John Adams - (1735 - 1826)

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John Adams Tivia

John Adams was the first Vice President of the United States
John Adams was the second president of the United States
John Adams published a series of political essays under the pen name "Novanglus"
John Adams was the first president to live in the White House when he came to Washington, D.C. in November of 1800
John Adams taught grammar school after he graduated from Harvard
John Adams and his wife gave their children an inoculation for small pox
... View all Founding Father Trivia.

Events in the life of John Adams

DateEvent

1735 10/19   Birth of John Adams
1764 10/25   John Adams married Abigail Smith
1778 02/15   John Adams sails to France
1779 09/27   John Adams is appointed to negotiate peace with England.
1789    John Adams elected Vice President
1797    John Adams elected President
1797 03/04   John Adams Inaugural Address  [URL]
1826 07/04   Death of John Adams at Quincy, Massachusetts
... View Founding Father Timeline


John Adams Biography



John Adams was born at Quincy, then part of the ancient town of Braintree, on the 19th day of October, old style, 1735. He was a descendant of the Puritans, his ancestors having early emigrated from England, and settled in Massachusetts. Discovering early a strong love of reading and of knowledge, proper care was taken by his father to provide for his education. His youthful studies were prosecuted in Braintree, under Mr. Marsh, a gentleman whose fortune it was to instruct several children, who in manhood were destined to act a conspicuous part in the scenes of the revolution.

He became a member of Harvard College, 1751, and was graduated in course in 1755: with what degree of reputation he left the university is not now precisely known; we only know that he was distinguished in a class of which the Dr. Hemmenway was a member, who bore honorable testimony to the openness and decision of his character, and to the strength and activity of his mind.

Having chosen the law for his profession, he commenced and prosecuted its studies under the direction of Samuel Putnam, a barrister of eminence at Worcester. By him he was introduced to the celebrated Jeremy Gridley, then attorney general of the province of Massachusetts Bay. At the first interview they became friends; Gridley at once proposed Mr. Adams for admission to the bar of Suffolk, and took him into special favor. Soon after his admission, Mr. Gridley led his young friend into a private chamber with an air of secrecy, and, pointing to a book case, said, "Sir, there is the secret of my eminence, and of which you may avail yourself as you please." It was a pretty good collection of treatises of the civil law. In this place Mr. Adams spent his days and nights, until he had made himself master of the principles of the code.

From Early life, the bent of his mind was towards politics, a propensity which the state of the times, if it did not create, doubtless very much strengthened. While a resident at Worcester, he wrote a letter of which the following is an extract. The letter was dated October 12, 1755.

"Soon after the reformation, a few people came over into this new world for conscience sake: perhaps this apparently trivial incident may transfer the great seat of empire into America. It looks likely to me; for, if we can remove the turbulent Gallicks, our people according to the exactest[sic] computations, will in another century become more numerous than England itself. Should this be the case, since we have, I may say, all the naval shores of the nation in our hands, it will be easy to obtain a mastery of the seas; and the united force of all Europe will not be able to subdue us. The only way to keep us from setting up for ourselves is to disunite us.

"Be not surprised that I am turned politician. This whole town is immersed in politics. The interests of nations and all the dira of war make the subject of every conversation. I sit and hear, and after having been led through a maze of sage observations, I sometimes retire, and lay things together, and form some reflections pleasing to myself. The produce of one of these reveries you have read."

This prognostication of independence, and of so vast an increase of numbers, and of naval force, as might defy all Europe, is remarkable, especially as coming from so young a man, and so early in the history of the century. It is more remarkable that its author should have lived to see fulfilled to the letter, what would have seemed to others at the time, but the extravagance of youthful fancy. His early political feelings were thus strongly American, and from this ardent attachment to his native soil he never departed.

SOURCE: Lives of the Signers to the Declaration of Independence, 1829 by Rev. Charles A. Goodrich

More Information about John Adams

Religion: Unitarian
John Adams on Wikipedia | Amazon | Google

Documents from our document library


Biography for John Adams (1735 - 1826)
Biography for John Adams
(File Size: 3.71K)

John Adams Inaugural Address 03/04/1797
The Inaugural address of President John Adams
(File Size: 13.62K)

Novanglus Essay Number 1 1774
The Navanglus letters by John Adams. A series of letters published in the Boston Gazette prior to the start of the armed conflict in America. They were written in 1774-1775.
(File Size: 16.21K)

Novanglus Essay Number 2 1774
The Navanglus letters by John Adams. A series of letters published in the Boston Gazette prior to the start of the armed conflict in America. They were written in 1774-1775.
(File Size: 23.00K)

