John Adams

(1735–1826)

John Adams

Anecdote...

Although failing fast, Adams was determined to survive until the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence—July 4, 1826. At dawn on that day he was awakened by his servant, who asked if he knew what day it was. He replied, “Oh, yes, it is the glorious fourth of July. God bless it. God bless you all.” He then slipped into a coma. In the afternoon he recovered consciousness briefly to murmur: “Thomas Jefferson lives.” These were his last words. Unknown to him, Thomas Jefferson had died that same day.

Of Note...

John Trumbull’s famous painting (right) depicts the five-man drafting committee presenting their work to the Congress. The five prominent figures depicted are, from left to right, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin.

Biographical Note: 

John Adams was a U.S. statesman and second President of the U.S. (1797-1801). He played a major part in winning European support for the cause of American independence. He served as Washington’s vice president and succeeded him as president. The letters he exchanged with his wife Abigail give a good picture of life during the early history of America.