By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on
John Adams (1735 - 1826) used the law as his guiding light. He wrote careful legal arguments exposing abuses by King and Parliament. Yet he also defended British soldiers charged after the Boston Massacre. Adams helped write the Massachusetts Constitution and served on the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence. Also, Adams participated in the first peaceful transfer of executive power when he succeeded Washington as the United States' second president.