The obverse of the John Adams Presidential Dollar was designed by U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program Master Designer Joel Iskowitz, and sculpted by U.S. Mint sculptor-engraver Charles Vickers. The reverse of the Adams dollar depicts the Statue of Liberty, designed and sculpted by U.S. Mint sculptor-engraver Don Everhart. The Statue of Liberty reverse is the same as the one used for the Washington Presidential Dollar, and will remain in use throughout the entire Presidential Dollar series.
Like the Washington Presidential Dollar (and all other coins in this series,) the edge of the Adams coins are incused with the date, mint mark, IN GOD WE TRUST, and E PLURIBUS UNUM. The John Adams Dollar has a companion coin in the First Spouse gold coin series, minted in solid 24k gold bullion to honor Abigail Adams.
John Adams Was the Second U.S. PresidentJohn Adams was elected to serve as the second President of the United States, a term which he served in full from 1797 to 1801. Adams was no stranger to leadership roles in the nascent U.S. republic, having served as George Washington's Vice President for two terms, and a U.S. Senator from Massachusettes to the Continental Congress before that. Adams was on the committee which drafted the American Declaration of Independence and was influential in its preparation.
John Adams' term as President was marked by major foreign policy events. France and England were at war, and Adams was faced with the difficult reality of needing to protect and further America's interests while avoiding entering the hostilities between France and England. It didn't help when France's relatively unstable Revolutionary government refused to acknowledge the diplomats that Adams sent. America was unable to further its interests in Europe when the sea trading routes were rife with combatants and privateers, so Adams ultimately decided to build up the U.S. Navy and clear the sea routes himself.
Freedom of Speech, But Only if You Agree With UsThe young nation of America had few friends, and with France hinting at war with us, Presdient John Adams was forced to sign into law some drastic measures during his term, some of which are known as the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. These Acts made it a crime to publicly criticize the government, and were directed at domestic opponents (what amounted to the Republican Party of the time,) and were intended to crush opposition to the Adams Administration's foreign policies. These Acts included measures that discouraged immigration to the U.S., since immigrants generally supported Republican Party views.
John Adams Was a Pompous Man, Nickamed "His Rotundity"John Adams was not known for being humble. In fact, he was contentious, vain, and frequently holier-than-thou, given to lecturing Congress on arcane matters of policy and procedure. When Congress was debating the proper title and form of address for the soon to be elected first President, Adams wanted the U.S. President to be addressed as "Your Majesty, the President," or "His High Mightiness." Sentiments such as this were very unpopular with America's Founding Fathers, and earned the moderately overweight Adams the nickname, "His Rotundity."
The "Silly and Wicked Game" of PoliticsDuring John Adams' tenure as Vice President, he chafed at the bit, yearning for more power and influence. He wrote to his wife, Abigail, "My country has in its wisdom contrived for me the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived." It would be remiss to interpret these remarks, and the force of desire which drove them, as a negative aspect of John Adams' personality, though, because Adams was a keenly intelligent lawyer and statesman who had accomplished much for America during his various diplomatic missions to Europe prior to being elected. It was for these reasons that Adams was elected President, despite never actively campaigning at all for the office. In fact, following his party's nomination, Adams retired to his Massachusettes farm, claiming he wanted nothing to do with the "silly and wicked game" of electioneering. He was elected by a slim electoral margin of 71 votes to 68 over Thomas Jefferson, who became his Vice President.
John Adams - Summary of Important Facts
- Born October 30, 1735, in Braintree, (near Quincy,) Mass.
- Died July 4, 1826, also in Braintree, Mass., at the age of 90.
- Served as first Vice President of the United States under George Washington, from 1789 to 1797.
- Second President of the U.S., served one term from 1797 to 1801, with Thomas Jefferson as his Vice President.
- Married Abigail Smith in 1764, and fathered 5 children, including future President John Quincy Adams.
- First President to live in the White House.