Thursday, March 12, 2009

President #2: John Adams

List of Facts:

Birth Date: October 19, 1735.
Birth Place: Braintree (Quincy).
Father: John Adams.
Mother: Susanna Adams.
Birth Order: He was the 1st child of 3 Brothers.
Education: Attended private schools, Received a B.A. and M.A. from Harvard
Other Vocations: Teacher, Farmer, Lawyer
Wife's Name: Abigail Smith
Children: Abigail, John Quincy, Susanna, Charles, Thomas
Political Party: Federalists
Age At Inauguration: 61
Time In Office: 1 term
Date of Death: July 4, 1826

The 2nd President of the United States of America was born on October 19, 1735. In his youth he preferred working on the large, family farm in Massachusetts rather than schoolwork. But John's parents felt that he should have a collage education. So in 1751 John entered Harvard University.

After graduating John got his first job: a school teacher. From the beginning he did not enjoy teaching, and his dislike for the job grew over time. John decided to apply for a job he knew he would enjoy. He began attending a nightly retreat in the law offices of James Putnam, where he soon realized that he had a passion for law. John began studying for the bar examination at night while he taught as a teacher during the day. Two years later he left teaching, passed the bar examination and began practicing law in Braintree (his hometown).

In 1764 John met and married a young lady by the name of Abigail Adams. She was very well educated for her time and had a high interest in politics.

Soon after John’s marriage he received an invitation to join a club called Solidality. This club was created discuss legal history and law theory. But soon the group of lawyers was not discussing history but current events.

The Stamp Act was passed by the British Parliament on March 22, 1765. Immediately Boston was in an uproar. The Stamp Act forced stamps to be placed on all pieces of paper circulated in the colonies from legal documents to playing cards. Then in 1773 Parliament passed a law stating that all tea shipped to the colonies must come from Britain. Previously the colonies had been smuggling tea in from the Netherlands. This was the last straw. A large group of men and boys, dressed as Indians, raided the tea ships in the Boston harbor and threw all the tea overboard. The punishment from Britain was very harsh: The Boston Harbor would be closed until someone pays for all the tea that was destroyed.

In Philadelphia on September 5, 1774, the First Continental Congress was held in protest of Great Britain's strict laws. John Adams was the chosen delegate for Massachusetts. Because John had seen first hand the Boston Tea Part, Great Britain’s monopoly, and many other strict laws, he was perhaps the most vigorous delegate promoting independence.

In 1776 the Declaration of Independence was signed by the Continental Congress delegates, John Adams among them. In the same year George Washington, who later became the first President of the United States of America, became the commander of the army, and the war for independence began.

After the war John ran for vice president and won. He then ran for a second term and was again elected as vice president. After his second term John ran yet another time, but this time he was elected as President. He won the Presidential office by 3 votes, and Thomas Jefferson became the vice president. Because Thomas was of the opposite political party as John was there were constant quarrels between the two.

Years later after John Adams had retired, he wrote a letter to Thomas Jefferson, his previous arch-nemesis. Thomas Jefferson replied quickly, and soon the two men had begun an extensive correspondence.

John Adams died at ninety years of age on the Fourth of July, 1826, the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. His last words spoke of his good friend: “Jefferson still survives”. But Thomas Jefferson did not survive for long, for he died at Monticello several hours later.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

President #1: George Washington

List Of Facts:

Birth Date: February 22, 1732.
Birth Place: Westmoreland County, Virginia.
Father: Augustine Washington.
Mother: Mary Washington.
Birth Order: He was the 3rd child of 5 Brothers and 3 Sisters.
Education: He was taught by other members of the family and by local schoolteachers.
Other Vocations: Surveying, (Major, Colonel, and Commander in Chief of the British army.)
Wife's Name: Martha Custis
Children: John Custis, Martha Patsy Custis
Political Party: He Favored Federalists
Age At Inauguration: 57
Time In Office: 2 terms
Date Of Death: December 14, 1799

The 1st President of the United States of America was born on February 22, 1732. He grew up in Virginia, which was part of the 13 colonies at the time. When George was 11 his father Augustine Washington died.

George wanted some adventure and decided to become a surveyor. So at age 16 George began his surveying career. By age 19 George had saved his small earnings and purchased over 1,000 acres of land.

In 1752 Lawrence, George's half brother, died from tuberculosis. In the same year George ended his surveying and began his military career. He was appointed as a major in the British army. 2 years later George resigned from the militia. But in May of 1755 he was appointed aide-DE-camp to General Edward Braddock. Later in the year George was appointed as colonel and commander in chief of the British army. For more than 2 years George stayed in the militia, but in 1758 he resigned and retired for 16 years of plantation work.

George married Martha Dandrige Custis on January 6 1759. She had previously been a widow and had 2 children, John Custis and Martha Patsy Custis.

By 1774 George had become involved actively in America's desire for freedom. George, in 1775, was appointed as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress. In it he was unanimously elected as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army.

George took command of the Continental Army on July 3 1775. In March 1776 he placed the British army in the port of Boston under the threat of attack. With that threat he began the American Revolution. On July 4, 1776, Congress passed the Declaration of Independence.

In 1776 George and his Continental Army loses New York in the battles of Long Island and White Plains. He then retreated through New Jersey. Near the end of 1776 George captured Trenton which was his first main victory. He then had several victories and losses before wintering at Valley Forge. In 1778 France entered the war, then 1 year later in 1779 Spain entered the war also. In 1781 the Articles of the Confederation were ratified and General Cornwallis of the British army surrenders at Yorktown. Although this amazing victory did not officially end the war, it was the last battle of the war.

In 1783 George returned to Mount Vernon but not for long. On April 30, 1789 George Washington delivered the 1st presidential inauguration speech. In 1796 he delivered his farewell speech, and ended his public life.

He went home to Mount Vernon and became a planter. Then, on December 14, 1799 George Washington died. He is buried in a vault at the foot of Mount Vernon's Hill.