Ally Adams Biography & Facts
John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, attorney, diplomat, writer, and Founding Father who was the second president of the United States, serving from 1797 to 1801. Before his presidency, he was a leader of the American Revolution that achieved independence from Great Britain, and he served as the first vice president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. Adams was a dedicated diarist and regularly corresponded with many important figures in early American history, including his wife and adviser Abigail Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
A lawyer and political activist prior to the revolution, Adams was devoted to the right to counsel and presumption of innocence. He defied anti-British sentiment and successfully defended British soldiers against murder charges arising from the Boston Massacre. Adams was a Massachusetts delegate to the Continental Congress and became a leader of the revolution. He assisted in drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776. As a diplomat in Europe, he helped negotiate a peace treaty with Great Britain and secured vital governmental loans. Adams was the primary author of the Massachusetts Constitution in 1780, which influenced the United States constitution, as did his essay Thoughts on Government.
Adams was elected to two terms as vice president under President George Washington and was elected as the United States' second president in 1796. He was the only president elected under the banner of the Federalist Party. During his single term, Adams encountered fierce criticism from the Jeffersonian Republicans and from some in his own Federalist Party, led by his rival Alexander Hamilton. Adams signed the controversial Alien and Sedition Acts and built up the Army and Navy in the undeclared Quasi-War with France. During his term, he became the first president to reside in the executive mansion now known as the White House.
In his bid for reelection, opposition from Federalists and accusations of despotism from Jeffersonians led to Adams losing to his vice president and former friend Thomas Jefferson, and he retired to Massachusetts. He eventually resumed his friendship with Jefferson by initiating a correspondence that lasted fourteen years. He and his wife generated a family of politicians, diplomats, and historians now referred to as the Adams political family, which includes their son John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States. John Adams died on July 4, 1826 – the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence – hours after Jefferson's death. Adams and his son are the only presidents of the first twelve that did not own slaves in their lives. Surveys of historians and scholars have favorably ranked his administration.
Early life and education
John Adams was born on October 30, 1735 (October 19, 1735, Old Style, Julian calendar), to John Adams Sr. and Susanna Boylston. He had two younger brothers: Peter (1738–1823) and Elihu (1741–1775). Adams was born on the family farm in Braintree, Massachusetts. His mother was from a leading medical family of present-day Brookline, Massachusetts. His father was a deacon in the Congregational Church, a farmer, a cordwainer, and a lieutenant in the militia. John Sr. served as a selectman (town councilman) and supervised the building of schools and roads. Adams often praised his father and recalled their close relationship. Adams's great-great-grandfather Henry Adams immigrated to Massachusetts from Braintree, Essex, England, around 1638.Though raised in modest surroundings, Adams felt pressured to live up to his heritage. His was a family of Puritans, who profoundly affected their region's culture, laws, and traditions. By the time of John Adams's birth, Puritan tenets such as predestination had waned and many of their severe practices moderated, but Adams still "considered them bearers of freedom, a cause that still had a holy urgency". Adams recalled that his parents "held every Species of Libertinage in ... Contempt and horror", and detailed "pictures of disgrace, or baseness and of Ruin" resulting from any debauchery. Adams later noted that "As a child I enjoyed perhaps the greatest of blessings that can be bestowed upon men – that of a mother who was anxious and capable to form the characters of her children."Adams, as the eldest child, was compelled to obtain a formal education. This began at age six at a dame school for boys and girls, conducted at a teacher's home, and was centered upon The New England Primer. Shortly thereafter, Adams attended Braintree Latin School under Joseph Cleverly, where studies included Latin, rhetoric, logic, and arithmetic. Adams's early education included incidents of truancy, a dislike for his master, and a desire to become a farmer. All discussion on the matter ended with his father's command that he remain in school: "You shall comply with my desires." Deacon Adams hired a new schoolmaster named Joseph Marsh, and his son responded positively.
College education and adulthood
At age sixteen, Adams entered Harvard College in 1751, studying under Joseph Mayhew. As an adult, Adams was a keen scholar, studying the works of ancient writers such as Thucydides, Plato, Cicero, and Tacitus in their original languages. Though his father expected him to be a minister, after his 1755 graduation with an A.B. degree, he taught school temporarily in Worcester, while pondering his permanent vocation. In the next four years, he began to seek prestige, craving "Honour or Reputation" and "more defference from [his] fellows", and was determined to be "a great Man". He decided to become a lawyer to further those ends, writing his father that he found among lawyers "noble and gallant achievements" but, among the clergy, the "pretended sanctity of some absolute dunces". His aspirations conflicted with his Puritanism, though, prompting reservations about his self-described "trumpery" and failure to share the "happiness of [his] fellow men".As the French and Indian War began in 1754, Adams, aged nineteen, began to struggle with his responsibility in the conflict as many of his contemporaries joined the war for money. Adams later said, "I longed more ardently to be a Soldier than I ever did to be a Lawyer", recognizing that he was the first of his family to "[degenerate] from the virtues of the house so far as not to have been an officer in the militia".
Law practice and marriage
In 1756, Adams began reading law under James Putnam, a leading lawyer in Worcester. In 1758, he earned an A.M. from Harvard, and in 1759 was admitted to the bar. He developed an early habit of writing about events and impressions of men in his diary; this included James Otis Jr.'s 1761 legal argument challenging the legality of British writs of assistance, allowing the British to search a home without notice or reason. Otis's argument inspired Adams to the cause of the American colonies.A group of Boston busine.... Discover the Ally Adams popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Ally Adams books.