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John Adams (1797-1801)

Portrait, John Adams 

John Adams

 

2nd President of the United States
(March 4, 1797 to March 3, 1801)

Nickname: "Atlas of Independence"

Born: October 30, 1735, in Braintree (now Quincy), Massachusetts
Died: July 4, 1826, in Braintree (now Quincy), Massachusetts

 

Father: John Adams
Mother: Susanna Boylston Adams
Married: Abigail Smith (1744-1818), on October 25, 1764
Children: Abigail Amelia Adams (1765-1813); John Quincy Adams (1767-1848); Susanna Adams (1768-70); Charles Adams (1770-1800); Thomas Boylston Adams (1772-1832)

Religion: Unitarian
Education: Graduated from Harvard College (1755)
Occupation: Lawyer
Political Party: Federalist
Other Government Positions:

  • Member of Continental Congress, 1774-78
  • Commissioner to France, 1778
  • Minister to the Netherlands, 1780
  • Minister to England, 1785
  • Vice President, 1789-97 (under Washington)

Presidential Salary: $25,000/year

Vice President: Thomas Jefferson (1797-1801)

Cabinet:

Secretary of State
Timothy Pickering (1797-1800)
John Marshall (1800-01)
Secretary of the Treasury
Oliver Wolcott, Jr. (1797-1801)
Samuel Dexter (1801)
Secretary of War
James McHenry (1797-1800)
Samuel Dexter (1800-01)
Attorney General
Charles Lee (1797-1801)
Secretary of the Navy
Benjamin Stoddert (1798-1801)

Notable Events:

  • 1796
    • E Pluribus Unum: "Out of Many, One"; added to American coins.
  • 1797
    • Three anonymous French trouble makers brought France and the U.S. to the brink of war in what became known as the XYZ Affair.
  • 1798
    • Federalists support the highly unpopular Alien and Sedition Acts. They would later be repealed.
  • 1800
    • U.S. capital relocated to Washington, D.C. from Philadelphia.
    • Jefferson defeated Adams.
    • Congress established Library of Congress.

Points of Interest:

  • The Adams' were the first residents of the White House. They moved in in November 1800 while the paint was still wet. Mrs. Adams would hang her laundry in the East Room to dry.
  • Adams was one of three presidents not to attend the inauguration of his successor. Not only was Adams disappointed in losing to Jefferson, he was also grieving the death of his son Charles.
  • Adams was the great-great-grandson of John and Priscilla Alden, Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620.
  • The only presidents to sign the Declaration of Independence Adams and Jefferson both died on its 50th anniversary, July 4, 1826. Adams' dying words were "Thomas Jefferson survives". Jefferson, however, had passed on a few hours earlier.

 Biographies: