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John Adams

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John Adams was born on October 30, 1735, on the family farm in the North Precinct of Braintree, Massachusetts. He was the second of five children to his parents John and Susanna Boylston Adams. John's father was his role model because he wasn't only a farmer by trade, but he also took on many other time consuming jobs around the community to help others. Everyone in his hometown in some way dealt with him because he owned the titles of: the deacon of the church, selectman, tax collector, constable, and the lieutenant of the militia. John's mother was from a very wealthy Boston family, but infamous for having a bad temper. She remarried in 1766 following the death of John's father five years earlier due to the flu epidemic. John never got along with his stepfather, Lieutenant John Hall.

John's childhood days were valuable to him as his parents gave him much freedom to learn and explore for himself. Like most young boys, he showed no ambition during grade school; but he certainly cherished the outdoors and would prefer to hunt than to be involved with anything else. He enjoyed hunting so much that he would transport a gun to school with him everyday so that he could hunt on his walk home. John's parents began worrying about his lack of interest in education when he was about ten years old. His father asked him one day what he wanted to do when grew up and John's answer was to be a farmer. The next day, his father led him to the monotonous fields to prove to John that hard work and no education would haunt him for the remainder of his life. He was treated as an adult would be dealt with while on the job and after the extensive day finally came to an end, John strolled back to his home; exhausted,

sore, and covered in dirt. The following day, his father questioned him about his experiences spent laboring in the fields the day before and if he still desired to be a farmer. Shockingly enough, John's reply to his father remained constant and portrays an early example of his stubborn personality.

Adam's was taught how to read by his father before he even began attending grade school. When he turned five years old, he began attending a small, local school. Afterwards, he then was present at a Latin school that was a preparatory school for students that were planning to attend college. John's father had a dream of John going to Harvard to become a minister. Since his mother was brought up in an affluent family, Harvard wasn't a large expense. John agreed to attend Harvard and to transform himself into a better student, but only if he was allowed study under Joseph Marsh. With the consent of his father, John entered Harvard at fifteen years old in 1751, and, as promised, his grades dramatically improved. Although graduating at a modest fifteenth out of twenty-four students, he managed to finally achieve his goal of earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1755.

After graduation, John aspired to practice law, but he quickly discovered that dreams don't always happen immediately. His first job was the position of a schoolmaster at a school in Worcester, Massachusetts. John was not exactly content in the classroom setting because was restricted and couldn't leave his mark on the world that he someday hoped to accomplish. In 1758, he took his opportunity to follow his dream by teaching during the day and rigorously studying law at night with instructor James Putnam. At the end of the year, John was admitted to the bar in Braintree to

officially become a lawyer. Soon after earning the new honor and opportunity, he opened his new office in Boston. He was defeated in his first case because he had forgotten to write the name of the county on a writ and, unfortunately for Adams, it was the only case for that entire year. Three years later, his laborious efforts of practicing law paid off because he was victorious in his first case before a jury. One of his most famous cases occurred in 1769 when he managed to drop John Hancock's wine smuggling charges. A year later, Adams took on the biggest case of his career by accepting a case that no other

lawyer even thought about touching. Captain Tom Preston and eight of his men were being tried for shooting into a crowd of innocent bystanders during the Boston Massacre. Captain Preston claimed that he had never given the order to fire and after months of testimony and two and a half hours of jury deliberation, the captain's words stood up as only two of the soldiers, Matthew Kilroy and Hugh Montgomery, were found guilty. Their sentence was the branding of their thumbs and immediately after their penalty was finished, the two soldiers were sent back to their regiment. After the case ended and the soldier's departure, Hugh Montgomery confessed to Adams that he had shouted the order to fire on that night.

On October 25, 1764, Adams married his second cousin Abigail Smith. They conceived five children during their time together and all survived through adulthood with the exception of one daughter, Savannah, who died during infancy. Abigail was considered John's equal intellectually and psychological; which strengthened the value of her advice during Adam's political career.

The commencement of Adam's political career began on a depressing note when his father died. John was asked to fulfill his father's duties by inheriting the vacated seat in the Braintree Town meeting. His first accomplishments in politics were to prevent amateurs from practicing law and by appointing his brother to the deputy sheriff position. Adam's also became a passionate writer early during his political career and composed many successful essays and books that further explicated his beliefs. In 1765, John wrote an essay protesting against the Stamp Act because it would ruin the law practices. The British House of Common repealed the Act on February 22, 1766, thus allowing John to return to practicing law and to further pursue his political career.

The explosion to symbolize the commencement of the American Revolution was becoming imminent. Many Federalists, including Adams, were all in attendance at the First and Second Continental Congresses. Adam's secured George Washington the opportunity to be the commander of the Continental army and even served later on the committee to draft the Declaration of Independence. During the time spent working with Thomas Jefferson, their differences became obvious and built an intense rivalry that would last for decades. In 1778, Congress sent John Adams and John Jay to assist Benjamin Franklin in Europe. Each had a different destination, but the goals remained exactly alike: treaty agreements had to be agreed upon with Britain. In 1783, the three together wrote



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