Thomas Jefferson was an American statesman, lawyer and Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809. He had served as the second vice president of the United States from 1797 to 1801; the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson was a proponent of democracy and individual rights motivating American colonists to break from the Kingdom of Great Britain and form a new nation. Jefferson was of English ancestry and educated in colonial Virginia, he graduated from the College of William & Mary and practiced law, with the largest number of his cases concerning land ownership claims. During the American Revolution, he represented Virginia in the Continental Congress that adopted the Declaration, drafted the law for religious freedom as a Virginia legislator, served as the 2nd Governor of Virginia from 1779 to 1781, during the American Revolutionary War, he became the United States Minister to France in May 1785, subsequently the nation's first secretary of state under President George Washington from 1790 to 1793.
Jefferson and James Madison organized the Democratic-Republican Party to oppose the Federalist Party during the formation of the First Party System. With Madison, he anonymously wrote the controversial Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions in 1798 and 1799, which sought to strengthen states' rights by nullifying the federal Alien and Sedition Acts; as president, Jefferson pursued the nation's shipping and trade interests against Barbary pirates and aggressive British trade policies. He organized the Louisiana Purchase doubling the country's territory; as a result of peace negotiations with France, his administration reduced military forces. He was reelected in 1804. Jefferson's second term was beset with difficulties at home, including the trial of former vice president Aaron Burr. American foreign trade was diminished when Jefferson implemented the Embargo Act of 1807, responding to British threats to U. S. shipping. In 1803, Jefferson began a controversial process of Indian tribe removal to the newly organized Louisiana Territory, he signed the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves in 1807.
Jefferson, while a planter and politician, mastered many disciplines, which ranged from surveying and mathematics to horticulture and mechanics. He was an architect in the classical tradition. Jefferson's keen interest in religion and philosophy led to his presidency of the American Philosophical Society. A philologist, Jefferson knew several languages, he corresponded with many prominent people. His only full-length book is Notes on the State of Virginia, considered the most important American book published before 1800. After retiring from public office, Jefferson founded the University of Virginia. Although regarded as a leading spokesman for democracy and republicanism in the era of the Enlightenment, Jefferson's historical legacy is mixed; some modern scholarship has been critical of Jefferson's private life, pointing out the contradiction between his ownership of the large numbers of slaves that worked his plantations and his famous declaration that "all men are created equal." Another point of controversy stems from the evidence that after his wife Martha died in 1782, Jefferson fathered children with Martha's half-sister, Sally Hemings, his slave.
Despite this, presidential scholars and historians praise his public achievements, including his advocacy of religious freedom and tolerance in Virginia. Jefferson continues to rank among U. S. presidents. Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743, at the family home in Shadwell in the Colony of Virginia, the third of ten children, he was of English, Welsh and was born a British subject. His father Peter Jefferson was a surveyor who died when Jefferson was fourteen. Peter Jefferson moved his family to Tuckahoe Plantation in 1745 upon the death of William Randolph, the plantation's owner and Jefferson's friend, who in his will had named him guardian of his children; the Jeffersons returned to Shadwell in 1752, where Peter died in 1757. Thomas inherited 5,000 acres of land, including Monticello, he assumed full authority over his property at age 21. Jefferson began his childhood education beside the Randolph children with tutors at Tuckahoe. Thomas' father, was self-taught, regretting not having a formal education, he entered Thomas into an English school early, at age five.
In 1752, at age nine, he began attending a local school run by a Scottish Presbyterian minister and began studying the natural world, for which he grew to love. At this time he began studying Latin and French, while learning to ride horses. Thomas read books from his father's modest library, he was taught from 1758 to 1760 by Reverend James Maury near Gordonsville, where he studied history and the classics while boarding with Maury's family. During this period Jefferson came to know and befriended various American Indians, including the famous Cherokee chief, who stopped at Shadwell to visit, on their way to Williamsburg to trade. During the two years Jefferson was with the Maury family, he traveled to Williamsburg and was a guest of Colonel Dandridge, father of Martha Washington. In Williamsburg the young Jefferson met and came to admire Patrick Henry, eight ye
William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham
William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, was a British statesman of the Whig group who led the government of Great Britain twice in the middle of the 18th century. Historians call him Pitt of Chatham, or William Pitt the Elder, to distinguish him from his son, William Pitt the Younger, a prime minister. Pitt was known as The Great Commoner, because of his long-standing refusal to accept a title until 1766. Pitt was a member of the British cabinet and its informal leader from 1756 to 1761, during the Seven Years' War, he again led the ministry, holding the official title of Lord Privy Seal, between 1766 and 1768. Much of his power came from his brilliant oratory, he was out of power for most of his career and became well known for his attacks on the government, such as those on Walpole's corruption in the 1730s, Hanoverian subsidies in the 1740s, peace with France in the 1760s, the uncompromising policy towards the American colonies in the 1770s. Pitt is best known as the wartime political leader of Britain in the Seven Years' War for his single-minded devotion to victory over France, a victory which solidified Britain's dominance over world affairs.
