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  Adams, John
NameJohn Adams
Address135 Adams Street
Quincy, Massachusetts , United States
Born October 30, 1735
DiedJuly 04, 1826 (90 years)
Last ModifedRBH
Dec 09, 2014 08:34pm
Tags Caucasian - Married - Unitarian - Straight -
Info2nd President of the United States (1797?1801)
b. Quincy, Mass.
grad. Harvard, 1755
Father of 6th President, John Quincy Adams

Early Career

A plain-spoken lawyer, scrupulously honest and dauntingly erudite, Adams emerged into politics as an opponent of the Stamp Act and, after moving to Boston, was a leader in the Revolutionary group opposing the British measures that were to lead to the American Revolution. Sent (1774) to the First Continental Congress, he distinguished himself, and in the Second Continental Congress he was a moderate but forceful revolutionary. He proposed George Washington as commander in chief of the Continental troops to bind Virginia more tightly to the cause for independence. He favored the Declaration of Independence, was a member of its drafting committee, and argued eloquently for the document.

Diplomatic Career

As a diplomat seeking foreign aid for the newly established nation, he had a thorny career. Appointed (1777) to succeed Silas Deane as a commissioner to France, he accomplished little before going home (1779) to become a major figure in the Massachusetts constitutional convention. He then returned (1779) to France, where he quarreled with Vergennes and was able to lend little assistance to Benjamin Franklin in his peace efforts. His attempts to negotiate a loan from the Netherlands were fruitless until 1782.

Adams was one of the negotiators who drew up the momentous Treaty of Paris (1783; see Paris, Treaty of) to end the American Revolution. After this service he obtained another Dutch loan and then was envoy (1785?88) to Great Britain, where he met with British coldness and unwillingness to discuss the problems growing out of the treaty. He asked for his own recall and ended a significant but generally discouraging diplomatic career.


In the United States once more, he was chosen Vice President and served throughout George Washington's administration (1789?97). Although he inclined to conservative policies, he functioned somewhat as a balance wheel in the partisan contest between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson. In the 1796 election Adams was chosen to succeed Washington as President despite the surreptitious opposition of Hamilton.

The Adams administration was one of crisis and conflict, in which the President showed an honest and stubborn integrity, and though allied with Hamilton and the conservative property-respecting Federalists, he was not dominated by them in their struggle against the vigorously rising, more broadly democratic forces led by Jefferson. Though the Federalists were pro-British and strongly opposed to post-Revolutionary France, Adams by conciliation prevented the near war of 1798 (see XYZ Affair) from developing into a real war between France and the United States. Nor did the President wholeheartedly endorse the Alien and Sedition Acts (1798), aimed at the Anti-Federalists. He was, however, detested by his Jeffersonian enemies, and in the election of 1800 he and Hamilton were both overwhelmed by the tide of Jeffersonian democracy.


After 1801 Adams lived in retirement at Quincy, issuing sober and highly respected political statements and writing and receiving many letters, notably those to and from Jefferson. Their famous correspondence was edited by Lester J. Cappon in The Adams-Jefferson Letters (1959).

Presidential Elector (F-MA) 1820. Presided over the electoral college in Massachusetts. Cast his electoral vote for James Monroe for President.

By remarkable coincidence he and Jefferson died on the same day, Independence Day, July 4, 1826.

First Appeared on a United States Postage Stamp in 1938.
Vote totals for elections in which was nominated for the Hall of Fame for Great Americans (1900-1965): 1900-62.

Yahoo! Reference

DateFirmApproveDisapproveDon't Know
06/13/2007-06/24/2007 Rasmussen Reports 74.00% ( 0.0) 9.00% ( 0.0) 16.00% ( 0.0)

Title Purchase Contributor
John Adams  Purchase Homegrown Democrat 

Start Date End Date Type Title Contributor

Date Category Headline Article Contributor
Apr 20, 2008 12:00am Commentary Sorry, HBO. John Adams Wasn't That Much of a Hero.  Article RP 

Importance? 9.75000 Average

Wife Abigail Quincy Smith Adams Nov 01, 1764-Oct 28, 1818
Daughter Abigail "Nabby" Adams Smith 1765-1813
Son John Quincy Adams 1767-1848
Grandson George Washington Adams 1801-1829
Grandson John Adams, II 1803-1834
Grandson Charles Francis Adams, Sr. 1807-1886
Granddaughter Louisa Catherine Adams 1811-1812
Daughter Susanna Adams 1768-1770
Son Charles Adams 1770-1800
Son Thomas Boylston Adams 1772-1832

John Adams - Death of George Washington (December 19, 1799)  Discuss
John Adams - First Annual Message (November 22, 1797)  Discuss
John Adams - Fourth Annual Message (November 22, 1800)  Discuss
John Adams - Proclamation of Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer (March 23, 1798)  Discuss
John Adams - Proclamation of Pardons to Those Engaged in Fries Rebellion (May 21, 1800)  Discuss
John Adams - Second Annual Message (December 8, 1798)  Discuss
John Adams - Third Annual Message (December 3, 1799)  Discuss
President John Adams Inaugural Address March 4, 1797  Discuss
XYZ Affair - John Adams  Discuss
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