Vice President and President: 1789-1801

December 3, 1789

I really wanted to be the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, but now I’m the Vice-President. Isn’t that such a dreadfully dull title? Just say it to yourself – Vice President. There’s nothing majestic or grandiose about such a boring label. Meanwhile, George Washington, Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, was elected to be the President of the United States. Again, isn’t that just the worst title? At least King George III is called “His Majesty” or “His Highness.” What do we call Washington? “Mr. President.” What is wrong with a fancier title for the most important leader in our newly-established country?

Here is a picture of our first president. He is working hard and I respect his ambitions, although, frankly, I believe that I would do a better job as president. Maybe I shall run for the office one day.

And George Washington never asks me for anything! I grow weary of this second-fiddle position; in fact, I told my wife that “my country has in its wisdom contrived for me the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived.” I want to be in a position of power, of influence, of might, and not in this essentially meaningless position of powerlessness.

July 24, 1796

Finally, this boring role as Vice President has been lifted from my shoulders. I am now working toward the position of President. Well, I guess that “working toward” may not be entirely accurate. I finally have the chance to stay home with my family, and stay out of the political games and webs of deceit. However, the Federalist Party (of which I am a member) is campaigning for me.

My strongest competition right now comes from Thomas Jefferson, who is a member of the opposing party (the Democratic-Republicans). How I loathe these political parties! I believe that they unnecessarily divide our United States, and they create absurd problems. I know of a family where the husband sides with the Democratic-Republicans, and the wife belongs to the Federalist Party! This splits their household, and for what? A few differences in ideology?

I resent the opinion of Hamilton and his followers. They believe that I am too vain and hotheaded to become a respected president. My outspokenness is well-known throughout the colonies, but that will not interfere with my duties. As long as everyone agrees with my opinions, we shall have no conflict.

December 22, 1801

Goodness, I have not had the time to write in this important journal for many years. During my presidency, I have been so busy.

Here is a portrait of me that was completed during my presidency. There is a certain…air about this piece of art, I think. A certain…grandeur.

I still prefer a grander title – something like “His Supreme High Eminency” or “His High Mightiness.” With all the work I accomplished during my time in office, I think I deserve a grander title than “President Adams.” As a result of my preference for grand titles (and as a comment about my weight), my adversaries now call me “His Rotundity.” Of all the nerve…but this is beside the point.

First, I must begin by emphasizing my goals while in office. Above all, I wanted the citizens of the United States of America to abide by an upright moral code. In my pamphlet called Thoughts on Government (which I’ve already mentioned in this journal), I wrote that “the noblest principles and most generous affections in our nature, then, have the fairest chance to support the noblest and most generous models of government.” I still believe that this idea is true, and I tried to exemplify the “noblest principles” as President.

Another major goal of my administration was the growth of our military. I believe that a strong military is important because, if we are to be considered a country, we must have the means with which to defend our citizens. The government can protect our citizens’ right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” and this protection can only be guaranteed through a powerful military. To ensure this protection, I worked to build up both our army and our navy.

Because of my concerted efforts, the United States avoided a major war with France. The public pressure to enter into battle was immense, and I believe I lost my second bid for presidency because I kept the peace. But allow me to explain my rationale, which is quite simple: France was rapidly conquering Europe – a collection of countries that has been established for centuries. Why would I send my new nation into the midst of such a struggle? Let this statement be written on my tombstone: “Here lies John Adams, who took upon himself the responsibility of Peace with France in the year 1800.” It describes the proudest moment of my presidency, and no matter what people say, I shall never regret the decision to avoid war.

Here is a picture of the Presidential mansion, where I lived during my last year in office:

I was defeated in this second presidential election because of this fateful decision to stay out of war. However, I prefer to blame my defeat on the disorganized Federalist party. George Washington’s death removed the leader of our party, and Jefferson’s party had the better-organized campaign. The defeat hurt my pride, to be sure, but I have always wanted to be a farmer. Ever since I was a boy, I’ve dreamed of working the ground. So now I live in Massachusetts, where I plan to read, spend time with my lovely wife, and communicate with old friends.

Photo Credits:

George Washington:

John Adams:

First White House:


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