He is known for his popular appeal, his opposition to corruption in government, his support for the colonial position in the run-up to the American War of Independence, his advocacy of British greatness and colonialism, his antagonism toward Britain's chief enemies and rivals for colonial power and France. Peters argues his statesmanship was based on a clear and distinct appreciation of the value of the Empire; the British parliamentary historian Peter D. G. Thomas argues that Pitt's power was based not on his family connections but on the extraordinary parliamentary skills by which he dominated the House of Commons, he displayed a commanding manner, brilliant rhetoric, sharp debating skills that cleverly utilised broad literary and historical knowledge. Pitt was the grandson of Thomas Pitt, the governor of Madras, known as "Diamond" Pitt for having discovered a diamond of extraordinary size and sold it to the Duke of Orléans for around £135,000; this transaction, as well as other trading deals in India, established the Pitt family fortune.
After returning home the Governor was able to raise his family to a position of wealth and political influence: in 1691 he purchased the property of Boconnoc in Cornwall, which gave him control of a seat in Parliament. He made further land purchases and became one of the dominant political figures in the West Country controlling seats such as the rotten borough of Old Sarum. William's father was Robert Pitt, the eldest son of Governor Pitt, who served as a Tory Member of Parliament from 1705 to 1727, his mother was Harriet Villiers, the daughter of Edward Villiers-FitzGerald and the Irish heiress Katherine FitzGerald. Both William's paternal uncles Thomas and John were MPs, while his aunt Lucy married the leading Whig politician and soldier General James Stanhope. From 1717 to 1721 Stanhope served as effective First Minister in the Stanhope–Sunderland Ministry and was a useful political contact for the Pitt family until the collapse of the South Sea Bubble, a disaster which engulfed the government.
William Pitt was born at Golden Square, Westminster, on 15 November 1708. His older brother Thomas Pitt had been born in 1704. There were five sisters: Harriet, Ann and Mary. From 1719 William was educated at Eton College along with his brother. William disliked Eton claiming that "a public school might suit a boy of turbulent disposition but would not do where there was any gentleness", it was at school. In 1726 Governor Pitt died, the family estate at Boconnoc passed to William's father; when he died the following year, Boconnoc was inherited by William's elder brother, Thomas Pitt of Boconnoc. In January 1727, William was entered as a gentleman commoner at Oxford. There is evidence, if not a minutely accurate classical scholar. Demosthenes was his favourite author. William diligently cultivated the faculty of expression by the practice of translation and re-translation. In these years he became a close friend of George Lyttelton, who would become a leading politician. In 1728 a violent attack of gout compelled him to leave Oxford University without finishing his degree.
He chose to travel abroad. He spent some time in France and Italy on the Grand Tour and from 1728 to 1730 he attended Utrecht University in the Dutch Republic, he had recovered from the attack of gout, but the disease proved intractable, he continued to be subject to attacks of growing intensity at frequent intervals until his death. On Pitt's return home in 1730 it was necessary as the younger son, to choose a profession. For around eighteen months Pitt stayed at his brother's estate in Cornwall, he had at one point been considered to join the Church but instead opted for a military career. Having chosen the army, he obtained, through the assistance of his friends, a cornet's commission in the dragoons with the King's Own Regiment of Horse. George II never forgot the jibes of "the terrible cornet of horse", it was reported that the £1,000 cost of the commission had been supplied by Robert Walpole, the prime minister, out of Treasury funds in an attempt to secure the support of Pitt's brother Thomas in Parliament.
