Life After the Presidency
John Adams retired from public life to his farm. He spent his time reading and corresponding with old friends. In 1812, Adams and Jefferson reconciled when Adams wrote, “You and I ought not to die before we have explained ourselves to each other.” They continued their letter writing until their deaths.
Due to illnesses including a light case of smallpox, which was treated with a milk diet and daily doses of mercury, Adams eventually lost most of his teeth and spent his later years with a pronounced lisp.
Adams was able to live long enough to see his son John Quincy Adams become the sixth president in 1825. John Quincy Adams had won a narrow victory over Andrew Jackson. Thankfully, Adams did not live to see his son lose to Jackson in 1828 after a fierce campaign full of bitterness.
John Adams died on July 4, 1826, the fiftieth anniversary of the ratification of the Declaration of Independence. Ironically, this was the same day as Jefferson's death. Adams last words were, “Thomas Jefferson still survives.”He was ninety years old when he died.