Despite the occurrence of slave-holding presidents in the early years of the nation’s history, John Adams, the second President of the United States, proves an exception. He was the first resident of the White House, and whilst slave labourers did work to construct the iconic residence, Adams himself never owned slaves. He was considered as holding “moderate” views on slavery and decided to listen to the message of the Declaration of Independence.
Like his father before him, Adam’s son, John Quincy, the sixth U.S. President, also did not holds slaves during his lifetime. In his final years, and the years where he was not holding office, Adams sought to oppose the institution of slavery and spread the message of freedom for all regardless of race.