John Adams was an American statesman and Founding Father who served as the first Vice President and second President of the United States. He was a lawyer, diplomat, political theorist, and a leader of the movement for American independence from Great Britain. He was also a dedicated diarist and correspondent, particularly with his wife and closest advisor, Abigail.
Adams collaborated with his cousin, revolutionary leader Samuel Adams, but established his own prominence prior to the American Revolution. Driven by his devotion to the right to counsel and the presumption of innocence, he defied extreme local anti-British sentiment and provided a successful legal defense of the accused British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre. Adams was sent as a delegate from colonial Massachusetts to the Continental Congress, where he played a leading role in persuading Congress to declare independence. He assisted in drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and was its foremost advocate in Congress. As a diplomat in Europe, he helped negotiate the peace treaty with Great Britain and acquired vital governmental loans from Amsterdam bankers.