101 Facts About President John Adams

1. President John Adams sent three commissioners to France, but in the spring of 1798 word arrived that the French Foreign Minister Talleyrand and the Directory had refused to negotiate with them unless they would first pay a substantial bribe.

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2. President John Adams was born in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1735.

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3. President John Adams squandered his popularity by signing the Alien and Sedition Acts into law in 1798.

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4. President John Adams spoke out against the Townshend Acts of 1767, which levied tariffs on goods such as paper, glass and tea that were imported to America.

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5. President John Adams drafted the Massachusetts Constitution, which was approved by voters in 1780 and is still in effect today.

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6. President John Adams spent his last days filling the new jobs with Federalists.

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7. President John Adams attempted to stop this by sending ministers to France.

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8. President John Adams was an important figure in both the First and Second Continental Congresses in 1774 and 1775.

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9. President John Adams put it most poignantly to Jefferson: "You and I ought not to die, before We have explained ourselves to each other.

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10. President John Adams attempted to steer a middle course between these partisan camps, which left him vulnerable to political attacks from both sides.

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11. President John Adams made an initial effort to bring Jefferson into the cabinet and involve him in shaping foreign policy, but Jefferson declined the offer, preferring to retain his independence.

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12. President John Adams blended the psychological insights of New England Puritanism, with its emphasis on the emotional forces throbbing inside all creatures, and the Enlightenment belief that government must contain and control those forces, to construct a political system capable of balancing the ambitions of individuals and competing social classes.

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13. President John Adams was the eldest of the three sons of Deacon John Adams and Susanna Boylston of Braintree, Massachusetts.

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14. President John Adams never deported anybody under the law, even though his critics feared that he would.

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15. President John Adams succeeded in casting grave doubt as to whether Preston ever gave orders to shoot, and the Boston jury acquitted the captain.

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16. President John Adams sent three commissioners to France, but the French refused to negotiate unless the United States agreed to pay what amounted to a bribe.

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17. President John Adams won the election by a narrow margin, becoming the second president of the United States.

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18. President John Adams was serving on as many as 90 committees in the fledgling government, more than any other Congressman, and in 1777, he became head of the Board of War and Ordinance, which oversaw the Continental army.

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19. President John Adams quickly became identified with the patriot cause, initially as the result of his opposition to the Stamp Act of 1765.

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20. Unlike many other Founders, President John Adams does not have a monument dedicated to himself in Washington, DC According to McCullough, "Popular symbolism has not been very generous toward Adams.

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21. President John Adams is commemorated as the namesake of various counties, buildings, and other items.

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22. President 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.

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23. President John Adams's signing of the Alien and Sedition Acts is almost always condemned.

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24. President John Adams strongly felt that he would be forgotten and underappreciated by history.

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25. President John Adams became a Unitarian, rejecting the divinity of Jesus.

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26. President John Adams believed that regular church service was beneficial to man's moral sense.

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27. President John Adams was raised a Congregationalist, since his ancestors were Puritans.

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28. President John Adams was leaning toward monarchy and aristocracy.

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29. President John Adams wrote that a strong executive would defend the people's liberties against "aristocrats" attempting to take it away.

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30. President John Adams was thought to have overlooked this evolution and revealed his continued attachment to the older version of politics.

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31. President John Adams contended that social classes exist in every political society, and that a good government must accept that reality.

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32. President John Adams became one of the founders of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1780.

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33. President 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.

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34. President John Adams was a strong believer in good education as one of the pillars of the Enlightenment.

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35. President John Adams served on a committee of three, including Samuel Adams and James Bowdoin, to draft the constitution.

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36. President John Adams wrote that, "There is no good government but what is republican.

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37. When President John Adams died, his last words included an acknowledgement of his longtime friend and rival: "Thomas Jefferson survives.

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38. At age 90, President John Adams was the longest-lived US president until Ronald Reagan surpassed that age in 2001.

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39. President John Adams accepted this, and the correspondence turned to other matters, particularly philosophy and their daily habits.

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40. Early on, President John Adams repeatedly tried to turn the correspondence to a discussion of their actions in the political arena.

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41. In early 1801, President John Adams sent Thomas Jefferson a brief note after returning to Quincy wishing him a happy and prosperous presidency.

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42. President John Adams published a three-year marathon of letters in the Boston Patriot newspaper, refuting line-by-line Hamilton's 1800 pamphlet.

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43. President 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.

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44. President 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.

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45. President 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.

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46. President John Adams included a fair share of personal insults, vilifying the President's "disgusting egotism" and "ungovernable temper.

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47. President John Adams made his first official visit to the nation's new seat of government in early June 1800.

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48. President John Adams proudly avoided war, but deeply split his party in the process.

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49. President John Adams's moves to end the army after the departures of McHenry and Pickering were met with little opposition.

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50. President John Adams regarded Hamilton's idea as chimerical and far-fetched.

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51. President 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 Adams.

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52. President John Adams had intended to appoint Republicans Burr and Frederick Muhlenberg to make the army appear bipartisan.

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53. President John Adams was pressured by Federalists to appoint Hamilton, who had served as Washington's aide-de-camp during the Revolution, to command the army.

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54. President John Adams pursued a strategy whereby America harassed French ships in an effort sufficient to stem the French assaults on American interests.