Alternatively the fee may have been waived by the commanding officer of the regiment, Lord Cobham, related to the Pitt brothers by marriage. Pitt was to grow close to Cobham, whom he regarded as a surrogat
Henry Wise (gardener)
Henry Wise was an English gardener and nurseryman. He was apprenticed to George London, working at Brompton Nursery, on the present site of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the two worked as partners on parterre gardens at Hampton Court, Chelsea Hospital, Chatsworth, Melbourne Hall, Wimpole Hall and Castle Howard, drawing inspiration from engravings of contemporary garden designs in France and the Netherlands. Wise and London translated into English two well-known French texts on gardening; the resulting work was titled "The Retir'd Gard'ner, in Two Volumes: the Whole Revis'd, with Several Alterations and Additions, Which Render It Proper for Our English Culture." The book went through several printings thanks to its popularity. Kensington Gardens were laid out by Henry Wise and Charles Bridgeman with fashionable features including the Round Pond, formal avenues and a sunken "Dutch" garden. Queen Anne of Great Britain and King George I both appointed him to the post of Royal Gardener. Although the Brompton nursery passed into other hands, Wise retained Brompton Park.
His will, in 1734, directed his heir to remove all the pictures remaining at Brompton to his house at Warwick. Wise purchased the manor of The Priory, Warwick, he purchased the estate and the mansion and retired there as a country squire in 1727. Henry Wise died at The Priory on 15 Dec 1738, said to be worth some £200,000 – far more than some of his clients; the writer and garden designer Stephen Switzer trained with Wise. Green, David B. Gardener to Queen Anne: Henry Wise and the Formal Garden 1956. Harvey, John. Early Nurserymen 1974. Willson, E. J. West London Nursery Gardens 1982. Charles Quest-Ritson; the English Garden: A Social History. David R. Godine. ISBN 1567922643
Sir John Soane's Museum
Sir John Soane's Museum is a house museum, the home of the neo-classical architect John Soane. It holds many drawings and models of Soane's projects and the collections of paintings and antiquities that he assembled; the museum is located in Holborn, adjacent to Lincoln's Inn Fields. It is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture and Sport. Soane demolished and rebuilt three houses in succession on the north side of Lincoln's Inn Fields, he began with No. 12, externally a plain brick house. After becoming Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy in 1806, Soane purchased No. 13, the house next door, today the museum, rebuilt it in two phases in 1808–09 and 1812. In 1808–09 Soane constructed his drawing office and "museum" on the site of the former stable block at the back, using top lighting. In 1812 he rebuilt the front part of the site, adding a projecting Portland Stone façade to the basement and first floor levels and the centre bay of the second floor; this formed three open loggias, but Soane glazed the arches during his lifetime.
Once he had moved into No. 13, Soane rented out his former home at No. 12. After completing No.13, Soane set about treating the building as an architectural laboratory, continually remodelling the interiors. In 1823, when he was over 70, he purchased No. 14, which he rebuilt in 1823–24. This project allowed him to construct a picture gallery, linked to No.13, on the former stable block of No. 14. The front main part of this third house was let as an investment; when he died No. 14 was passed out of the museum's ownership. The museum was established during Soane's own lifetime by a Private Act of Parliament in 1833, which took effect on Soane's death in 1837; the Act required that No. 13 be maintained "as nearly as possible" as it was left at the time of Soane's death, and, done. The Act was necessary because Sir John had a living direct male heir, his son George, with whom he had had a "lifelong feud" due to George's debts, refusal to engage in a trade, his marriage, of which Sir John disapproved.
He wrote an "anonymous, defamatory piece for the Sunday papers about Sir John, calling him a cheat, a charlatan and a copyist". Since under contemporary inheritance law George would have been able to lay claim to Sir John's property on his death, Sir John engaged in a lengthy parliamentary campaign to disinherit his son via a private Act, setting out to "reverse the fundamental laws of hereditary succession". According to some; the Soane Museum Act was passed in April 1833 and stipulated that on Soane's death his house and collections would pass into the care of a Board of Trustees, on behalf of the nation, that they should be preserved as nearly as possible as they were left at his death. Towards the end of the 19th century a break-through was made to re-connect the rear rooms of No. 12 through to the museum in No. 13 and since 1969 No. 12 has been run by the Trustees as part of the Museum, housing the research library, offices and, since 1995, the Eva Jiřičná-designed'Soane Gallery' for temporary exhibitions.
The museum's trustees remained independent, relying only on Soane's original endowment, until 1947. Since that date the museum has received an annual Grant-in-Aid from the British Government; the Soane Museum is now a national centre for the study of architecture. From 1988 to 2005 a programme of restoration within the Museum was carried out under Peter Thornton and Margaret Richardson with spaces such as the Drawing Rooms, Picture Room and Dressing Room, Picture Room Recess and others being put back to their original colour schemes and in most cases having their original sequences of objects reinstated. In 1997 the trustees purchased the main house at No. 14 with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund. The house was restored and has enabled the Museum to expand its educational activities, to re-locate its Research Library into that house, to create a Robert Adam Study Centre where Soane's collection of 9,000 Robert Adam drawings is housed in purpose-designed new cabinets by Senior and Carmichael.
