The picture painted by the biography of John Adams is one of a man of great integrity and honesty. Some examples,
- His concern for how the commissioners to the French in Paris spent the public money. (Ben Franklin seemed to have no records of what he spent and avoided accountability)
- He kept a detailed journal in which he regularly criticized his own behavior and pledged efforts at self improvement.
- By all accounts he was quite faithful to his wife despite being separated by the Atlantic Ocean for over 3 years.
- During negotiations of the Treaty of Paris, the British wanted Americans to have to pay any debts they owed British merchants that were incurred before the war broke out. The other Americans wanted to avoid any treaty language on this. Adams felt, however, that the only honorable thing was to pay these as legitimate debts unrelated to the war.