was pursued by several British vessels, with John Adams taking up arms to help capture one.
John Adams was annoyed by the other two commissioners: Lee, whom he thought paranoid and cynical, and the popular and influential Franklin, whom he found lethargic and overly deferential and accommodating to the French.
John Adams assumed a less visible role but helped manage the delegation's finances and record-keeping.
In late 1779, John Adams was appointed as the sole minister charged with negotiations to establish a commercial treaty with Britain and end the war.
Constant disagreement between Lee and Franklin eventually resulted in John Adams assuming the role of tie-breaker in almost all votes on commission business.
John Adams increased his usefulness by mastering the French language.
John Adams closely supervised his sons' education while writing to Abigail about once every ten days.
In contrast to Franklin, John Adams viewed the Franco-American alliance pessimistically.
France, John Adams believed, needed to commit itself more fully to the alliance.
One of the few other existing republics at the time, John Adams thought it might be sympathetic to the American cause.
John Adams was originally optimistic and greatly enjoyed the city, but soon became disappointed.
The victory was in large part due to the assistance of the French Navy, which vindicated John Adams's stand for increased naval assistance.
John Adams's efforts stalled, and he took his cause to the people, successfully capitalizing on popular pro-American sentiment to push the States General towards recognizing the US Several provinces began recognizing American independence.
The house that John Adams bought during this stay in the Netherlands became the first American embassy on foreign soil.
John Adams was surprised at how much the Americans could extract.
John Adams was appointed the first American ambassador to Great Britain in 1785.
John Adams considered Sewall one of the war's casualties, and Sewall critiqued him as an ambassador:.
John Adams's abilities are undoubtedly equal to the mechanical parts of his business as ambassador, but this is not enough.
John Adams then asked Jay to be relieved; in 1788, he took his leave of George III, who engaged Adams in polite and formal conversation, promising to uphold his end of the treaty once America did the same.
John Adams then went to The Hague to take formal leave of his ambassadorship there and to secure refinancing from the Dutch, allowing the United States to meet obligations on earlier loans.
John Adams returned to farming life in the months after.
John Adams received 34 electoral college votes in the election, second place behind Washington, who was a unanimous choice with 69 votes.
John Adams finished well ahead of all others except Washington, but was still offended by Washington receiving more than twice as many votes.
Early in his term, John Adams became deeply involved in a lengthy Senate controversy over the official titles for the president and executive officers of the new government.
John Adams favored the adoption of the style of Highness for the president.
John Adams said that the distinctions were necessary because the highest office of the United States must be marked with "dignity and splendor" to command respect.
John Adams was widely derided for his combative nature and stubbornness, especially as he actively debated and lectured the senators.
Privately, John Adams conceded that his vice presidency had begun poorly and that perhaps he had been out of the country too long to know the sentiment of the people.
John Adams supported Washington's policies against opposition from anti-Federalist Republicans.
John Adams cast 29 tie-breaking votes, and is one of only three vice presidents who have cast more than 20 during their tenure, in addition to John C Calhoun and Kamala Harris.
John Adams voted against a bill sponsored by Maclay that would have required Senate consent for the removal of executive branch officials who had been confirmed by the Senate.
John Adams played a minor role in politics as vice president.
John Adams attended few cabinet meetings, and the President sought his counsel infrequently.
John Adams never questioned Washington's courage or patriotism, but Washington did join Franklin and others as the object of John Adams's ire or envy.
The British had been raiding American trading vessels, and John Adams Jay was sent to London to negotiate an end to hostilities.
When he returned in 1795 with a peace treaty on terms unfavorable to the United States, John Adams urged Washington to sign it to prevent war.
John Adams was accused of surrendering American honor to a tyrannical monarchy and of turning his back on the French Republic.
John Adams predicted in a letter to Abigail that ratification would deeply divide the nation.
John Adams stated that he wanted to stay out of what he called the "silly and wicked game" of electioneering.
Indeed, John Adams did not consider himself a strong member of the Federalist Party.
John Adams coerced South Carolina Federalist electors, pledged to vote for "favorite son" Pinckney, to scatter their second votes among candidates other than Adams.
John Adams won the presidency by a narrow margin, receiving 71 electoral votes to 68 for Jefferson, who became the vice president; Pinckney finished in third with 59 votes, and Burr came in fourth with 30.
John Adams followed Washington's lead in using the presidency to exemplify republican values and civic virtue, and his service was free of scandal.
