John Adams by Heather Lehr Wagner, Walter Cronkite

By Heather Lehr Wagner, Walter Cronkite

A biography of the second one president of the USA.

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The voyage across the Atlantic Ocean lasted for nearly six weeks. The Boston was chased by a British ship for two days. A four-day-long storm rocked the vessel, and the main mast cracked above and below deck. On four occasions, their own ship pursued British ships, one of which it captured. Finally, the Boston arrived in France. In the small Parisian suburb of Passy, Adams joined the other members of the delegation. He was disturbed to learn that, some 10 days before he had left his home, France and America had signed treaties of alliance and commerce.

13 PM Page 45 DIPLOMACY AND POLITICS son-in-law (“Nabby” had married while in England), and new grandson. Adams was greeted like a hero upon his arrival in Boston. Cannons thundered and church bells rang out. The Adamses had purchased a new home, and soon they set about overseeing needed repairs. John was offered many important positions and was elected, once more, to serve as a representative in Congress. He refused, saying that he wished instead to settle back into life as a private citizen. It did not take long for him to change his mind.

For several months, he simply enjoyed working on the farm, helping to build a new barn, cutting down trees, and threshing hay. It was a happy time, but it did not last. On September 17, newspapers published the official announcement that George Washington planned to retire, as well as the text of his farewell address. The country was quickly launched into a new era: two political parties with two opposing candidates sought the office of president. John Adams was the choice for Federalists; Thomas Jefferson was favored by the Democratic-Republicans.

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