John Adams, born on October 30, 1735, was the second president of the U.S. and is admired for his dedicated and successful fight for independence. Ever since he embarked on his educational journey, Adams never stopped learning and was an avid writer and reader, with a deep interest in law and politics. After graduating from Harvard University, he began his career as a robust and opinionated writer for prominent newspapers, and he learned about law and became involved in many political affairs. His dedication and several important titles in politics led to his election as Vice President in 1789 and, later, as President in 1797. We’re celebrating his life and birthday month here!
John Adams was born and raised in Braintree, Massachusetts, on the family farm. He attended a small private school and also the Braintree Latin School. Adams furthered his studies as a 16-year-old at Harvard College, where he studied the literary works of ancient writers. In 1755, he graduated with an A.B. degree, now known as a Bachelor of Arts degree. Adams’ educational journey did not end after graduation. In 1756, he developed an interest in law and later earned a second Harvard degree, graduating with a Master of Arts.
In 1763, he became an anonymous writer for the Boston newspaper under the name Humphrey Ploughjogger and wrote essays on the greedy battle for power amongst the Massachusetts colonial elite. In 1764, he married Abigail Smith. The couple lived on his family’s farm, which he inherited from his father, and had six children. However, their daughter Susanna died when she was one and Elizabeth was stillborn. Adams’ three sons followed in his footsteps in the law field.
Adams became widely recognized in 1765 after writing about his opposition to the Stamp Act of 1765, which was brought forward by the British Parliament without consulting the American legislatures. He submitted four articles to the Boston Gazette newspaper about his opposition, which were later republished in the London Chronicle in 1768. In the same year, he moved to Boston to focus on law, where he later became Boston’s most prominent lawyer. Adams became more involved with politics and was named commissioner to France in 1777, with the duty to negotiate an alliance with the French during the Revolutionary War. In 1779, he was appointed as the sole minister to establish a commercial treaty with Britain to end the war until 1785, when he was appointed as an ambassador to Great Britain, being the first American to hold this title. In 1789, his ambitious involvement in political affairs earned him the position of vice president of the U.S., and eight years later, in 1797, was finally elected as the nation’s second president. During his time as president, he spent much of his time with his family at their home in Massachusetts as he preferred quietness. Adams took his last breath in 1826 when he was 90 years old, becoming the longest-lived U.S. president at the time.
Adams became an anonymous writer for the Boston newspapers under Humphrey Ploughjogger.
Adams is named the commissioner to France with the duty to negotiate an alliance with the French during the Revolutionary War.
He is appointed as the sole minister to establish a commercial treaty with Britain in an effort to end the war.
Adams is appointed as an ambassador to Great Britain, the first American to hold this title.
Adams is elected as the vice president of the U.S.
Adams is elected as the second president of the U.S.
Why We Love John Adams
He was an advocate for the freedom of slaves
Adams never owned a slave during his lifetime. He and his wife, Abigail, did not support the use of slaves. Adams also spoke out about the bill to emancipate slaves.
He ambitiously fought for independence
Adams fought hard for independence and triumphantly achieved it. He was a great leader as he persuaded many others to join him in the fight. Dedicated to freedom, he spent many years away from his wife and family.
He valued education
Adams was dedicated to learning and reading and always encouraged it in his home and instilled the value and importance of it in his children and even his wife. He also encouraged his wife to assist their household staff with their education.
5 Surprising Facts
Same death date as his friend
Thomas Jefferson and Adams died only hours apart from each other.
The U.S. military academy
Adams was the first to propose the establishment of a U.S. military academy.
First president in the White House
Adams and his wife were the first to live in the White House for four months before his presidential term ended.
He was a hopeless romantic
Adam, who was extremely focused on his career and spent ample time away from home, wrote endless love letters to his wife, Abigail.
His oldest constitution is still in use
Adams wrote the Massachusetts Constitution, approved in 1780, which is still in use today.
John Adams FAQs
Is John Adams considered one of the greatest presidents?
Adams is not traditionally viewed as one of the greatest presidents and has lingering criticism.
What is John Adams most remembered for?
Adams was well-known for his staunch political independence, sharp intellect, and passionate patriotism.
What did John Adams want to call the president?
Adams proposed names such as ‘His Elective Majesty,’ ‘His Mightiness,’ and even ‘His Highness, President of the United States of America and Protector of their Liberties.’
John Adams’s birthday dates