Novanglus Essay Number 3 1774
The Navanglus letters by John Adams. A series of letters published in the Boston Gazette prior to the start of the armed conflict in America. They were written in 1774-1775.
(File Size: 33.45K)

Novanglus Essay Number 4 1774
The Navanglus letters by John Adams. A series of letters published in the Boston Gazette prior to the start of the armed conflict in America. They were written in 1774-1775.
(File Size: 30.27K)

Novanglus Essay Number 5 1774
The Navanglus letters by John Adams. A series of letters published in the Boston Gazette prior to the start of the armed conflict in America. They were written in 1774-1775.
(File Size: 48.83K)

Novanglus Essay Number 6 1774
The Navanglus letters by John Adams. A series of letters published in the Boston Gazette prior to the start of the armed conflict in America. They were written in 1774-1775.
(File Size: 46.88K)

Novanglus Essay Number 7 1774
The Navanglus letters by John Adams. A series of letters published in the Boston Gazette prior to the start of the armed conflict in America. They were written in 1774-1775.
(File Size: 46.88K)

Novanglus Essay Number 8 1774
The Navanglus letters by John Adams. A series of letters published in the Boston Gazette prior to the start of the armed conflict in America. They were written in 1774-1775.
(File Size: 44.92K)

Novanglus Essay Number 9 1774
The Navanglus letters by John Adams. A series of letters published in the Boston Gazette prior to the start of the armed conflict in America. They were written in 1774-1775.
(File Size: 22.46K)

Novanglus Essay Number 10 1774
The Navanglus letters by John Adams. A series of letters published in the Boston Gazette prior to the start of the armed conflict in America. They were written in 1774-1775.
(File Size: 19.53K)

Novanglus Essay Number 11 1774
The Navanglus letters by John Adams. A series of letters published in the Boston Gazette prior to the start of the armed conflict in America. They were written in 1774-1775.
(File Size: 23.44K)

Novanglus Essay Number 12 1775
The Navanglus letters by John Adams. A series of letters published in the Boston Gazette prior to the start of the armed conflict in America. They were written in 1774-1775.
(File Size: 19.53K)

Letters between John and Abigail Adams (1774) 1774
Collection of letters written between John Adams and his wife Abigail during the year of 1774.
(File Size: 52.82K)


Article/Blog Entries


Wise Quotes From our Founding Fathers

Does it seem as though we are relying more and more on past personalities and their comments to give us sage advice instead of developing our own morality and intellect? Who determines what is a wise quote, a funny quote or even any comment that should be immortalized by the ages?

John Adams Teaches Us How to Overcome

Today we are facing so many social, political and economic difficulties that many people wonder whether we will be able to overcome them. Questioning whether we are able to turn around a failing system is a pertinent question because, when honestly asked, it confronts reality. A message of hope, without a realistic solution which has the power to bring positive change, is worthless.

Thomas Jefferson - Author of the Declaration of Independence

When we think of Thomas Jefferson we remember him as one of Founding Fathers and the Declaration of Independence. In addition to the weight of the responsibility in being the principal author of such a great document, he also went on to do so much more for us all. His leadership in Presidency, Ambassador to France and other political avenues paved the way for our nation to succeed. If you're interested to learn about his life, obstacles and accomplishments read on.

Thomas Jefferson Is Rightly Remembered As a Great Founding Father

Every school child is imbued with a history of the American Revolution that glorifies the great accomplishments, political, military and social, of the famous founding fathers. We learn that George Washington; the Father of the United States was a great military leader, farmer, politician and stoic face of the revolutionary movement. Benjamin Franklin was an inventor, publisher, diplomat, self-made millionaire and audaciously wise man. John Adams was a wonderful raconteur, writer, philosopher and brave leader.



American Revolution and War for Independence

This paper is dedicated to the history of American Revolution and the War for Independence. The primary purpose of the survey given here is to carry out an analysis of the events of the late 18th century in the British colonies in North America on the basis of vast historical material published in the United States. The process that took place before and during the 1776-1783 period when 13 British colonies' aspiration for independence broke out into the so-called War

Democracy or Republic?

Despite clear historical evidence showing that the United States was established as a republic and not a democracy, there is still confusion regarding the difference between these two very different systems of government.  Some confusion stems because the word “democracy” is used to describe both a "type" and a "form" of government.

"Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" - But In Current Textbooks the Context of These Words is Deleted

While I didn't write or compile this mountain of support information, I would ask you offer a humble prayer of thanks for that man or woman who did. Now it my/our privilege to offer free~reprint rights to others who dare to share the truth. Respectifully ,Russ Miles



From The Digital Public Library of America

There are currenlty are 7343 items in the DLPA for John Adams, only 25 are displayed here.