The acquisition of No. 14 enabled the Museum, under its new Director, Tim Knox, to embark on'Opening up the Soane', an ambitious project to complete the restoration of the museum's historic spaces. It is funded by the Monument Trust, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Soane Foundation in New York, other private trusts; the Museum's architects for this major £7 million programme are Julian Harrap Architects. Phase 1 began on site in March 2011, was completed in 2013, it included the re-configuration of No. 12, moving the temporary exhibition gallery up to the first floor, to enable new reception facilities and a shop to be created on the ground floor. This phase included the creation of new conservation studios, named the John and Cynthia Fry Gunn Conservation Centre, the installation of lifts to provide disabled access to all public parts of the building for the first time. Phase 2 saw the restoration of Soane's private
Historic England is an executive non-departmental public body of the British Government sponsored by the Department for Culture and Sport. It is tasked with protecting the historical environment of England by preserving and listing historic buildings, ancient monuments and advising central and local government; the body was created by the National Heritage Act 1983, operated from April 1984 to April 2015 under the name of English Heritage. In 2015, following the changes to English Heritage's structure that moved the protection of the National Heritage Collection into the voluntary sector in the English Heritage Trust, the body that remained was rebranded as Historic England. Historic England has a similar remit to and complements the work of Natural England which aims to protect the natural environment; the body inherited the Historic England Archive from the old English Heritage, projects linked to the archive such as Britain from Above, which saw the archive work with the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland to digitise and put online 96,000 of the oldest Aerofilms images.
The archive holds various nationally important collections and the results of older projects such as the work of the National Buildings Record absorbed by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England and the Images of England project which set out to create a accessible online database of the 370,000 listed properties in England at a snapshot in time at the turn of the millennium. Historic England inherits English Heritage's position as the UK government's statutory adviser and a statutory consultee on all aspects of the historic environment and its heritage assets; this includes archaeology on land and under water, historic buildings sites and areas, designated landscapes and the historic elements of the wider landscape. It monitors and reports on the state of England's heritage and publishes the annual Heritage at Risk survey, one of the UK Government's Official statistics, it is tasked to secure the preservation and enhancement of the man-made heritage of England for the benefit of future generations.
Its remit involves: Caring for nationally important archive collections of photographs and other records which document the historic environment of England and date from the eighteenth century onwards. Giving grants national and local organisations for the conservation of historic buildings and landscapes. In 2013/14 over £13 million worth of grants were made to support heritage buildings. Advising central UK government on which English heritage assets are nationally important and should be protected by designation. Administering and maintaining the register of England's listed buildings, scheduled monuments, registered battlefields, World Heritage Sites and protected parks and gardens; this is published as an online resource as'The National Heritage List for England'. Advising local authorities on managing changes to the most important parts of heritage. Providing expertise through advice and guidance to improve the standards and skills of people working in heritage, practical conservation and access to resources.
In 2009–2010 it trained around 200 professionals working in local authorities and the wider sector. Consulting and collaborating with other heritage bodies and national planning organisations e.g. the preparation of Planning Policy statement for the Historic Environment Commissioning and conducting archaeological research, including the publication of'Heritage Counts' and ‘Heritage at Risk’ on behalf of the heritage sector which are the annual research surveys into the state of England's heritage. It is not responsible for approving alterations to listed buildings; the management of listed buildings is the responsibility of local planning authorities and the Department for Communities and Local Government. It owns the National Heritage Collection of nationally important historic sites in public care; however they do not run these sites as this function is instead carried out by the English Heritage Trust under licence until 2023. English Heritage Historic England Archive Cadw Historic Scotland Northern Ireland Environment Agency Manx National Heritage Department for Culture and Sport Conservation in the United Kingdom Heritage at Risk Historic houses in England National Trust Properties in England Heritage Open Days List of Conservation topics List of heritage registers List of museums in England Heritage film Official website The Historic England Archive: Search over 1 million catalogue entries describing photographs and drawings of England's buildings and historic sites, held in the Historic England Archive.