John Adams spent much of his term at his Massachusetts home Peacefield, preferring the quietness of domestic life to business at the capital.
John Adams ignored the political patronage and office-seeking which other officeholders utilized.
John Adams maintained the economic programs of Hamilton, who regularly consulted with key cabinet members, especially the powerful Treasury Secretary, Oliver Wolcott Jr.
John Adams was in other respects quite independent of his cabinet, often making decisions despite opposition from it.
Shortly after John Adams was inaugurated, Hamilton sent him a detailed letter filled with policy suggestions for the new administration.
John Adams continued Washington's policy of staying out of the war.
John Adams announced that he would send a peace commission to France but simultaneously called for a military buildup to counter any potential French threat.
John Adams was depicted as an eagle holding an olive branch in one talon and the "emblems of defense" in the other.
John Adams, not wanting to incite violent impulses among the populace, announced that the mission had failed without providing details.
John Adams sent a message to Congress asking for a renewal of the nation's defenses.
John Adams reached the height of his popularity as many in the country called for full-scale war against the French.
John Adams had not promoted any of these acts, but was urged to sign them by his wife and cabinet.
John Adams eventually agreed and signed the bills into law.
The alien acts were not stringently enforced because John Adams resisted Secretary of State Timothy Pickering's attempts to deport aliens, although many left on their own, largely in response to the hostile environment.
Still, the acts John Adams signed into law energized and unified the Republican Party while doing little to unite the Federalists.
John Adams knew that America would be unable to win a major conflict, both because of its internal divisions and because France at the time was dominating the fight in most of Europe.
John Adams pursued a strategy whereby America harassed French ships in an effort sufficient to stem the French assaults on American interests.
Federalists pressured John Adams to appoint Hamilton, who had served as Washington's aide-de-camp during the Revolution, to command the army.
Distrustful of Hamilton and fearing a plot to subvert his administration, John Adams chose Washington without consulting him.
John Adams wished to have Henry Knox as second-in-command, followed by Hamilton, and then Charles Pinckney.
John Adams sent Secretary of War James McHenry to Mount Vernon to convince Washington to accept the post.
John Adams had intended to appoint Republicans Burr and Frederick Muhlenberg to make the army appear bipartisan.
John Adams relented and agreed to submit to the Senate the names of Hamilton, Pinckney, and Knox, in that order, although final decisions of rank would be reserved to John Adams.
John Adams firmly intended to give to Hamilton the lowest possible rank, while Washington and many other Federalists insisted that the order in which the names had been submitted to the Senate must determine seniority.
John Adams knew of the backlash that he would receive from Federalists should he continue his course, and he capitulated, despite bitter resentment.
The illness of Abigail, whom John Adams feared was near death, exacerbated his suffering.
John Adams exerted effective control over the War Department, taking over supplies for the army.
Meanwhile, John Adams built up the Navy, adding six fast, powerful frigates, most notably the USS Constitution.
Henry declined the nomination and John Adams chose William Richardson Davie to replace him.
John Adams again questioned their loyalty but did not remove them.
The cabinet unanimously advised John Adams to refuse, but he instead granted the pardon, using as justification the argument that the men had instigated a mere riot as opposed to a rebellion.
John Adams accused him of subservience to Hamilton and declared that he would rather serve as Jefferson's vice president or minister at The Hague than be beholden to Hamilton for the presidency.
John Adams made his first official visit to the nation's new seat of government in early June 1800.
Jefferson was portrayed as an apostle of liberty and man of the people, while John Adams was labelled a monarchist.
Some, including Pickering, accused John Adams of colluding with Jefferson so that he would end up either president or vice president.
Anxious to rejoin Abigail, who had already left for Massachusetts, John Adams departed the White House in the predawn hours of March 4,1801, and did not attend Jefferson's inauguration.
John Adams appointed two US Supreme Court associate justices during his term in office: Bushrod Washington, the nephew of American founding father and President George Washington, and Alfred Moore.
Regardless, John Adams believed that the choice should be someone "in the full vigor of middle age" who could counter what might be a long line of successive Republican presidents.
He, along with Stoddert, was one of John Adams's few trusted cabinet members, and was among the first to greet him when he arrived at the White House.
John Adams maintained a carefully reasoned nationalistic interpretation of the Constitution and established the judicial branch as the equal of the executive and legislative branches.
John Adams filled the vacancies created in this statute by appointing a series of judges, whom his opponents called the "Midnight Judges," just days before his term expired.
