ADAMS-L ArchivesArchiver > ADAMS > 2001-07 > 0996619672
Subject: [ADAMS-L] Re: Virginia
Date: 31 Jul 2001 16:47:52 -0600
The most interesting thing about John Adams is that he died a few hours after the death of Thomas Jefferson July 4, 1826.
Abigail is described as a woman of superior abilities and great good sense. Her letters, written to her husband during the Revolution, are intersting and valuable for the light they throw upon the life of that period. I wish to see these letters at some point and I would believe them to be, or copied anyway at the library at Quincy, Mass.
President John Adams was graduated at Harvard College in 1755; taught school and studied law at Worcester for two years; was admitted to the Suffolk bar in 1758, and began practice in Boston, residing at Braintree (Quincy) till 1768 when he removed to Boston. He was employed as counsel, together with Jeremiah Gridley, the head of the Boston bar, and James Otis, the orator, to present a petition to the governor and council that the courts might proceed with business, though no stamps were to be had, and he was chosen one of a committee to draft instructions to the representatives of the town. In 1770 he was himself chosen a representative in the General Court, a position which he continued to occupy for a number of years, although his practice as a lawyer was larger than that of any other in the province. He was conspicuous as an adviser and leader of the patriot party.
He was one of the five delegates chosen by Massachusettes to the Congress of 1774, at Philadelphia; was a member of the Provincial Congress on his return, and in 1775 was again chosen delegate to the Second Continental Congress. The war had already begun at Lexington. New England had an army of 15,000 men besieging the British in Boston; Congress was prevailed upon to assume the command and expense of the army, and Gen George Washington was chosen commander-in-chief. Adams was the leading spirit, aggressive and untiring; "the column," as Jefferson denominated him, upon whom Congress depended.
Upon him devolved the presidency and the burden of the board of war, a leadership which won him the encomium of "the clearest head and firmest heart of any man in Congress," "the Martin Luther of the American Revolution."
He went abroad as commissioner to France in Feb, 1778 and for the next ten years very much of his time was spent in the service of his country, as commissioner to France, minister to England and to Holland. Through his efforts a loan of two millions of dollars was negotiated in Holland, which proved of great value. He was Vice-President with Washington from 1789 to 1797 and President one term, 1797 to 1801.
By reason of intense party division and feeling consequent, upon the French Revolution, he was defeated for re-election in 1800, and returned to his large farm and home in Quincy, where he passed the remainder of his life, devoted mainly to writing, and died on the 4th day of July, 1826, a few hours after the death of his former associate and friend, Thomas Jefferson. His son wrote of him," In figure, John Adams was not tall, scarcely exceeding middle height, but of a stout, well-knit frame, denoting vigor and long life, yet as he grew old, inclining more and more to corpulence. His head was large and round, with a wide forhead and expanded brows. His eye was mild and benignant, but when excited, expressed the vehemence of his spirit."
He has been described as a man of greater learning and force than any of his contemporaries, but of ungovernable temper and undue self esteem. His services to his country were of inestimable value.
ANDREW N. ADAMS 1898
At some point I would like to gather all the information on him available. That in itself would be a large volume I'm sure.