John Adams was born in Braintree, Massachusetts, on October 30, 1735. He was named after his father, John Adams, who was a deacon and a farmer. He was also the cousin of Samuel Adams, a writer and revolutionist. Adams had two younger brothers, Peter and Elihu. He attended Harvard in 1751 and graduated 1755. Adams taught school and studied law in Worcester and Boston. In 1762, he began to practice law and became very successful. In 1764 John Adams married Abigail Smith, who was a well educated patriotic woman.
In 1761, John Adams wrote and acted against British measures that he believed infringed on the colonies' rights. He wrote a pamphlet called "A Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law", which was strongly against the Stamp Act of 1765. Although he greatly desired colonial rights, he thought of independence as a last resort. In 1770, he believed that the British soldiers accused of the Boston Massacre should have a fair hearing and he became their defense attorney.
Adams felt that the soldiers were only obeying orders.
From 1774-76 Adams was a Massachusetts delegate to the first and second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. He also helped to write the Declaration of Independence and was very pleased with it.
During the American Revolution, Adams went to France as an American commissioner to France. He later returned to Europe in 1779 as a commissioner to seek peace with Britain. He then traveled to the Netherlands, where he received Dutch recognition of American independence and a great loan as well. He returned to Paris in October 1782 to insist on American rights which led to the independence of America in the Treaty of Paris on September 3, 1783.
Adams was well received when he returned to America in 1788, and was...