John Q Adams


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John Q Adams

John Adams had three remarkable careers in his lifetime. One as an enemy of British oppression and champion of independence. As an American diplomat in Europe and as the first vice-president and second president of the United States. His diary, letters and speeches showed him to be very patriotic, a stong family man and tough-minded philosopher.

Adams was born in Quincy, Mass. on October 30, 1735. He was born in a small house that is still standing and open to visitors. His father was a Deacon and fifth generation farmer. His parents were both fond of reading, wrote John and give him a good education. He became the first of his family to go to college when he entered Harvard in 1751. For the next six years he read intensly while he taught school and studied law in Boston. In 1762 he began a fourteen year successful law career.

In 1761 he began to think, write and act against British oppression and for the right of colonies to self-government. He was patriotic and held many local offices. In 1770 he insured that the British soldiers accused of the Boston Massacre received a fair hearing. He defended the soldiers at their trial. He spoke out against mob violence and other forms of social disintegration.

In 1774 to 1776 Adams was a deligate to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. He was a champion of American rights in Congress and helped draft the Declaration of Independence.

John Adams' presidency that lasted from 1797 to 1801 was a troubled one. Adams made many
contributions during his term. He gave the Government stability by continuing practices established under Washington. The crisis he faced was the difficult relations with France.When in the XYZ affair peace commissioners retuned from Paris with stories of bribery and deceit, Adams built up the armed forces and took many national security measures. Jefferson and the Republicans and Hamilton and some Federalists wanted war with France for economic reasons, but Adams kept his nerve and when the opportunity was
there he sent another peace commissioner to France and defused the crisis. Because of his opponents, he has forced out of office after one term.

After his presidency, he and his wife Abigail moved back to Mass.

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where he lived for the next twenty-five years. Although the effects of old age and the death of his beloved Abigail troubled his final years, his mind remained sharp and his spirt buoyant until the end. He died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He was 90 years old at his death. He was known by his countrymen as not only one of the founding fathers but also as a plain, honest man who showed the best of
what the nation could hope of its citizens and leaders.


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