Brilliant Mind and Passionate Patriot- John Adams
John Adams was born on 30th October, 1735, in Braintree,
Massachusetts. John was named after his father, Deacon John Adams who was a
deacon of the church and a role model in John Abraham’s life.
Occupationally farmer, his father was also, at times, the town's tax collector,
constable, selectman and lieutenant of the militia. Susanna Boylston Adams, John’s
mother, remarried in 1766 to Lt. John Hall after death of John’s father on
Not so attentive in studies, John’s favorite subject in
school was mathematics. His father wanted dearly that John does his graduation
from Harvard and become a minister. With continuous encouragement from his
father and under tutelage of Joseph Marsh, John's school work improved and he
entered Harvard in 1751. He graduated in 1755 with Bachelor’s of Arts
degree. Though Adams wanted to practice law after graduation, his first job was
as a schoolmaster in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Adams was very eager to leave the life of a schoolmaster and wanted to practice
law. He began to study law under James Putnam and was admitted to the bar in
On October 25, 1764, at the age of 28 John married Abigail Smith
who was 19 that time. Abigail was John's best friend and wisest political
advisor and found to be as politically astute as John. She was regarded as one
of the early advocates of the women's liberation movement, and was the First
Lady to live in the White House. She died on 28th October, 1818, just after the
Adams' fifty-fourth anniversary.
In 1765, John Adams started publishing newspaper essays titled,
"Dissertation on Canon and Feudal Law." Adams emerged into politics as
an opponent of the Stamp act. As a leader of the Revolutionary group, Adams
opposed the measures taken by the British, while he was in Boston. He
distinguished himself in the First Continental Congress in 1774.
In 2nd Continental Congress, though being moderate, he was a
dynamic revolutionary. He suggested the name of George Washington for the post
of commander in chief in order to unite Virginia more cohesively to bring about
independence. He helped Jefferson to edit the Declaration of
Independence. He was instrumental in ratifying it on 1776 after leading the
John drafted the influential Massachusetts constitution in 1779 while he was
commissioner to France and Holland. He also chaired several other committees
during the American Revolution. Adams was among Adams along with other members
compiled the Treaty of Paris (1783) to put an end to the Revolution of America.
Congress appointed Adams as the first United States ambassador to Britain's
Court of St. James from 1785 to 1788. In 1787, while in England Adams wrote the
Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America which
coincided with the creation of the US Constitution He also wrote Discourses on
Davila, in 1790, in reaction to the French Revolution
Since Adams ran second to Washington in Electoral College balloting in both 1788
and 1792, he was chosen the Vice President and served throughout George
Washington’s administration (1789-1797).
In 1796, Adams defeated Thomas Pinckney and Thomas Jefferson and became the
president of America succeeding George Washington. The threat of war
with France, debate over foreign policy and the limits of descent, dominated the
politics of his administration. Though he was inclined to conservative policies,
he tried to balance the partisan contest between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas
Jefferson and his regime was torn between these partisan wrangles.
His Alien and Sedition Acts (1798), forbidding criticism of the government,
outraged many citizens. Adams sacrificed his popularity within his party to
settle the "quasi-war" with France by the Convention of 1800.
Due to various unpopular war measures, Jefferson defeated Adams in his bid for
reelection in 1800. Defeated for re-election by Jefferson, Adams retired from
Adams started living in Quincy after retirement from 1801. He issued thoughtful
and well respected political statements and wrote and received several letters.
He corresponded mainly with Jefferson.. They died on July 4, 1826, the
50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence