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day, and one that was followed long afterwards. He
arrived there about the time of Braddock's defeat, i which produced a great sensation throughout the
colonies. The people began to see how badly the mother country was managing the affairs of this, and politics were the common topics of the day. The student's mind was fired with the subject, and he reasoned in the spirit of prophesy upon it, but not until he had made himself acquainted with the minute history of the country, and could refer with readiness to all the occurrences as they happened, in every colony. This study of our history gave Franklin and John Adams many advantages over all their compeers in the trying times of the reyolution. In Worcester, he studied law with Samuel Putnam, a barrister of law, for then the English customs were in some measure preserved, as it regarded the bar, and the office of barrister was a creation of the court. He was not admitted in the county of Worcester, but repaired to Boston with letters of recommendation from Putnam to Jeremy Gridley, then at the head of the bar in Massachusetts, who introduced him to the court for admission: and gave him access to his library which was then one of the best in America, particularly rich in works on the civil law. Mr. Adams commenced the practice of his profession in his native town, and travelled the circuits with the court, and of course was well known to a large number of the substantial yeomanry of the country, as well as to the merchants of Boston. In 1766, he removed to Boston at the instigation of his old friend Gridley, whose labors were now drawing to a close, and which were finished the next year,
In 1770 he was engaged as counsel for the officers and soldiers employed in “ the massacre" of March
oth, 1770. It was as bold in him, at that time a popular favorite, to have undertaken the task, as the manner of his conducting the defence was honorable to the profession, of which he was a member; and that he did discharge his duties and still retained his hold on the good opinion of his fellow citizens is a credit to him and to them.
He not only opposed Governor Hutchinson in his measures, as a member of the legislature, but he come out upon him, and upon the proceedings of the British ministry in the public prints : and these pro-, ductions, although under a feigned name, were soon known to be from his pen. Few of that day could draw such a bow, or point an arrow with such unerring certainty. In 1774 he was sent from Massachu. seits a delegate to the continental congress. He was distinguished at once, and looked up to as one made for the exigencies of the times. In 1775, when hostilities had begun in good earnest, and an army had already assembled near Boston, he took decided measures to have it organized, and nominated George Washington as generalissimo, to the astonishment or those who were governed by local feelings. The appointment was made, and Washington immedi. ately joined the army. When Mr. Adams returned from congress he took effective measures in Massachusetts to fit out a respectable marine for the state, and Washington taking upon himsell the responsibility of issuing commissions in the name of congress, thirty-six vessels were captured from the encmy before the close of the year, which were laden with munitions of war, and articles which the army stood much in need of at that time.
In 1776 Mr. Adams was again at his post, and on the sixth of May offered a preliminary resolution to
the declaration of independence, which was a recommendation to all the colonies to form state gov. ernments of their own, based on the happiness and salety of the people. This was soon followed by the resolution from Mr. Lee, of Virginia, declaring that the colonies ought to be free and independent. This was fully and ably discussed on the 8th and 10th of June. The further consideration of it was postponed until the first day of July, and on that day it passed, and a committee was chosen to prepare a declaration in pursuance of the resolution. Mr. Adams was one of this committee ; but it was the good fortune of Mr. Jefferson to have been the author of that drast. Mr. Adams, it is said, had one prepared, but so satisfactory was Mr. Jefferson's that no other drait was produced. In some future day we may know what he has written on the occasion. Mr. Jefferson always gave Mr. Adams the credit of being the ablest advocate of the measure. Mr. Adams was a member of every important committee while he remained in Congress.
In February, 1778, Mr. Adams sailed for France, having been appointed a commissioner to supply the place of Silas Dean, who had been recalled. The treaty with France having been made before he reached the country, he returned in time to assist the people of his native state, in forming a constitution. The report which was accepted by the convention was from his pen, having undergone but few altera, tions in its passage. In 1780, he was appointed a commissioner to make a treaty with the States General of Holland, and to negotiate a loan for congress. He was successful. The -part Mr. Adams took in regard to the treaty of peace of 1783, with Great Britain, is above all praise. He assumed a
high responsibility in the act, which was every way worthy of himself.
In 1785 Mr. Adams was sent a minister plenipotentiary to the Court of St. James. He was the first of course from the United States, and his situation was a delicate one ; but by showing the good sense of an honest man, the knowledge of a politician, and the manners of a gentleman, he secured the respect and affection of all classes of people in England, and gave offence to none at home.
In 1788 Mr. Adams requested permission to return home; this was granted, but he sought for no repose, he was in the prime of life and still ready to serve his country. He had been rominated with Washington as one of the candidates for the Presidency and Vice Presidency ; then, the votes bore no designation; he who had the most was President, and the other was Vice President; but the intentions of the people were known-Washington was elected President and Mr. Adams Vice President. In this office he continued eight years. It was no, trifling affair to preside over the senate, as the constilution made it his duty to do, when there were no rules as yet established, and it was at that time almost treason to allude to the House of Lords for rules and orders, although the senate was in some measure made to represent that body. On several questions he was obliged to give the casting vote.
In 1797 Mr. Adams was, on the retiring of Washington, made President of the United States, which office he held only one term. It was a stormy time; the French revolution had just reached its highest point of settled delirium after some of the paroxysmis of its fury had 'passed away. The people of the United States took sides, some approving, others
deprecating the course pursued by France. Mr. Adams wished to preserve a neutrality, but found this quite impossible. A navy was raised with surprising promptitude to prevent insolence and to chastise aggression. It had the desired effect, and France was taught that the Anericans were friends in peace, but were not fearful of war when it could not be averted.
In 1801 he retired to his paternal aeres and passed his days in literary and scientific leisure. His mansion house was always open to all visitors who called on him to pay their civilities to a great man. There they were entertained in elegant simplicity, with kindness without any parade or ostentation. It was delightful to see the sage talking and thinking of the world as if he were then a busy actor in it. His memory, always retentive, was remarkably accurate to the most protracted year of his life. The style of his conversatiou was strong, manly, and classical to the last. He spoke of the dead of all ages as though he had lived with them and become imbued with their precepts; and all this without any attempt to display his learning. If there was any thing he hated it was a silly pretender to superior talents, and the world is full of such ;-they sometimes annoyed him, and his temper was not always under entire command; but no man could, and but few ever did display the honors of hospitality with more true kindness and polish than Mr. Adams. He loved his native land; he dearly loved his own Massachusetts, and she ought to be, and is proud of him as one of her distinguished sons.
In 1820 he was chosen by the town of Quincy, a menuber of a convention of Massachusetts, to revise the constitution, which forty years before had come