When the pilgrims arrived in the Massachusetts area they found it inhabited by several different groups of Algonquian people. As the number of settlers increased to 20,000, the colonial-Native American relations deteriorated into King Phillip’s War. The colonists prevailed.
Massachusetts was the stage for the major pre-revolutionary events: the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party and the shots fired at Lexington.
Massachusetts was the sixth of the original 13 states to ratify the Constitution.
Massachusetts has many remarkable sons and daughters. Among them is the first father-son presidential team ⎯ John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams.
John Adams and his son both graduated from Harvard and both had extensive experience in government prior to the presidency.
John Adams was George Washington’s vice president for eight years and was elected president in 1796. During his term, he refused to declare war on France and signed the Alien and Sedition Act.
He did not run for a second term, retired to his farm, wrote and then died July 4, 1826, the same day as Thomas Jefferson, the 15th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
John Quincy Adams was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1803, and during the Monroe presidency, was appointed Secretary of State. He ran for president in 1824. It was a tie and he was selected president by the House of Representatives.
Adams was defeated by Andrew Jackson in 1828. He was then elected to the House of Representatives for 17 consecutive years.
During this time, he was an anti-slavery force, opposed the annexation of Texas, and opposed the Mexican War.
On Feb. 23, 1848, he died of a stroke in the House of Representatives.