Born in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1735, John Adams was one of the earliest and most vocal advocates for colonial independence. The Harvard-educated lawyer served as a delegate to both the First and Second Continental Congresses.
A skilled diplomat, Adams lived in France and Holland during the Revolution, working to secure crucial international support and recognition of American independence. He served eight years as George Washington’s Vice-President before winning the Presidency in 1797.
Elected by a margin of just three electoral votes (71-68), John Adams was the first President to live in the White House, arriving in Washington on November 1, 1800. On his second evening in its damp, unfinished rooms, he wrote to his wife, "Before I end my letter, I pray Heaven to bestow the best of Blessings on this House and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise Men ever rule under this roof."