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John Adams became the second President of the United States on March 4, 1797 after a heated Election of 1796.  Adams was more remarkable as a political philosopher than he was as a politician.  Below you will find information and resources about John Adams both as the second President of the United States and his life.

 Image by The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (Restoration by Godot13) [Public domain or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


Time in Office:

 March 4, 1797 to March 3, 1801

Events while in Office:


E Pluribus Unum: "Out of Many, One"; added to American coins.


Three anonymous French troublemakers brought France and the U.S. to the brink of war in what became known as the XYZ Affair.


Federalists support the highly unpopular Alien and Sedition Acts. They would later be repealed.


U.S. capital relocated to Washington, D.C. from Philadelphia.

Jefferson defeated Adams.

Congress established Library of Congress.

Presidential Facts:

  • The Adams' were the first residents of the White House. They moved in in November 1800 while the paint was still wet. Mrs. Adams would hang her laundry in the East Room to dry.
  • Adams was one of three presidents not to attend the inauguration of his successor. Not only was Adams disappointed in losing to Jefferson, he was also grieving the death of his son Charles.
  • Adams was the great-great-grandson of John and Priscilla Alden, Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620.
  • The only presidents to sign the Declaration of Independence Adams and Jefferson both died on its 50th anniversary, July 4, 1826. Adams' dying words were "Thomas Jefferson survives". Jefferson, however, had passed on a few hours earlier.

Source: POTUS 


Articles About This President:

  1. American Founders: John Adams
  2. John Adams And The Question Of Independence
  3. John Adams
  4. The Decline Of The Federalist Party
  5. Federalism And Anti-Federalism


Presidential Documents:

  1. Inaugural Address of John Adams
  2. The XYZ Affair Speech PA, 5/16/1797
  3. State of The Union Addresses by John Adams

Internet Resources:

  1. John Adams Biography - on the White House website.
  2. Home of John Adams - The National Park Service website. 
  3. John Adams Papers - The Avalon Project website.
  4. The Adams Papers - Founders Online website.