– Lived from October 30th, 1735 – July 4th, 1826.
– Probably most famously known for being the 2nd President of the United States (1797-1801).
– Was the 1st Vice President of the United States (1789-1797).
– Appointed as a delegate to the Continental Congress from Massachusetts.
– One of two presidents and signers of the Declaration of Independence to die on July 4th.
– Descended from John Alden (who married Priscilla Mullins) – one of our pilgrim fathers.
– He was born in Braintree, Massachusetts (now Quincy, Massachusetts). Adams was the eldest child in his family and had two younger brothers.
– Enrolled in Harvard College when he was 16.
– A hard worker, he often kept going from 4am – 10pm.
– After graduation, he taught school for about a year before deciding to become a lawyer.
– After apprenticing with an attorney for a time, Adams was admitted to the bar and began practicing law in Braintree (1758).
– Married Abigail Smith (1764). They were happily married 54 years until Abigail’s death. They had five children.
– In 1765, Adams wrote articles in the Boston Gazette when the Stamp Act was passed. Whitney, author of Founders of Freedom in America, wrote of these articles:
“He [Adams] appealed to the people to oppose the Stamp Act because lack of action by the people has ‘always prompted the princes and nobles of the earth, by every species of fraud and violence, to shake off all the limitations of their power.'”
– Adams is the one who recommended George Washington for the position of Commander-in-Chief of the American armies.
– He was in the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence, but encouraged Jefferson to do the actual writing.
– From 1776-1777, he worked tirelessly as a member of ninety different committees and chaired 25 of them.
– On June 14th, 1777, Adams introduced the resolution for our flag (which passed unanimously):
“Resolved, that the flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation.”
– Adams was one of the three men appointed by Congress to negotiate aid from France (for the American War for Independence).
– He got typhoid fever in 1781, but recovered.
– Wrote a new constitution for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1779).
– Congress appointed him America’s 1st United States minister to Great Britain (1785-1788).
– In 1820, he served as presidential elector, voting for President Monroe.
– The Department of the Navy was established under his urging.
– The day of his death was July 4th, 1826 – 50 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He couldn’t rise from his bed, but was asked to give a toast to which he gave, “Independence forever.”
-Photo credit: Wikipedia public domain
– For You They Signed, 2009, Marilyn Boyer