John Quincy Adams
American politician
John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams /ˈkwɪnzi/ was the sixth President of the United States. He served as an American diplomat, Senator, and Congressional representative. He was a member of the Federalist, Democratic-Republican, National Republican, and later Anti-Masonic and Whig parties. Adams was the son of former President John Adams and Abigail Adams.
John Quincy Adams's personal information overview.
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John Adams: Wait for football too long; season too fast - GoVolsXtra
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You know how it goes. August drags along like a blocking sled being pushed by sportswriters. But once the college football season starts, the days fly by like plays in Oregon's offense. If August inches along for fans, you can make an
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John Adams: Experience pays off for Kirk Triplett - Knoxville News Sentinel
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Kirk Triplett hoists the championship trophy after winning the News Sentinel Open presented by Pilot with a 21-under at Fox Den Country Club Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011. Triplett shot 4-under for the day and finished two strokes ahead of second place winner
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John Adams: Coaching consistency will pay off for Vols - GoVolsXtra
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Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley watches a replay on the Jumbotron during the Orange and White game at Neyland Stadium Saturday, April 16, 2011. One season isn't long enough to judge a football coach. But if you're already determined to
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Niles credits defense against John Adams - Youngstown Vindicator
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In a fight to the finish, Niles defeated Cleveland John Adams 17-15 on Friday at Bo Rein Stadium. Niles led 17-7 after three quarters, but John Adams narrowed the scoring gap to two points with a fourth quarter touchdown when William Doyle
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John Adams: News Sentinel Open goes from survival to success - Knoxville News Sentinel
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This News Sentinel Open doesn't look much different from the last one on first glance. John Daly is back. So are his fans and Loudmouth pants. The weather is good. The scores are even better. And tournament director Patrick Nichol is
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Marriage equality - Salt Lake Tribune
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Clark seems to think that Founding Fathers George Washington and John Adams would assail the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community! Washington and Adams were both religious and champions of the Enlightenment. Within their tradition of
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John Adams, too, deserves a monument - Tulsa World
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But in my view, it is unfortunate that there is no grand monument to one of the most important Founders, our second president, John Adams. It is widely acknowledged by historians that he was a guiding force in encouraging and inspiring the colonists to
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Sedition Act becomes law, July 14, 1798 - Politico
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It carried an expiration date of March 3, 1801, the day before John Adams's presidential term ended. With the fledgling United States engaged in naval hostilities against revolutionary France in a “quasi-war,” Alexander Hamilton and congressional
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John Adams: Haas an example of passing Tour torch - Knoxville News Sentinel
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Hunter Haas isn't playing in this year's News Sentinel Open. But he's still a part of it. So is almost every other golfer on the Nationwide Tour who has advanced to the PGA Tour. The attraction of this August's Knoxville Open isn't just
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John Adams Deserves a Monument in Washington - U.S. News & World Report (blog)
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Writing in The Washington Post, Alexander Heffner recently asked, “Why doesn't John Adams have a memorial?” It's a good question. Adams, the second president of the United States, was a seminal figure in the American struggle for
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John Adams: Off-the-field adjustments now crucial - GoVolsXtra
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Some take minutes. Others take years. And the quickness with which they are made determines games and championships. A defensive coach might figure out a subtle change in an opponent's blocking scheme between downs
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of John Quincy Adams
  • 1848
    Died on February 23, 1848.
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  • 1847
    Although there is no indication that the two were close, Adams met Abraham Lincoln during the latter's sole term as a member of the House of Representatives, from 1847 until Adams' death.
    More Details Hide Details Thus, it has been suggested that Adams is the only major figure in American history who knew both the Founding Fathers and Abraham Lincoln; however, this is not so, as Martin Van Buren met Founding Fathers Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, knew Founder Aaron Burr (Van Buren's mentor), and met the young Lincoln while on a campaign trip through Illinois.
  • 1846
    In 1846, the 78-year-old former president suffered a stroke that left him partially paralyzed. After a few months of rest, he made a full recovery and resumed his duties in Congress. When Adams entered the House chamber, everyone "stood up and applauded." On February 21, 1848, the House of Representatives was discussing the matter of honoring U.S. Army officers who served in the Mexican–American War.
