John Adams

Second U.S. President
Born Oct 30, 1735

John Adams was an American Founding Father, and the second President of the United States (1797–1801). He was also a lawyer, statesman, diplomat, political theorist, and a leading champion of independence in 1776. Hailing from New England, Adams, a prominent lawyer and public figure in Boston, was highly educated and represented Enlightenment values promoting republicanism.… Read More

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By the time of John Adams' birth in 1735, Puritan tenets such as predestination were no longer as widely accepted, and many of their stricter practices had moderated with time, but Adams "considered them bearers of freedom, a cause that still had a holy urgency." … Read More


1751 15 Years Old At age sixteen, Adams entered Harvard College in 1751. … Read More
1754 18 Years Old The French and Indian War began in 1754 and Adams began to struggle with the issue of a young man's responsibility in the conflict; contemporaries of his social position were largely spectators, while those who were less solvent joined the battle as a means to make some money. … Read More


1756 - 1761 3 More Events
1763 27 Years Old In 1763 he had published seven essays in Boston newspapers–treatises that represented his forging into the convoluted realm of political theory. … Read More
1764 28 Years Old Adams married his third cousin Abigail Smith (1744–1818) on October 25, 1764. … Read More
They had six children; Abigail "Nabby" in 1765, future president John Quincy Adams in 1767, Susanna in 1768, Charles in 1770, Thomas in 1772, and Elizabeth (who was stillborn) in 1777.


1766 - 1771 3 More Events
1772 36 Years Old 1 More Event
In August 1772, therefore, Adams moved his family back to Boston. … Read More
Massachusetts sent Adams to the first and second Continental Congresses in 1774 and from 1775 to 1777 respectively. … Read More
By early 1775, Adams became convinced that Congress was moving in the proper direction – away from its relationship with Great Britain. "Reconciliation if practicable," he said publicly, yet he agreed with Benjamin Franklin's confidential observation that independence was inevitable.


Published anonymously just after mid-April 1776, it was titled simply Thoughts on Government and styled as "a Letter from a Gentleman to his Friend." … Read More
1778 42 Years Old 1 More Event
Adams joined Franklin and Arthur Lee in 1778 as a commissioner to France, replacing Silas Deane. … Read More
1779 43 Years Old In the fall of 1779 Adams was unanimously appointed a Minister Plenipotentiary, charged with negotiating a "treaty of peace, amity and commerce" with peace commissioners from Britain. … Read More
1780 44 Years Old 1 More Event
In July 1780 Adams replaced Laurens as the ambassador to the Dutch Republic, then one of the few other Republics in the world.
1782 46 Years Old 1 More Event
With the aid of the Dutch Patriot leader Joan van der Capellen tot den Pol, Adams secured the recognition of the United States as an independent government at The Hague on April 19, 1782. … Read More
1784 48 Years Old In 1784 and 1785, he was one of the architects of extensive trade relations between the United States and Prussia. … Read More
1785 49 Years Old Adams was appointed in 1785 the first American minister to the Court of St. James's (ambassador to Great Britain). … Read More


1789 53 Years Old When Washington won the presidential election of 1789 with 69 votes in the electoral college, Adams came in second with 34 votes and became Vice President; in that capacity, he became under the Constitution the President of the United States Senate. … Read More
1792 56 Years Old He was re-elected Vice President in 1792. … Read More


1796 60 Years Old Adams' credentials as a revolutionary secured for him two terms as President George Washington's vice president (1789 to 1797) and also his own election in 1796 as the second president. … Read More
1798 62 Years Old 1 More Event
…  In July 1798 Adams signed into law the Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen, which authorized the establishment of a government-operated marine hospital service. … Read More
1799 63 Years Old In February 1799, Adams surprised many by sending diplomat William Vans Murray on a peace mission to France. … Read More
In the presidential election of 1800, Adams and his fellow Federalist candidate, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, opposed the Republican ticket of Jefferson and Burr. … Read More
1803 - 1825 3 More Events
1826 91 Years Old On July 4, 1826, the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, Adams died at his home in Quincy, at approximately 6:20 PM. … Read More
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