John Adams, along with Jefferson, was the only signer of the Declaration of Independence who later became president. Unlike Presidents Washington through Monroe, however, he was not a slave owner (but was against abolition as he thought it would be destabilizing)??. Adams’ work was essential in helping the United States become independent from England. He became a member of the Massachusetts legislature and then served as their delegate at the Second Continental Congress. While serving in the Congress, he was a strong advocate of independence for America and helped create the Declaration of Independence with his sometime political rival, Thomas Jefferson.
Adams, who was overweight and known as “His Rotundity,” was the first VP under George Washington but found his job boring and insignificant. As President (a post he narrowly won over rival Thomas Jefferson), he mainly kept the US from entering into war with France, which hurt his popularity.
Adams and Jefferson died on the exact same day, July 4th, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the approval of the Declaration of Independence. His final words were “Thomas Jefferson still survives.” However, he didn’t know that Jefferson had died a few hours earlier.