John Adams was the second President of the United States.
He was born in Massachusetts in 1735.
He studied law at Harvard and became identified with the movement for independence.
During the Revolutionary War he served in France and Holland in diplomatic roles,
and helped negotiate the peace treaty with France.
He returned from Europe and was elected Vice President under George Washington.
Adams served two terms as Vice President.
The White House describes them as being "frustrating experiences for a man of his vigor, intellect, and vanity".
He complained to his wife Abigail about his frustrations with his sense of a lack of power in his position.
He said: "My country has in its wisdom contrived for me the most insignificant office
that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived."
When Adams first became President, the war between the French and British was causing great difficulties for the United States.
It disrupted trade and shipping to the USA
and caused fierce rivalries between Americans loyal to each of the European powers.
His decision to send a peace mission to France badly divided American politics
and he lost the 1801 election to Thomas Jefferson.
Adams retired from political life and returned to his farm.
He will be remembered as being one of the key Founding Fathers of the United States
and for the first U.S. politician to start a political dynasty –
his son John Quincy became America's sixth President.
Adams died on July 4, 1826. His most memorable words are: