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John Adams

1797–1801

President John Adams
Courtesy of Pendleton's Lithography.
Stuart, Gilbert, 1755-1828, artist
Vice President: Thomas Jefferson
Born: October 30, 1735, in Quincy, Massachusetts 
Died: July 4, 1826, at Quincy, Massachusetts
Age at Death: 92
Cause of Death Congestive Heart Failure
Last Words"Thomas Jefferson still survives." 
Career/OccupationLawyer
Religion:  Unitarian
Education:  Graduated from Harvard College (1755)
Political Party:  Federalist
Nickname(s): "Atlas of Independence"
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




Firsts
  • First President to live in the White House.
  • First President to have previously served as Vice-President.
  • First President to have previously served as an Ambassador to a foreign country.
  • First President elected as a Federalist. First President to be a lawyer.
  • First President who had never served in the military.
  • First President to not be a slave owner.
  • First President to be a Unitarian. 
  • First President to wear a powdered wig.  (Washington powdered his own hair.)
  • First President from Massachusetts.
  • First President who attended one of the Ivy League colleges.
  • First President to attend Harvard College. 
  • First President to have children of his own.
  • First President whose son (John Quincy Adams) was also a President. 
  • First President to have a post-presidency of more than 25 years.
  • First President to be married for 50 years.
  • First President to begin his presidency on March 4 (In his case, 1797).
  • First President to receive the oath of office from a Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court
  • First President to veto no bills while in office.
  • First President to have a child (Charles Adams) die while in office.
  • First President to be defeated for a second term in office.
  • First President to not attend the inauguration of his successor.
  • First President to be over the age of 60 upon entering the office.
  • First President to live to the age of 90.
  • First President to have signed the Declaration of Independence.
  • First President to have met a British monarch, having met George III of the United Kingdom while serving as Ambassador to Britain. 
  • First President to have had a Secretary of the Navy. 
  • First President to be widowed. 

Quotes:
“To be good, and to do good, is all we have to do.”— John Adams
“A pen is certainly an excellent instrument to fix a man’s attention and to inflame his ambition.”  — John Adams
“I pray Heaven to bestow the best of blessing on this house (the White House) and on all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof!”— John Adams
“Let every sluice of knowledge be open and set a-flowing.”— John Adams
“The happiness of society is the end of government.”— John Adams
“Power must never be trusted without a check.”— John Adams
“Fear is the foundation of most governments.”— John Adams
“There are two types of education… One should teach us how to make a living, and the other how to live.”  — John Adams
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 

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