John Adams, America’s 2nd president, often gets overshadowed by his predecessor, George Washington, and his successor, Thomas Jefferson. However, Adams’ influence and legacy are far from negligible.

Here are 10 facts about John Adams, revealing a depth to this Founding Father that may surprise you.

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RELATED: Five Little Known Facts About The Revolutionary War

John Adams, the Man

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10. Massachusetts Roots

John Adams was born on October 30, 1735, in Quincy, Massachusetts, then known as Braintree. He was the eldest of three brothers and was raised on the family farm by parents who were third-generation descendants of English Puritans.

9. A Man of the Law

Before his political career, Adams was a distinguished lawyer. He famously defended British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre, believing in the right to a fair trial. This act of courage and principle marked Adams as a man of integrity.

8. An Advocate for Independence

Adams was one of the leading advocates for American independence. He served on the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence and was its foremost advocate in Congress.

7. Accomplished Diplomat

Adams was a significant figure in diplomatic relations, serving as the U.S. Minister to the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. His diplomatic work played a crucial role in securing international support during the Revolutionary War.

6. First Vice President

Adams holds the distinction of being the first Vice President of the United States, serving under George Washington from 1789 to 1797. His thoughts on the vice presidency? He famously called it “the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived.”

5. Legacy of Peace

Despite pressure and conflict with France during his presidency, Adams avoided war, believing in peace as the nation’s priority. This decision was unpopular at the time, but it’s now seen as a testament to his diplomatic wisdom and foresight.

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4. Adams and the White House

Adams was the first president to live in the White House. He moved in before it was finished in 1800, and his wife, Abigail, used the East Room to hang the laundry!

3. Relationship with Thomas Jefferson

Adams and Thomas Jefferson were close friends, then political rivals, and finally friends again. Their correspondence is one of the most extensive and insightful exchanges between two U.S. presidents.

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2. A Family of Presidents

Adams was the father of John Quincy Adams, the 6th President of the United States, making them one of only two father-son presidential duos.

1. Synchronous Demise

In a strange twist of fate, both Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the same day: July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Adams’ last words were, “Thomas Jefferson survives,” though he was mistaken, as Jefferson had died just hours earlier.

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RELATED: Five Pieces of Wisdom That Show Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Influence

The Legacy

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John Adams, a central figure in the foundation of the United States, was far more than just the second president. He was a man of principle, a diplomat, and a proponent of independence. These intriguing facts about Adams offer a fresh perspective on a leader often overlooked in our nation’s history.

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