John Adams

RTR-author-1024x1024_0021_1 - John Adams

“The way to secure liberty is to place it in the people’s hands, that is, to give them the power at all times to defend it in the legislature and in the courts of justice.”
– Adams

b. 1735 CE – d. 1826 CE

The second president of the United States, John Adams first made his influence known as the leader of the Massachusetts Whigs. Adams was a member of the Continental Congress from 1774-1778. His influence in Congress was great, and he led the charge for separation of the colonies from Great Britain. He was appointed on a committee with Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Livingston and Sherman to draft a Declaration of Independence. Differences of opinion with regard to the policies to be pursued by the new government gradually led to the formation of two well-defined political groups – the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans. Adams became recognized as one of the leaders of the the Federalists.

In 1800, Adams was again the Federalist candidate for the presidency, but the distrust of him in his own party, the popular disapproval of the Alien and Sedition Acts and the popularity of his opponent, Thomas Jefferson, led to his defeat. He then retired from politics.

On July 4th, 1826, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, Adams died in Quincy, Massachusetts.