Best Known For
John Adams was a Founding Father, the first vice president of the United States and the second president. His son, John Quincy Adams, was the sixth president.
An inside look at the founding of Washington D.C. and the early days of the White House.
John Adams came from a family with strong willed parents.
The full biography of John & Abigail Adams.
After many revisions, Benjamin Franklin and the other founding fathers signed one of the most important documents in history.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
He wrote the preamble to this resolution, which was approved on May 15, setting the stage for the formal passage of the Declaration of Independence. On June 7, 1776, Adams seconded Richard Henry Lee's resolution of independence, and backed it passionately until it was adopted by Congress on July 2, 1776. Congress appointed Adams, along with Thomas Jefferson,
Benjamin Franklin, Robert R. Livingston and Roger Sherman, to draft the declaration. Jefferson would write the first draft, which was approved on July 4.
Adams was soon serving on as many as 90 committees in the fledgling government, more than any other Congressman, and in 1777, he became head of the Board of War and Ordinance, which oversaw the Continental army. In 1781, Adams was one of the American diplomats sent to negotiate the Treaty of Paris, which brought an end to the Revolutionary War. After the war, Adams remained in Europe, and from 1784 to 1785 he arranged treaties of commerce with several European nations. In 1785 he became the first U.S. minister to England.
In 1788, Adams returned home after 10 years in London, and, with the knowledge that George Washington would be the nation's first president, sought the vice presidency alongside him. Adams was elected to that position in 1789 and was re-elected in 1792. However, he did not have much sway with Washington on political or legal issues and grew frustrated with his position.
In 1796, Adams was elected as the Federalist nominee for president. Thomas Jefferson led the opposition for the Democratic-Republican Party. Adams won the election by a narrow margin, becoming the second president of the United States.
During Adams's presidency, a war between the French and British was causing political difficulties for the United States. Adams's administration focused its diplomatic efforts on France, whose government had suspended commercial relations. Adams sent three commissioners to France, but the French refused to negotiate unless the United States agreed to pay what amounted to a bribe. When this became public knowledge, the nation broke out in favor of war. However, Adams did not call for a declaration of war, despite some naval hostilities.
By 1800, this undeclared war had ended, and Adams had become significantly less popular with the public. He lost his re-election campaign in 1800, with only a few less electoral votes than Thomas Jefferson, who became president.
On October 25, 1764, five days before his 29th birthday, Adams married Abigail Smith, his third cousin. They had six children, Abigail (1765), John Quincy (1767), Susanna (1768), Charles (1770), Thomas Boylston (1772) and Elizabeth (1777).
Adams found himself regularly away from his family, a sacrifice that both he and Abigail saw as important to the cause, though Abigail was often unhappy.
After his presidency, Adams lived quietly with Abigail on their family farm in Quincy, where he continued to write and to correspond with his friend Thomas Jefferson.
profile name: John Adams profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
During their courtship and marriage, John Adams and Abigail Smith Adams exchanged over 1,100 letters, many filled with intellectual discussions on government and politics considered an invaluable account of the Revolutionary War. Abigail, a fierce advocate of rights for women and African-Americans, was an important partner throughout John's political career. The couple lived on a farm in Quincy, Massachusetts, where they raised five children. Abigail died in 1818; John died in 1826, 16 months after their son, John Quincy Adams, was sworn in as the sixth President of the United States.
Abigail and John Adams 2 people in this group
They are American icons—they're on our dollars and coins, they are the subject of our monuments, and we live our daily lives in the world their ideas helped create. America's "Founding Fathers" include George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and of course, Benjamin Franklin. These men, together with several other key players of their time, structured the American democracy and left a legacy that has shaped the world. But beyond their legends, these men were human beings who led complex and fascinating lives. Learning their stories helps us better understand what made them tick, as well as their influence on our world today.
Founding Fathers 18 people in this group
The first U.S. president, former military leader George Washington, took his oath of office on April 30, 1789, on the balcony of Federal Hall. From that moment onward, the United States' highest office has been filled regularly by elected officials who aim to serve the people under the guidance of the U.S. Constitution. Learn more about the 43 men who have served as America's chief executive.
U.S. Presidents 43 people in this group