John Adams
2nd President of the United States

(1797 - 1801)
Vice President: Thomas Jefferson

President: John Adams

Wife: Abigail Smith (1744-1818), on October 25, 1764

Kids: Abigail Amelia Adams (1765-1813); John Quincy Adams (1767-1848);
Susanna Adams (1768-70); Charles Adams (1770-1800); Thomas Boylston Adams (1772-1832)

Pets: horses

Second U.S. president. Born October 30, 1735, in Braintree (now Quincy), Massachusetts. His father, John Adams was an influential citizen, serving as selectman and officer of the militia. The Adams' ancestors were from England and had come to the New World in about 1640. Although John had planned on being a farmer, he received and excellent education and went on to become a teacher in Worcester and then a lawyer after graduating from Harvard. He began courting Abigail Smith, a reverend's daughter and they were married on Oct. 25, 1764.

As a prominent citizen, he struggled to define his allegiance. Often, he spoke out against England, but then in 1770 he defended the British soldiers accused of murder in the Boston Massacre. This was quite a controversy. Later, however, he supported the Boston Tea Party of 1773 and became a delegate to the First Continental Congress in 1774.

In 1779, he wrote the Massachusetts constitution. Adams served as Washington's vice-president from 1789-1797, before he became president in 1797. His presidency was not very successful. He did not have the support of his cabinet and made enemies by enacting the Alien and Sedition Acts (1798), which did not allow the people to criticize the government.

In 1800 he lost the election, and retired from political life. He died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the same day that Thomas Jefferson died! Adams' son, John Quincy Adams, went on to become president from 1824- 1828.

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