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October 30, 1735
July 4, 1826 (aged 90)
2nd President of the United States
John Adams was born on October 30, 1735, in Quincy, Massachusetts. Adams graduated from Harvard College in 1755. Adams began his law career in 1758. In 1764, he married Abigail Smith, they had six children.
Adams spoke out against the Townshend Acts of 1767 and the Stamp Act of 1765. In 1774, Adams attended the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia as a Massachusetts delegate. In 1775, he nominated George Washington to serve as commander of the colonial forces in the American Revolutionary War. In 1783, he helped negotiate the Treaty of Paris.
In 1796, Adams became the second president of the United States. The war between the French and British was directly affecting American trade. An undeclared war between the U.S. and France in 1798 lasted until 1800, when a peace treaty was signed. Adams lost his popularity by signing the Alien and Sedition Acts into law in 1798.
After his presidency, Adams spent the next quarter-century writing columns, books and letters. His son John Quincy Adams become America’s sixth president in 1824. Adams and his son are the only presidents of the first twelve that did not own slaves in their lives.
“Public business, my son, must always be done by somebody. It will be done by somebody or other. If wise men decline it, others will not; if honest men refuse it, others will not.”
“Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”
“If conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the world are of little value.”
“Go on and improve in everything worthy.”