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Adams, John US English

(1735–1826), 2nd president of the US 1797–1801. A Massachusetts Federalist, he was a delegate to the Continental Congress 1774–78 and helped draft the Declaration of Independence in 1776. With John Jay and Benjamin Franklin, he negotiated the Treaty of Paris, which ended the American Revolution in 1783. Adams was minister to Great Britain 1785–88 before becoming the first vice president of the US 1789–97

Adams, John Couch US English

(1819–92), English astronomer. He postulated the existence of an eighth planet in 1843, three years before Le Verrier discovered Neptune

Adams, John Quincy US English

(1767–1848), 6th president of the US 1825–29; a Massachusetts Democratic-Republican; eldest son of President John Adams. His ministerial positions from 1794 to 1801 included appointments to the Netherlands, Portugal, and Prussia. After serving in the US Senate 1803–08, he was minister to Russia, then to England. He helped negotiate the Treaty of Ghent 1814, which ended the War of 1812. As President Monroe’s secretary of state 1817–25, he was the chief architect of the Monroe Doctrine. His impassioned advocacy of the abolition of slavery and the safeguarding of freedom of speech defined his postpresidential career as a member of the US House of Representatives 1831–48

Adams, Abigail US English

(1744–1818), US first lady 1797–1801, the wife of President John Adams and mother of President John Quincy Adams; full name Abigail Smith Adams. She is noted for her letters that gave an insider’s view of the times