The seven key Founding Fathers were George Washington, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. The seven key "Founding Fathers" were either the "Signers of the Declaration of Independence" or the "Framers of the Constitution". John Adams was one of the key seven Founding Fathers who signed the Declaration of Independence.
Fact 1: John Adams was born in the Massachusetts Bay Colony on October 30, 1735
Fact 2: His parents were John Adams, Sr., and Susanna Boylston Adams
Fact 3: He had two brothers and were raised on the family's farm
Fact 4: John Adams was well educated and attended Harvard College in 1751
Fact 5: John Adams was the second cousin of Samuel Adams and a boyhood friend of John Hancock, all famous patriots.
Fact 6: In 1758, John Adams was admitted to the bar and subsequently opened his own law practice
Fact 7: In 1761 John Adams witnessed the speech of James Otis in contesting the British sovereign’s power and the Writs of Assistance during the Paxton's Case.
Fact 8: He married Abigail Smith (1744–1818), his third cousin and the daughter of a Congregational minister on October 25, 1764 at Weymouth, Massachusetts. John and Abigail had 6 children including the future president John Quincy (1767–1848)
Fact 9: He had been a staunch opponent of British policies before the American Revolution arguing against the Stamp Act and other actions
Fact 10: In 1770, John Adams defended British soldiers accused of killing five colonists on Boston Green in what became known as the Boston Massacre - he wanted to ensure that the soldiers had a fair trial.
Fact 11: John Adams was a supporter of Paul Revere and was in Boston at the time of the Boston Tea Party. He subsequently argued against the Intolerable Acts and contributed to the Patriot communication network called the Committees of Correspondence
Fact 12: He was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence for Massachusetts. During the American Revolution (1775–83), Adams was a member of the First and Second Continental Congresses.
Fact 13: In 1775, he nominated George Washington to be commander-in-chief of the army
Fact 14: John Adams wrote the Preamble of the Declaration of Independence which stated that King George III had rejected reconciliation and was hiring foreign mercenaries to use against the American colonies
Fact 15: He was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence for the Colony of Massachusetts
Fact 16: John Adams was Diplomat to France. He was sent to France in 1778 and in 1782. During the second trip he helped create the Peace Treaty of Paris 1783 with Benjamin Franklin and John Jay which ended the American Revolution
Fact 17: He became the first US minister to Great Britain (1785–88). His house, off Grosvenor Square in London, still stands today and is commemorated by a plaque
Fact 18: John Adams was elected as the second U.S. President. His term in office ran from 1797–1801
Fact 19: The XYZ Affair: In 1797 President John Adams only referred to three French diplomats as X,Y and Z in reference to a bribery attempt perpetrated by French agents that led the US to the brink of formal war with France
Fact 20: The Alien and Sedition Acts were signed by Adams in 1798: These Acts were passed when war with France seemed a possibility. The acts were passed to limit immigration and free speech. The Alien and Sedition Acts were directed against revolutionary emigrants from Europe and which made it difficult to acquire American citizenship. The Sedition Act provided for imprisonment for criticizing the government.
Fact 21: The Alien and Sedition Acts were eventually used against opponents of the Federalists leading to arrests and censorship. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison wrote the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions in protest.
Fact 22: Although John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were opponents, holding different political views, they ended their lives regularly writing to each other
Fact 23: 16 months before the death of John Adams, his son, John Quincy Adams, became the sixth President of the United States (1825–1829)
Fact 24: John Adams died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson died on the same day