John Adams - (1735 - 1826)

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John Adams
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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
John Adams was the only signer of the Declaration of Independence besides Thomas Jefferson to become President of the United States.
... 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

The Women's Right's Movement

Women have been fighting for equality as long as people can remember. In most of the world women still have no rights and have to submit to men. There are still countries in which women are not allowed to do anything without the permission of a man.



From The Digital Public Library of America

There are currenlty are 7493 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: 1885 [1884]
    Type: text
    Series title also at head of t.-p.
    Harvard University
  4. Type: image
    Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.
  5. Date: ca. 1880
    Type: image
    Portrait.
    Brigham Young University - Harold B. Lee Library
  6. Date: 1929
    Type: text
    Utah State Archives
  7. Date: 1876-1876
    Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  8. Date: 1876-1876
    Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  9. 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. Date: ca. 1850?
    Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  20. Date: 1827-1827
    Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  21. Date: 1860-1860
    Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  22. Date: 1843-1844
    Type: image
    Smithsonian American Art Museum
  23. Date: c. 1800
    Type: image
    National Portrait Gallery
  24. Type: image
    National Portrait Gallery
  25. Date: c. 1810-1826
    Type: image
    Born Braintree (now Quincy), Massachusetts
    National Portrait Gallery
See all the items for "John Adams" at the Digital Public Library of America

Quotes by John Adams

Quote 813 details Share on Google+ - Quote 813 Linked In Share Button - Quote 813 I am often concerned for you and our dear babes, surrounded, as you are, by people who are to timorous and to much susceptible of alarms. Many fears and jealousies and imaginary dangers will be suggested to you, but I hope you will not be impressed by them. In case of real danger, of which you cannot fail to have previous intimations, fly to the woods with our children.

John Adams: Letter to Abigail Adams, May 2, 1774

Quote 815 details Share on Google+ - Quote 815 Linked In Share Button - Quote 815 Colonel Washington appears at Congress in his uniform, and, by his great experience and abilities in military matters, is of much service to us. O that I were a soldier! I will be. I am reading military books. Everybody must, and I will, and shall, be a soldier.

John Adams: Letter to Abigail Adams, May 29, 1775

Quote 88 details Share on Google+ - Quote 88 Linked In Share Button - Quote 88 Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right, from the frame of their nature, to knowledge, as their great Creator, who does nothing in vain, has given them understandings, and a desire to know; but besides this, they have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge; I mean, of the characters and conduct of their rulers.

John Adams: Dissertation on Canon and Feudal Law, 1765

Quote 105 details Share on Google+ - Quote 105 Linked In Share Button - Quote 105 To suppose arms in the hands of citizens, to be used at individual discretion, except in private self-defense, or by partial orders of towns, counties or districts of a state, is to demolish every constitution, and lay the laws prostrate, so that liberty can be enjoyed by no man; it is a dissolution of the government. The fundamental law of the militia is, that it be created, directed and commanded by the laws, and ever for the support of the laws.

John Adams: A Defense of the Constitutions of the United States, 1787-1788

Quote 67 details Share on Google+ - Quote 67 Linked In Share Button - Quote 67 Every measure of prudence, therefore, ought to be assumed for the eventual total extirpation of slavery from the United States.... I have, throughout my whole life, held the practice of slavery in... abhorrence.

John Adams: letter to Evans, June 8, 1819

Quote 82 details Share on Google+ - Quote 82 Linked In Share Button - Quote 82 It has ever been my hobby-horse to see rising in America an empire of liberty, and a prospect of two or three hundred millions of freemen, without one noble or one king among them. You say it is impossible. If I should agree with you in this, I would still say, let us try the experiment, and preserve our equality as long as we can. A better system of education for the common people might preserve them long from such artificial inequalities as are prejudicial to society, by confounding the natural distinctions of right and wrong, virtue and vice.

John Adams: letter to Count Sarsfield, February 3, 1786

Quote 85 details Share on Google+ - Quote 85 Linked In Share Button - Quote 85 It should be your care, therefore, and mine, to elevate the minds of our children and exalt their courage; to accelerate and animate their industry and activity; to excite in them an habitual contempt of meanness, abhorrence of injustice and inhumanity, and an ambition to excel in every capacity, faculty, and virtue. If we suffer their minds to grovel and creep in infancy, they will grovel all their lives.

John Adams: Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, 1756

Quote 101 details Share on Google+ - Quote 101 Linked In Share Button - Quote 101 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.

John Adams: letter to Zabdiel Adams, June 21, 1776

Quote 618 details Share on Google+ - Quote 618 Linked In Share Button - Quote 618 They made an early provision by law that every town consisting of so many families should be always furnished with a grammar school. They made it a crime for such a town to be destitute of a grammar schoolmaster for a few months, and subjected it to a heavy penalty. So that the education of all ranks of people was made the care and expense of the public, in a manner that I believe has been unknown to any other people, ancient or modern. The consequences of these establishments we see and feel every day [written in 1765]. A native of America who cannot read and write is as rare ... as a comet or an earthquake

John Adams: Unknown

Quote 75 details Share on Google+ - Quote 75 Linked In Share Button - Quote 75 I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.

John Adams: letter to Abigail Adams, 1780

Quote 90 details Share on Google+ - Quote 90 Linked In Share Button - Quote 90 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.

John Adams: letter to Mercy Warren, April 16, 1776

Quote 796 details Share on Google+ - Quote 796 Linked In Share Button - Quote 796 The nature of the encroachment upon the American constitution is such, as to grow every day more and more encroaching. Like a cancer, it eats faster and faster every hour. The revenue creates pensioners, and the pensioners urge for more revenue.

The people grow less steady, spirited, and virtuous, the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of their dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity, and frugality, become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, luxury, foppery, selfishness, meanness, and downright venality swallow up the whole society

John Adams: Novanglus Essay No. 3
Quoted Document: Novanglus Essay Number 3

Quote 87 details Share on Google+ - Quote 87 Linked In Share Button - Quote 87 Let justice be done though the heavens should fall.

John Adams: letter to Elbridge Gerry, December 5, 1777

Quote 98 details Share on Google+ - Quote 98 Linked In Share Button - Quote 98 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.

John Adams: Thoughts on Government, 1776

Quote 77 details Share on Google+ - Quote 77 Linked In Share Button - Quote 77 I think he [Jefferson] had one more vote than any other, and that placed him at the head of the committee. I had the next highest number, and that placed me second. The committee met, discussed the subject, [of the Declaration of Independence] and then appointed Mr. Jefferson and me to make the draught, I suppose because we were the two first on the list. The subcommittee met. Jefferson proposed to me to make the draught. Adams: I will not. Jefferson: You should do it. Adams: Oh! no. Jefferson Why will you not? You ought to do it. Adams: I will not. Jefferson: Why? Adams: Reasons enough. Jefferson: What can be your reasons?

John Adams: to Thomas Jefferson concerning the drafting of the Declaration, June 1775


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