The Family that Stops at Nothing
John Adams was born on October 30, 1735 in Braintree (now Quincy), Massachusetts. His father, John Adams Sr., was a farmer, a Congregationalist deacon and a town councilman, and was a direct descendant of Henry Adams, a Puritan who emigrated from England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1638. His mother, Susanna Boylston Adams, was a descendant of the Boylstons of Brookline, a prominent family in colonial Massachusetts.
At age 16, Adams earned a scholarship to attend Harvard University, where he developed an interest in law, despite his father's wish for him to enter the ministry. After graduating in 1755, at age 20, Adams studied law in the office of John Putnam, a prominent lawyer. In 1758, he earned a master's degree from Harvard and was admitted to the bar.
Adams quickly became identified with the patriot cause, In 1770 Adams agreed to represent the British soldiers on trial for killing five civilians in what became known as the Boston Massacre. He justified defending the soldiers on the grounds that the facts of a case were more important to him than the passionate inclinations of the people. He believed that every person deserved a defense, and he took the case without hesitation. During the trial Adams presented evidence that suggested blame also
Harris 2 lay with the mob that had gathered, and that the first soldier who fired upon the crowd was simply responding the way anyone would when faced with a similar life-threatening situation. The jury acquitted six of the eight soldiers, while two were convicted of manslaughter. Reaction to Adams's defense of the soldiers was hostile, and his law practice suffered greatly. However, his actions later enhanced his reputation as a courageous, generous and fair man.
In 1796, Adams was elected as the Federalist nominee for president.Thomas Jefferson led the opposition for the Democratic-Republican Party. Adams won the election by a narrow margin, becoming the second president of the United States. During Adams's presidency, a war between the French and British was causing political difficulties for the United States. Adams's administration focused its diplomatic efforts on France, whose government had suspended commercial relations. Adams sent three commissioners to France, but the French refused to negotiate unless the United States agreed to pay what amounted