The Adams Family: A Timeline


October 19: John Adams is born in Braintree, Massachusetts, to Deacon John Adams and Susanna Boylston Adams. He is the eldest of three boys.

November 11: Abigail Smith, the second of four children, is born to the Reverend William Smith and Elizabeth Quincy Smith in Weymouth, Massachusetts.  

Adams enrolls at Harvard College in Cambridge.

September 3 (September 14): England adopts the Gregorian calendar, requiring an adjustment of 11 days to convert from Old to New Style. As a result, John’s birthday will become October 30, Abigail’s November 22.

Upon graduation from Harvard, Adams becomes schoolmaster of a Worcester, Massachusetts, grammar school for boys and girls.

November 18: Adams begins keeping a diary, which by the end of his life filled four volumes.

August 21: Adams begins his legal studies. He will be admitted to the Suffolk County Bar in Boston in 1758.

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One thought on “The Adams Family: A Timeline

  1. John Adams, A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law (1765) *

    “You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments; rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws; rights derived from the Great Legislator of the Universe” — John Adams – 2nd Pres. E85FD1

    “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.” — John Adams

    “Fear is the foundation of most governments; but it is so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men in whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution which is founded on it.” John Adams (1735-1826) Founding Father, 2nd US President Source: Thoughts on Government, 1776

    “There are two ways to enslave a country … One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” — John Adams

    “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” — John Adams

    “Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have… a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean the characters and conduct of their rulers.” — John Adams (1735-1826) Founding Father, 2nd US President

    In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a congress.– John Adams

    But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations…This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution. –John Adams

    Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence. –John Adams

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