american flag                          John Adams (1735-1826)

john adamsJohn Adams was born in Braintree, Massachusetts, to a respectable family rooted in the Puritan tradition. After graduating from Harvard College he went on to study law and started his own practice. In 1764 he married his third cousin, Abigail Smith, and the following year gained notoriety for his opposition to the Stamp Act. In 1770 he accepted the politically awkward job of defending British soldiers charged with killing five citizens in the Boston Massacre, managing to preserve his reputation while acquitting all but two of them. Named to the Continental Congress in 1774, he was a strong supporter of independence from Britain, and following the Revolution he would become instrumental in shaping the new country that resulted, serving first as Vice President and then President of the United States.

« Back to Glossary Index