John Adams:

He was our first Vice-President and second President. He served as Commander in Chief from 1797-1801.

Nicknames: Duke of Braintree, His Rotundity

Quote: “There are two types of education…One should teach us how to make a living, And the other how to live.”

The biography I read was “John Adams” by David McCullough. Yes, the same one the HBO miniseries was based on…but I started reading it before the miniseries was out. So there.

Things I didn’t know before I read this book:

  • Harvard University is older than the United States
  • John Adams went to Harvard
  • He was a lawyer before he was involved in politics
  • He represented the British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre, practically for free
  • In their first 14 years of their marriage, he and Abigail were only living together for 7 of those years, the rest of the time he was working for the good of the country apart from her
  • His son was expelled from Harvard for streaking
  • He was the first ambassador to be recognized from the United States of America as a separate country (by Holland)
  • He served as ambassador to France, Holland, and Britain
  • He and Benjamin Franklin did not get along at all
  • His best friends, other than Abigail, were Dr. Benjamin Rush and Thomas Jefferson
  • He was the first President to live in the White House
  • He was vehemently opposed to slavery
  • He lived during the Yellow Fever Epidemic
  • He was never wealthy; Abigail even hung laundry up to dry in the rooms of the White House after doing it herself
  • Was one of the only US politicians to recognize how bloody the French Revolution would be
  • Was the founder of the U.S. Navy
  • Provided funds for the famous light house at Cape Hatteras
  • Broke from his Federalist party ideals in order to make peace with France
  • His daughter, Nabby, died from breast cancer
  • He wrote the Massachusetts constitution
  • The day the US declared itself a free country was actually July 2nd, not July 4th
  • He was known as a very talkative person
  • He barely won the election for the Presidency
  • Signed the Sedition Act (anyone criticizing the President can be imprisoned) and later said it was one of the worst things he did while in office
  • favorite foods (via The Awl) baked salmon, oyster rolls, codfish cakes, Baptist cakes, cream of corn soup, green turtle soup, scootin-long-the-shore, Plymouth succotash, Indian pudding, beggar’s pudding, flummery, syllabubs, gooseberry fool, and copious amounts of cider.
  • Died only hours after Thomas Jefferson on the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1826)

<–George Washington  ******* Thomas Jefferson –>

Post title taken from “The Presidents” by Jonathan Coulter