Britain from Above: presents the unique Aerofilms collection of aerial photographs from 1919-1953. Images of England website Heritage Explorer: Education site for teachers Department for Culture Media and Sport
Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens, was an English architect known for imaginatively adapting traditional architectural styles to the requirements of his era. He designed war memorials and public buildings. In his biography, the writer Christopher Hussey wrote, "In his lifetime was held to be our greatest architect since Wren if not, as many maintained, his superior"; the architectural historian Gavin Stamp described him as "surely the greatest British architect of the twentieth century". Lutyens played an instrumental role in designing and building New Delhi, which would on serve as the seat of the Government of India. In recognition of his contribution, New Delhi is known as "Lutyens' Delhi". In collaboration with Sir Herbert Baker, he was the main architect of several monuments in New Delhi such as the India Gate. Lutyens was born in Kensington, the tenth of thirteen children of Captain Charles Henry Augustus Lutyens, a soldier and painter, Mary Theresa Gallwey from Killarney, Ireland, he grew up in Surrey.
He was named after a friend of the painter and sculptor Edwin Henry Landseer. Lutyens studied architecture at South Kensington School of Art, London from 1885 to 1887. After college he joined the Ernest Harold Peto architectural practice, it was here. For many years he worked from offices at London, he began his own practice in 1888, his first commission being a private house at Crooksbury, Surrey. During this work, he met horticulturalist Gertrude Jekyll. In 1896 he began work on a house for Jekyll at Munstead Wood near Surrey, it was the beginning of a professional partnership that would define the look of many Lutyens country houses. The "Lutyens-Jekyll" garden had hardy shrubbery and herbaceous plantings within a structural architecture of stairs and balustraded terraces; this combined style, of the formal with the informal, exemplified by brick paths, herbaceous borders, with plants such as lilies, lupins and lavender, was in contrast to the formal bedding schemes favoured by the previous generation in the 19th century.
This "natural" style was to define the "English garden" until modern times. Lutyens' fame grew through the popularity of the new lifestyle magazine Country Life created by Edward Hudson, which featured many of his house designs. Hudson was a great admirer of Lutyens' style and commissioned Lutyens for a number of projects, including Lindisfarne Castle and the Country Life headquarters building in London, at 8 Tavistock Street. One of his assistants in the 1890s was Maxwell Ayrton. By the turn of the century, Lutyens was recognised as one of architecture's coming men. In his major study of English domestic buildings, Das Englische Haus, published in 1904, Hermann Muthesius wrote of Lutyens, "He is a young man who has come to the forefront of domestic architects and who may soon become the accepted leader among English builders of houses"; the bulk of Lutyens' early work consisted of private houses in an Arts and Crafts style influenced by Tudor architecture and the vernacular styles of south-east England.
This was the most innovative phase of his career. Important works of this period include Munstead Wood, Tigbourne Court and Goddards in Surrey, Deanery Garden and Folly Farm in Berkshire, Overstrand Hall in Norfolk and Le Bois des Moutiers in France. After about 1900 this style gave way to a more conventional Classicism, a change of direction which had a profound influence on wider British architectural practice, his commissions were of a varied nature from private houses to two churches for the new Hampstead Garden Suburb in London to Julius Drewe's Castle Drogo near Drewsteignton in Devon and on to his contributions to India's new imperial capital, New Delhi. Here he added elements of local architectural styles to his classicism, based his urbanisation scheme on Mughal water gardens, he designed the Hyderabad House for the last Nizam of Hyderabad, as his Delhi palace. Before the end of the First World War, he was appointed one of three principal architects for the Imperial War Graves Commission and was involved with the creation of many monuments to commemorate the dead.
Larger cemeteries have a Stone of Remembrance, designed by him. The best known of these monuments are the Cenotaph in Whitehall and the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, Thiepval; the Cenotaph was commissioned by David Lloyd George as a temporary structure to be the centrepiece of the Allied Victory Parade in 1919. Lloyd George proposed a catafalque, a low empty platform, but it was Lutyens' idea for the taller monument; the design took less than six hours to complete. Lutyens designed many other war memorials, others are based on or inspired by Lutyens' designs. Examples of Lutyens' other war memorials include the War Memorial Gardens in Dublin, the Tower Hill memorial, the Manchester Cenotaph and the Arch of Remembrance memorial in Leicester. Lutyens refurbished Lindisfarne Castle for its wealthy owner. One of Lutyens' smaller works, but considered one of his masterpieces, is The Salutation, a house in Sandwich, England. Built in 1911–1912 with a 3.7-acre garden, it was commissioned by Henry Farrer, one of three sons of Sir William Farrer.
