[Logo by John Silver]
The Adams Family Exhibit
Opening date to be announced
John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat and political theorist. A leading champion of independence in 1776, he was America's first choice after George Washington and became the second President of the United States (1797–1801). He was one of the most influential Founding Fathers of the United States.
Adams came to prominence in the early stages of the American Revolution. As a delegate from Massachusetts to the Continental Congress, he played a leading role in persuading Congress to declare independence (see exhibit #4), and assisted Thomas Jefferson in drafting the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776. As a representative of Congress in Europe, he was a major negotiator of the eventual peace treaty with Great Britain (see exhibit 11 and 11a), and chiefly responsible for obtaining important loans from Amsterdam bankers.
Adams' revolutionary credentials secured him two terms as George Washington's vice president and his own election in 1796 as the second president. He lost a battle for a second term as President with Thomas Jefferson. After inviting Congress to Jefferson's inauguration, he declined to attend himself. (see exhibit #14)
John Quincy Adams (July 11, 1767 – February 23, 1848) was the sixth President of the United States from 1825 to 1829. He was the son of President John Adams and Abigail Adams. He was a member of the Federalist, Democratic-Republican, National Republican, and later Anti-Masonic and Whig parties. He was also an American diplomat and served in both the Senate and House of Representatives. He served 17 years as U.S. Representative from Massachusetts after he served as President. Adams was involved in many international negotiations, and helped formulate the Monroe Doctrine as Secretary of State. (see exhibits #5 and #6). Historians agree he was one of the great diplomats in American history.
Like his father, Adams lost a battle for a second term, the first President since his father to serve a single term. He announced the inauguration of Andrew Jackson to Congress (see exhibit 31), but again, like his father, he declined to attend himself. John Adams and John Quincy Adams were the only two Presidents to ever decline attending the inauguration of the next President.
Samuel Adams (September 27 [O.S. September 16] 1722 – October 2, 1803) was an American statesman, political philosopher, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was a second cousin to President John Adams. As a politician in colonial Massachusetts, Adams was a leader of the movement that became the American Revolution. In particular he was closely involved in the protests of the Sugar Act, The Stamp Act, The Townsend Acts and was a heavily involved in the Tea Act, resulting in the Boston Tea Party. Referring to the negotiations for Independence with Great Britain, he stated "If by departing in any Degree from Instructions, our Negotiators have obtained better terms for us, than they could have done by a strict adherence to them." (see exhibit #13)