SECOND UNITED STATES PRESIDENT
Henry Adams, a Puritan, in 1636, came with his wife from Barton St. David
in Somerset County, England to settle in America. He earned enough money to buy
a farm ten miles south of Boston later called Braintree.
The third generation of Adams, still in Braintree was John Adams, the father
of our second president. He was a farmer, shoemaker, as well as deacon which is
an assistant minister of the Puritan Church nearby.
John was born to Deacon Adams on October 30, 1735. He lived a normal
Deacon Adams wanted John, just like his uncle, to graduate from Harvard
College in Cambridge, Massachusetts and continue on to be a minister. John had
other plans. He had studied in private school, then went to public school. His
teacher was Joseph Cleverly. He did not like him. John partially quit school
and his father then asked him what he would do for a living.
He said he would
be a farmer, so his father took him to the farm one day and showed him how much
work it was.
When he was sixteen, John was persuaded to be interviewed at Harvard
College. He was given a very hard passage in Latin to translate into English.
He thought he would fail. But then he was told that he may use a dictionary.
He passed satisfactory and he was accepted to Harvard.
When Adams arrived at Harvard, there were ninety students there. He entered
in the fall of 1751 and at the end of the year, ranked fourteenth in a class of
In the summer of 1753, John had joined a reading club. A reading club was
where a group of students would read and or translate passages or poems. John...