I recently visited with my former boss, Tim and of course we got to talking about books. He spoke highly about the “John Adams” book and in my typical way I blurted that I had always wanted to read it. He retrieved the book for me and my jaw dropped when I saw the enormity of this book. Yet, I wanted to read it for a few reasons; it won the Pulitzer, I know very little about American history, and because I wanted to read something that Tim had recommended.
I came to love the hardworking man that John Adams was. Throughout his long career he never said no to any assignment that he was given. He was a family man who was completely devoted to his wife. And he loved to talk and to read. He sounds like my kind of guy!
I know that not many of you will read a 700 page book and so I offer you 6 fun facts about our second POTUS, John Adams:
- While married for over 50 years, John and Abigail, spent many of them apart when he traveled to foreign countries as a US diplomat. This job did not pay very well back then so Abigail ran the family farm to supplement their income. Throughout their long marriage and mostly due to these extended absences they wrote over 1,000 letters to each other.
- The Declaration of Independence was written by a “committee of 5” which included John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
- John Adams was the first Vice President of the United States and served 2 terms before he was voted President and became our second POTUS. Before the first Presidential election in 1789 our government did not have an executive branch and was run by Congress. The first election was under a system that gave each state a number of electors and each elector could vote for 2 candidates. Whoever got the most votes was President. Whoever got the second most votes was Vice President. This system was changed in 1804 via the 12th amendment to the process that is in place today.
- The Adams family was the first family to live in the White House.
- John and Abigail were the parents of John Quincy Adams who was the 6th President.
- Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
As I read this book I became aware of how unique and well designed our government is. I am thankful for the thought and planning our founders put into the structure of our country and am proud to be an American. Thank you, John Adams for your service.