In 1870 Charles Francis Adams built the first presidential library in the United States, to honor his father John Quincy Adams.
More DetailsHide DetailsThe Stone Library includes over 14,000 books written in twelve languages. The library is located on the property of the "Old House" (also known as "Peacefield") at Adams National Historical Park in Quincy, Massachusetts.
Back in Boston, Adams declined the presidency of Harvard University, but became one of its overseers in 1869.
He resigned to become Lincoln's minister (ambassador) to the Court of St. James (Britain) from 1861 to 1868.
More DetailsHide DetailsPowerful Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner had wanted the position, and became alienated from Adams. Britain had already recognized Confederate belligerency, but Adams was instrumental in maintaining British neutrality and preventing British diplomatic recognition of the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Part of those duties included correspondence with British civilians including Karl Marx and the International Workingmen's Association. Adams and his son, Henry Adams, who acted as his private secretary, also were kept busy monitoring Confederate diplomatic intrigues and the construction of rebel commerce raiders by British shipyards (like the hull N°290, launched as "Enrica" by John Laird & Sons, and which was soon transformed near the Azores Islands into sloop-of-war CSS Alabama).
As a Republican, Adams was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1858, where he chaired the Committee on Manufactures.
The younger Adams, fresh from his edition of the letters of his grandmother, Abigail Adams, took up the project that his father had left uncompleted, and between 1850 and 1856 turned out not just the two volumes of the biography but eight further volumes presenting editions of John Adams's Diary and Autobiography, his major political writings, and a selection of letters and speeches.
More DetailsHide DetailsThis edition, titled The Works of John Adams, Esq., Second President of the United States, was the only edition of John Adams's writings until the family donated the cache of Adams papers to the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1954 and authorized the creation of the Adams Papers project; the modern project had published accurate scholarly editions of John Adams's diary and autobiography, several volumes of Adams family correspondence, two volumes on the portraits of John and Abigail Adams and John Quincy and Louisa Catherine Adams, and the early years of the diary of Charles Francis Adams. Charles Francis Adams published a revised edition of the biography in 1871.
Adams was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1841, served in the state senate 1844–1845, founded and edited the journal Boston Whig in 1846, and was the unsuccessful nominee of the Free Soil Party for Vice President of the United States in 1848.
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