  1. Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  2. Date: 1880-1880
    Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  3. Date: ca. 1880
    Type: image
    Portrait.
    Brigham Young University - Harold B. Lee Library
  4. Date: 1929
    Type: text
    Utah State Archives
  5. Date: 1962
    Type: text
    University of California
  6. Date: 1885 [1884]
    Type: text
    Series title also at head of t.-p.
    University of Michigan
  7. Date: [1917?]
    Type: text
    Originally published in 1884.
    Cornell University
  8. Date: 1876-1876
    Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  9. Date: 1876-1876
    Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  10. Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  11. Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  12. Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  13. Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  14. Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  15. Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  16. Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  17. Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  18. Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  19. Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  20. Date: ca. 1850?
    Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  21. Date: 1827-1827
    Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  22. Date: 1860-1860
    Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  23. Date: 1843-1844
    Type: image
    Smithsonian American Art Museum
  24. Date: c. 1800
    Type: image
    National Portrait Gallery
  25. Type: image
    National Portrait Gallery
See all the items for "John Adams" at the Digital Public Library of America

Quotes by John Adams


Men must be ready, they must pride themselves and be happy to sacrifice their private pleasures, passions and interests, nay, their private friendships and dearest connections, when they stand in competition with the rights of society.
letter to Mercy Warren, April 16, 1776


National defense is one of the cardinal duties of a statesman.
letter to James Lloyd, January, 1815

Objects of the most stupendous magnitude, and measure in which the lives and liberties of millions yet unborn are intimately interested, are now before us. We are in the very midst of a revolution the most complete, unexpected and remarkable of any in the history of nations
letter to William Cushing, June 9, 1776

Public affairs go on pretty much as usual: perpetual chicanery and rather more personal abuse than there used to be... Our American Chivalry is the worst in the world. It has no Laws, no bounds, no definitions; it seems to be all a Caprice.
letter to Thomas Jefferson, April 17, 1826


Public virtue cannot exist in a nation without private, and public virtue is the only foundation of republics. There must be a positive passion for the public good, the public interest, honour, power and glory, established in the minds of the people, or there can be no republican government, nor any real liberty: and this public passion must be superior to all private passions.
letter to Mercy Warren, April 16, 1776


Remember democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.
letter to John Taylor, April 15, 1814

That, as a republic is the best of governments, so that particular arrangements of the powers of society, or, in other words, that form of government which is best contrived to secure an impartial and exact execution of the laws, is the best of republics.
Thoughts on Government, 1776


The deliberate union of so great and various a people in such a place, is without all partiality or prejudice, if not the greatest exertion of human understanding, the greatest single effort of national deliberation that the world has ever seen.
quoted in a letter from Rufus King to Theophilus Parsons, February 20, 1788

The dignity and stability of government in all its branches, the morals of the people, and every blessing of society depend so much upon an upright and skillful administration of justice, that the judicial power ought to be distinct from both the legislative and executive, and independent upon both, that so it may be a check upon both, and both should be checks upon that.
Thoughts on Government, 1776


The dons, the bashaws, the grandees, the patricians, the sachems, the nabobs, call them by what names you please, sigh and groan and fret, and sometimes stamp and foam and curse, but all in vain. The decree is gone forth, and it cannot be recalled, that a more equal liberty than has prevailed in other parts of the earth must be established in America.
letter to Patrick Henry, June 3, 1776


The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families.... How is it possible that Children can have any just Sense of the sacred Obligations of Morality or Religion if, from their earliest Infancy, they learn their Mothers live in habitual Infidelity to their fathers, and their fathers in as constant Infidelity to their Mothers?
Diary, June 2, 1778


The only foundation of a free Constitution, is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People, in a great Measure, than they have it now. They may change their Rulers, and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty.
letter to Zabdiel Adams, June 21, 1776


The rich, the well-born, and the able, acquire and influence among the people that will soon be too much for simple honesty and plain sense, in a house of representatives. The most illustrious of them must, therefore, be separated from the mass, and placed by themselves in a senate; this is, to all honest and useful intents, an ostracism.
A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, vol 1, 1787


There is no good government but what is republican. That the only valuable part of the British constitution is so; for the true idea of a republic is "an empire of laws, and not of men." That, as a republic is the best of governments, so that particular arrangement of the powers of society, or in other words, that form of government which is best contrived to secure an impartial and exact execution of the law, is the best of republics.
Thoughts on Government, 1776


They define a republic to be a government of laws, and not of men.
Novanglus No. 7, March 6, 1775
Quoted Document: Novanglus Essay Number 7


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