John Adams grew to manhood milking cows, feeding horses and helping in the kitchen on the family land grant near the Massachusetts town of Quincy. Soon after graduation from Harvard in 1775, Adams took up the practice of law. A delegate to both continental congresses, Adams argued eloquently for, then helped to draft, the Declaration of Independence. In 1783 he joined John Jay and Benjamin Franklin to negotiate the Treaty of Paris, which put an end to the American Revolution.
From 1785 to 1788, he served as the first U.S. minister to Great Britain, and he became the nation's first vice-president in 1789.
As the second president, he turned a deaf ear to the Federalist's call for war with France. In 1800 Adams sent a mission to France -- now under the yoke of Napoleon, and war was averted.
Adams and his wife, Abigail, moved into the official presidential residence which would later become known as the White House in November of 1800.
He died on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence -- July 4, 1826.