John Adams resumed farming at Peacefield in Quincy, Massachusetts and began work on an autobiography.
John Adams regularly worked around the farm but mostly left manual labor to hired hands.
John Adams Quincy resolved the crisis by buying his properties in Weymouth and Quincy, including Peacefield, for $12,800.
The only major political incident involving the elder John Adams during the Jefferson years was a dispute with Mercy Otis Warren in 1806.
Adams did privately criticize the President over his Embargo Act, despite the fact that John Quincy voted for it.
John Adams Quincy resigned from the Senate in 1808 after the Federalist-controlled State Senate refused to nominate him for a second term.
John Adams published a three-year marathon of letters in the Boston Patriot newspaper, refuting line-by-line Hamilton's 1800 pamphlet.
John Adams supported James Madison for reelection to the presidency in 1812.
In early 1801, John Adams sent Thomas Jefferson a brief note after returning to Quincy wishing him a happy and prosperous presidency.
Early on, John Adams repeatedly tried to turn the correspondence to a discussion of their actions in the political arena.
John Adams accepted this, and the correspondence turned to other matters, particularly philosophy and their daily habits.
On July 4,1826, the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, John Adams died of a heart attack at Peacefield at approximately 6:20 pm.
At 90, John Adams was the longest-lived US president until Ronald Reagan surpassed him in 2001.
Some delegates urged John Adams to commit his views to paper.
John Adams did so in separate letters to these colleagues.
John Adams claimed that John Dickinson's fear of republicanism was responsible for his refusal to support independence, and wrote that opposition from Southern planters was rooted in fear that their aristocratic slaveholding status would be endangered by it.
John Adams served on a committee of three, including Samuel Adams and James Bowdoin, to draft the constitution.
John Adams was a strong believer in good education as one of the pillars of the Enlightenment.
John Adams believed that people "in a State of Ignorance" were more easily enslaved while those "enlightened with knowledge" would be better able to protect their liberties.
John Adams's Defence is described as an articulation of the theory of mixed government.
John Adams contended that social classes exist in every political society, and that a good government must accept that reality.
John Adams was thought to have overlooked this evolution and revealed his continued attachment to the older version of politics.
John Adams believed that human beings were naturally desirous of furthering their own ambitions, and a single democratically elected house, if left unchecked, would be subject to this error, and therefore needed to be checked by an upper house and an executive.
John Adams wrote that a strong executive would defend the people's liberties against "aristocrats" attempting to take it away.
John Adams first saw the new United States Constitution in late 1787.
John Adams generally tried to keep the issue out of national politics, because of the anticipated Southern response during a time when unity was needed to achieve independence.
Slavery was abolished in Massachusetts about 1780, when it was forbidden by implication in the Declaration of Rights that John Adams wrote into the Massachusetts Constitution.
John Adams's conclusion was that the great danger was that an oligarchy of the wealthy would take hold to the detriment of equality.
John Adams was raised in the Congregational church but it was factionalized.
John Adams always felt pressured to live up to his heritage.
John Adams's family was descended from Puritans of the previous century.
John Adams did praise the historical Puritans as "bearers of freedom, a cause that still had a holy urgency".
Everett concludes that "John Adams strove for a religion based on a common sense sort of reasonableness" and maintained that religion must change and evolve toward perfection.
John Adams did believe in miracles, providence, and, to a certain extent, the Bible as revelation.
John Adams blamed institutional Christianity and established churches In Britain and France for causing much suffering but insisted that religion was necessary for society.
Historian George C Herring argued that Adams was the most independent-minded of the Founders.
John Adams was often described as prickly, but his tenacity was fed by decisions made in the face of universal opposition.
John Adams's resolve to advance peace with France while maintaining a posture of defense reduced his popularity and contributed to his defeat for reelection.
John Adams's signing of the Alien and Sedition Acts is almost always condemned.
John Adams was eventually subject to criticism from states' rights advocates.
The first President from the North, John Adams, asserted and essayed to put into practice the supremacy of the "National" power over the states and the citizens thereof.
John Adams was sustained in his attempted usurpations by all the New England states and by a powerful public sentiment in each of the Middle States.
John Adams praises Adams for his willingness to acknowledge his deficiencies and for striving to overcome them.
John Adams is commemorated as the namesake of various counties, buildings, and other items.
One example is the John Adams Building of the Library of Congress, an institution whose existence Adams had signed into law.