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Abigail Adams

Abigail Adams was the wife of the second U.S. president, John Adams, and the mother of the sixth U.S. president, John Quincy Adams. Abigail was descended on her mother's side from the Quincys, a prominent New England family. She married John Adams, then a lawyer, in 1764, and they spent much of their early life apart as John Adams traveled as a circuit judge and then became a key player in the American Revolution. Their fond, newsy, and philosophical letters to one another during these absences have become famous both as evidence of a deep love affair and as a source of information about the Revolutionary era. John Adams followed George Washington as president of the United States, becoming the country's second chief executive. An early colonist agitator against the Stamp Act of 1765, John Adams helped draft the Declaration of Independence in 1776. He served as an all-purpose diplomat for the new republic during the Revolutionary War, and after the war, in 1785, he became the first American Minister to London. He served two terms as vice-president under Washington (1789-1797), and beat Thomas Jefferson in 1796 to become president himself. He was respected but not popular, and served one term before losing to Jefferson in the elections of 1800. His son, John Quincy Adams, was president from 1825 to 1829. Adams was the first president to attend Harvard University and the first to have a son become president; his wife, Abigail Adams, is one of history's best-known First Ladies. By great coincidence, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died in separate states on the same day, July 4, 1826, the fifieth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Historian David McCullough's biography," John Adams," was a best-seller in 2001.


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