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Brooklyn Museum - Portrait of John Adams - Samuel Finley Breese Morse - overall John Adams summary: John Adams and John Quincy Adams are often confused as being the same person, when in actuality it is father and son. John Adams was the 2nd president of the United States. He was born in Massachusetts in 1735, and he later attended Harvard College. He studied law after his graduation, and in 1758, he became a member of the Massachusetts bar. Among his legal triumphs was his defense of the eight British soldiers that were part of the Boston Massacre. Adams later became a member of the Continental Congress, where he was a member of the committee responsible for writing the Declaration of Independence. He later served as a diplomat, along with Benjamin Franklin, to France and he became an American minister to Britain.

From 1789 to 1797, he served as vice president to George Washington before going on to become the second President of the US. He was a member of the Federalist Party, and he defeated Thomas Jefferson in the election of 1796 for president. Losing by only three electoral votes, Jefferson became his vice president. In terms of his accomplishments as president, Adams is best known for maintaining peace between the United States and France. John Adams lived the last few months of his presidency in the White House, which was not completely finished while he was in office. John Adams lost his bid for re-election to Thomas Jefferson in 1800. His son, John Quincy Adams, won the presidential election in 1824; Adams died two years later.


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