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55. President John Adams resisted Pickering's attempts to deport aliens, although many left on their own, largely in response to the hostile environment.

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56. President John Adams eventually agreed and signed the bills into law.

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57. President John Adams had not promoted any of these acts, but was urged to sign them by his wife and cabinet.

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58. President John Adams reached the height of his popularity as many in the country called for full-scale war against the French.

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59. President John Adams sent a message to Congress asking for a renewal of the nation's defenses.

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60. President John Adams was depicted as an eagle holding an olive branch in one talon and the "emblems of defense" in the other.

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61. President 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.

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62. When President John Adams entered office, he decided to continue Washington's policy of staying out of the war.

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63. President John Adams was in other respects quite independent of his cabinet, often making decisions despite opposition from it.

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64. President John Adams ignored the political patronage and office seekers which other office holders utilized.

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65. President John Adams spent much of his term at his Massachusetts home Peacefield, preferring the quietness of domestic life to business at the capital.

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66. President John Adams wrote shortly after the election that Hamilton was a "proud Spirited, conceited, aspiring Mortal always pretending to Morality, with as debauched Morals as old Franklin who is more his Model than any one I know.

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67. President John Adams coerced South Carolina Federalist electors, pledged to vote for "favorite son" Pinckney, to scatter their second votes among candidates other than Adams.

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68. President John Adams had remarked that Hamilton's economic program, centered around banks, would "swindle" the poor and unleash the "gangrene of avarice.

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69. President John Adams supported Washington's policies against opposition from anti-Federalists and Republicans.

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70. President John Adams likened Adams to "a monkey just put into breeches.

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71. President John Adams was widely derided for his combative nature and stubbornness, especially as he actively debated and lectured the senators.

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72. President John Adams favored the adoption of the style of Highness for the president.

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73. Early in his term, President John Adams became deeply involved in a lengthy Senate controversy over the official titles for the President and executive officers of the new government.

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74. President John Adams finished well ahead of all others except Washington, but was still offended by Washington receiving more than twice as many votes.

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75. President John Adams received 34 electoral college votes in the election, second place behind George Washington, who garnered 69 votes.

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76. President John Adams was appointed the first American ambassador to Great Britain in 1785.

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77. The house that President John Adams bought during this stay in the Netherlands became the first American embassy on foreign soil.

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78. President John Adams closely supervised his sons' education while writing to Abigail about once every ten days.

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79. President John Adams increased his usefulness by mastering the French language.

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80. In late 1779, President John Adams was appointed as the sole minister charged with negotiations to establish a commercial treaty with Britain and end the war.

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81. President John Adams assumed a less visible role but helped manage the delegation's finances and record-keeping.

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82. President 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.

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83. President John Adams was then appointed, along with Franklin, Dickinson, Benjamin Harrison of Virginia and Robert Morris of Pennsylvania, "to prepare a plan of treaties to be proposed to foreign powers.

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84. President John Adams authored the "Plan of Treaties", laying out the Congress's requirements for a treaty with France.

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85. President John Adams sat on ninety committees, chairing twenty-five, an unmatched workload among the congressmen.

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86. President John Adams drafted the preamble to the Lee resolution of colleague Richard Henry Lee.

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87. President John Adams kept busy on the floor of the Congress, helping push through a plan to outfit armed ships to launch raids on enemy vessels.

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88. President John Adams praised Washington's "skill and experience" as well as his "excellent universal character.

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89. President John Adams became convinced that Congress was moving in the proper direction—away from Great Britain.

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90. President John Adams moved cautiously at first, noting that the Congress was divided between Loyalists, those favoring independence, and those hesitant to take any position.

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91. President John Adams's still encouraged her husband in his task, writing: "You cannot be, I know, nor do I wish to see you an inactive Spectator, but if the Sword be drawn I bid adieu to all domestick felicity, and look forward to that Country where there is neither wars nor rumors of War in a firm belief that thro the mercy of its King we shall both rejoice there together.

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92. President John Adams complained of what he considered the pretentiousness of the other delegates, writing to Abigail, "I believe if it was moved and seconded that We should come to a Resolution that Three and two make five We should be entertained with Logick and Rhetorick, Law, History, Politicks and Mathematicks, concerning the Subject for two whole Days, and then We should pass the Resolution unanimously in the Affirmative.

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93. President John Adams renewed his push for the right to a jury trial.

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94. President John Adams sought the repeal of objectionable policies, but at this early stage he continued to see benefits for maintaining America's status as a British colony.

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95. President John Adams wrote in the Gazette that these measures would destroy judicial independence and place the colonial government in closer subjugation to the Crown.

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96. President John Adams purchased a large brick house on Queen Street, not far from his office.

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97. President John Adams authored the "Braintree Instructions" in 1765, in the form of a letter sent to the representatives of Braintree in the Massachusetts legislature.

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98. President John Adams initially was not impressed with Abigail and her two sisters, writing that they were not "fond, nor frank, nor candid.

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99. President John Adams often found his irascible nature a constraint in his political career.

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100. President John Adams offered them anonymously, under the nom de plume "Humphrey Ploughjogger", and in them ridiculed the selfish thirst for power he perceived among the Massachusetts colonial elite.

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101. President John Adams's was a family of Puritans, who profoundly affected their region's culture, laws, and traditions.

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