Biography of John Adams
"He means well for his country, is always an honest man, often a wise man, but sometimes, and in some things, absolutely out of his senses." Benjamin Franklin, 1783
John Adams was born on October 30, 1735, (new style) in Braintree, (now known as Quincy) Massachusetts on the family farm. John was named after his father, a deacon of the church. His father was also, at times, the town's tax collector, selectman, constable and lieutenant of the militia. His father's occupation was farming. The senior Adams was John's role model in life. John's father passed away in the flu epidemic of 1761. Of all the famous people in the Adams' life, comparatively little is known about John's mother, Susanna Boylston Adams. She was known to have a fiery temper. She remarried in 1766 to Lt. John Hall. Apparently, John did not get along with his stepfather. Susanna Adams died in 1797, while John was serving his first year as President. John had two younger brothers, Peter and Elihu. John Adams was the second cousin of Samuel Adams, fellow revolutionary and John was the third cousin to his future wife, Abigail Smith. Growing up, John took advantage of the freedom given by his parents. In his autobiography, John wrote that he cared little for school and enjoyed all types of outdoor activities. John's favorite activity was hunting. After a while, John began to bring a gun along with him to school. This way he could begin hunting even before he got home from school! Soon, his parents began to worry that John was wasting his gifted intellect. His father asked him at age ten, "What would you do, child?" John answered back, "Be a farmer." The next day John's father took the boy to fields and worked him as hard as any adult. The night after young John came back tired, sore, and covered in dirt, his father asked John, "Well, John, are you satisfied with being a farmer?" His father, hoping he had taught his son a valuable lesson, was surprised by the answer. "I like it very well, Sir." This was one of the first cases of John's stubbornness, which he possessed throughout life. John Adams
Biography of John Adams
Education and early career (1745 - 1758)
"probably my Father received an Admiration of Learning as he called it, which remained with him, through Life, and which prompted him to his unchangeable determination to give his first son a liberal Education." John Adams, Autobiography
John was taught to read by his father while he a was still a young child. John attended a series of schools. His favorite subject was math. John had little patience for schooling. His father had dreams of John graduating from Harvard and becoming a minister. John agreed to become more attentive of studies if his father would place him under the tutelage of Joseph Marsh, who ran a more challenging school. John's school work improved and he entered Harvard in 1751, a year older than the usual student at that time. Adams graduated in 1755 with Bachelor of Arts degree. Adams graduated 15 in a class of 24. At the time of his graduation, Adams planned to commit himself to practicing law. However, Adams' first job was as schoolmaster in Worcester, Massachusetts. Early career
Throughout Adams' teaching career, John yearned to make his mark upon the world. There was little to stimulate John's intellectual needs. Adams learned to adjust to becoming the schoolmaster in the town, socializing in the evenings, meeting with old school friends or returning home during school breaks. All the while Adams was wondering if he was he was ruining his chances for a better career. At times in his classroom, Adams imagined himself as a dictator and his students as generals and politicians. John also had a bad habit of selecting the smartest student to lead the class in its studies, while John read or wrote at his desk. During Adams time in Worcester, he began keeping his famous journal. His first entry was on January 14, 1756....