Were it not for his father, John Adams might have lived and died an anonymous farmer, never venturing far from his small Massachusetts hometown of Braintree. Bored with his studies in the town's one-room schoolhouse, the boy wanted to drop out and go to work on the family farm. But, recognizing that his eldest son had a bright mind, Mr. Adams insisted that he continue his education. That fatherly decision turned out to have fortunate consequences for John Adams' and for the entire United States. As a delegate to the Continental Congress, Adams would bring his education, legal training, and well-honed skills as a public speaker to Philadelphia, where he became the most eloquent and effective champion for adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Years later, Braintree's leading citizen would be elected the second president of the nation he had done so much to help create.
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