He was knighted as a knight bachelor in 1918 and elected a Royal Academician in March 1920. In 1924, he was appointed a member of the newly created Royal Fi
John Adams was an American statesman, diplomat and Founding Father who served as the second president of the United States from 1797 to 1801. Before his presidency he was a leader of the American Revolution that achieved independence from Great Britain, served as the first vice president of the United States. Adams was a dedicated diarist and corresponded with many important figures in early American history including his wife and adviser and his letters and other papers are an important source of historical information about the era. A lawyer and political activist prior to the revolution, Adams was devoted to the right to counsel and presumption of innocence, he defied anti-British sentiment and defended British soldiers against murder charges arising from the Boston Massacre. Adams was a Massachusetts delegate to the Continental Congress and became a principal leader of the Revolution, 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 secured vital governmental loans. Adams was the primary author of the Massachusetts Constitution in 1780, which influenced the United States' own constitution, as did his earlier Thoughts on Government. Adams was elected to two terms as vice president under President George Washington and was elected as the United States' second president in 1796. During his single term, Adams encountered fierce criticism from the Jeffersonian Republicans and from some in his own Federalist Party, led by his rival Alexander Hamilton. Adams signed the controversial Alien and Sedition Acts and built up the Army and Navy in the undeclared "Quasi-War" with France; the main accomplishment of his presidency was a peaceful resolution of this conflict in the face of public anger and Hamilton's opposition. During his term, he became the first president to reside in the executive mansion now known as the White House. In his bid for reelection, opposition from Federalists and accusations of despotism from Republicans led to Adams's loss to his former friend Thomas Jefferson, he retired to Massachusetts.
He resumed his friendship with Jefferson by initiating a correspondence that lasted fourteen years. He and his wife generated a family of politicians and historians now referred to as the Adams political family, which includes their son John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States. John Adams died on the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, hours after Jefferson's death. Surveys of historians and scholars have favorably ranked his administration. John Adams was born on October 1735 to John Adams Sr. and Susanna Boylston. He had two younger brothers and Elihu. Adams was born on the family farm in Massachusetts, his mother was from a leading medical family of Massachusetts. His father was a deacon in the Congregational Church, a farmer, a cordwainer, a lieutenant in the militia. John Sr. supervised the building of schools and roads. Adams praised his father and recalled their close relationship. Adams's great-grandfather Henry Adams emigrated to Massachusetts from Braintree, England around 1638.
Though raised in modest surroundings, Adams felt pressured to live up to his heritage. His was a family of Puritans, who profoundly affected their region's culture and traditions. By the time of John Adams's birth, Puritan tenets such as predestination had waned and many of their severe practices moderated, but Adams still "considered them bearers of freedom, a cause that still had a holy urgency." Adams recalled that his parents "held every Species of Libertinage in... Contempt and horror," and detailed "pictures of disgrace, or baseness and of Ruin" resulting from any debauchery. Adams noted that "As a child I enjoyed the greatest of blessings that can be bestowed upon men – that of a mother, anxious and capable to form the characters of her children."Adams, as the eldest child, was compelled to obtain a formal education. This began at age six at a dame school for boys and girls, conducted at a teacher's home, was centred upon The New England Primer. Shortly thereafter, Adams attended Braintree Latin School under Joseph Cleverly, where studies included Latin, rhetoric and arithmetic.
Adams's early education included incidents of truancy, a dislike for his master, a desire to become a farmer. All discussion on the matter ended with his father's command that he remain in school: "You shall comply with my desires." Deacon Adams hired a new schoolmaster named Joseph Marsh, his son responded positively. At age sixteen, Adams entered Harvard College in 1751; as an adult, Adams was a keen scholar, studying the works of ancient writers such as Thucydides, Plato and Tacitus in their original languages. Though his father expected him to be a minister, after his 1755 graduation with an A. B. degree, he taught school while pondering his permanent vocation. In the next four years, he began to seek prestige, craving "Honour or Reputation" and "more defference from fellows", was determined to be "a great Man." He decided to become a lawyer to further those ends, writing his father that he found among lawyers "noble and gallant achievements" but, among the clergy, the "pretended sanctity of some absolute dunces."
His aspirations conflicted with his Puritanism, prompting reservations about his self-described "trumpery" and failure to share the "happiness of fellow men."As the French and Indian War began in 1754, Ada