Adams, John, one of the founders of the United States, was born in Massachusetts in 1736. He was educated at Harvard, and entered the office of Putnam to study law. Rapidly rising in his profession he very soon forecast the future destiny of the Colonies, and in 1765 joined in protesting against the Stamp Act. Yet he defended Capt. Preston and his soldiers from a charge of murder in 1770. He was a member of the first Congress of 1774. and was sent in 1777 with Franklin and others as Commissioner to France. Two years later he was employed to negotiate for peace, and to make a commercial treaty with England. He maintained a firm attitude in face of French opposition to these aims, and succeeded in bringing Holland into friendly relations with the New Republic, which in 1785 he represented at the Court of St. James's. Before returning to America in 1787 he wrote a Defence of the American Constitution, strongly contending for the co-existence of two chambers. A little later he combated the propagandism of French revolutionaries in a book entitled Discourses on Davila. He succeeded Washington as President in 1797. At the expiration of his office he made way for Jefferson, being unable to deal satisfactorily with the pretensions of the French demagogues. He felt, however, no jealousy towards his successor, whose policy he cordially approved. Living in retirement at his native place, Braintree (Quincy), he reached the venerable age of eighty-nine. His death took place in 1825.