In 1755 the town of Worcester sent its minister, Thaddeus Maccarty, to Cambridge. His mission was to observe the new graduates of Harvard College and to offer to one of them the position of teacher. Maccarty, himself a Harvard alumnus, listened to a speech given by newly graduated John Adams of Braintree. Maccarty was so impressed with Adams that he offered him the job, which Adams accepted. For the next three years John Adams lived in Worcester, teaching school at what is now Lincoln Square.
At the conclusion of his first year, Adams decided that his life’s vocation would be tied with the law. He began a legal apprenticeship under James Putnam (while still holding his full-time teaching position). Living at Putnam’s house, Adams studied law in the office that Putnam maintained in the mansion of Sheriff Gardiner Chandler.
In 1758 Adams left Worcester to return to his hometown and practice law in Suffolk County. Adams later defended British officers in the Boston Massacre trial, became a member of the Continental Congress, served as a diplomat, and became vice president and then president of the United States. Adams’ legal mentor, James Putnam, was an ardent Tory and eventually had to leave Massachusetts, settling in Canada. where he became a senior judge in the province of New Brunswick.