    More Details Hide Details Adams had been a vehement critic of the war, and as Congressmen rose up to say, "Aye!" in favor of the measure, he instead yelled, "No!" He rose to answer a question put forth by Speaker of the House Robert Charles Winthrop. Immediately thereafter, Adams collapsed, having suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage. Two days later, on February 23, he died with his wife and youngest son at his side in the Speaker's Room inside the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. His last words were "This is the last of earth. I am content." He died at 7:20 p.m. First term Representative Abraham Lincoln of Illinois was assigned to the committee making the funeral arrangements. His original interment was temporary, in the public vault at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C. Later, he was interred in the family burial ground in Quincy, Massachusetts, across from the First Parish Church, called Hancock Cemetery. After Louisa's death in 1852, his son Charles Francis Adams had his parents reinterred in the expanded family crypt in the United First Parish Church across the street, next to John and Abigail. Both tombs are viewable by the public. Adams' original tomb at Hancock Cemetery is still there and marked simply "J.Q. Adams".
  • 1843
    In 1843, Adams sat for the earliest confirmed photograph still in existence of a U.S. president, although other sources contend that William Henry Harrison had posed even earlier for his portrait, in 1841.
    More Details Hide Details The original daguerreotype is in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution.
  • 1841
    Adams appeared on 24 February 1841, and spoke for four hours.
    More Details Hide Details His argument succeeded; the Court ruled in favor of the Africans, who were declared free and returned to their homes. Among his opponents was US President Martin Van Buren who had carried the fight over the Amistad slaves to the US Supreme Court. In the following years, the Spanish government continued to press the US for compensation for the ship, cargo and slaves. Several southern lawmakers introduced resolutions into the United States Congress to appropriate money for such payment but failed to gain passage, although supported by Democratic presidents James K. Polk and James Buchanan.
    In 1841, at the request of Lewis Tappan and Ellis Gray, Adams joined the case of United States v. The Amistad.
    More Details Hide Details Adams went before the Supreme Court on behalf of African slaves who had revolted and seized the Spanish ship Amistad.
  • 1839
    In 1839, he was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society.
    More Details Hide Details In Congress, he was chair of the Committee on Commerce and Manufactures, the Committee on Indian Affairs and the Committee on Foreign Affairs. A longtime opponent of slavery, Adams used his new role in Congress to fight it. In 1836, Southern Representatives voted in a "gag rule" that immediately tabled any petitions about slavery, thus preventing any discussion or debate of the slavery issue. He became a forceful opponent of this rule and conceived a way around it, attacking slavery in the House for two weeks. The gag rule prevented him from bringing slavery petitions to the floor, but he brought one anyway. It was a petition from a Georgia citizen urging disunion due to the continuation of slavery in the South. Though he certainly did not support it and made that clear at the time, his intent was to antagonize the pro-slavery faction of Congress into an open fight on the matter. The plan worked.
  • 1834
    Adams withdrew and endorsed Davis, preferring him over Morton, and Davis was chosen by the legislature in January 1834.
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  • 1833
    Adams ran for Governor of Massachusetts in 1833 on the Anti-Masonic ticket.
    More Details Hide Details Incumbent National Republican Governor Levi Lincoln, Jr. was retiring and Adams faced National Republican John Davis, Democrat Marcus Morton and Samuel L. Allen of the Working Men's Party. Davis won a plurality, 40%, and Adams took 29% with Morton taking 25% and Allen 6%. Because no candidate had won a majority, the election was sent to the state legislature to decide.
  • 1831
    He was elected to nine terms, serving as a Representative for 17 years, from 1831 until his death.
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  • 1830
    Adams did not retire after leaving office. Instead he ran for and won a seat in the United States House of Representatives in the 1830 elections.
    More Details Hide Details This went against the generally held opinion that former Presidents should not run for public office. He was the first President to serve in Congress after his term of office, and one of only two former presidents to do so (Andrew Johnson later served in the Senate).
  • 1829
    John Quincy Adams left office on March 4, 1829, after losing the election of 1828 to Andrew Jackson.
    More Details Hide Details Adams did not attend the inauguration of his successor, Andrew Jackson, who had openly snubbed him by refusing to pay the traditional "courtesy call" to the outgoing president during the weeks before his own inauguration. He was one of only four presidents who chose not to attend their respective successor's inauguration; the others were his father, Andrew Johnson, and Richard Nixon.
  • 1828
    Besides his opposition to slavery and the gag rule (discussed above), his congressional career is remembered for several other key accomplishments. Shortly after Adams entered Congress, the Nullification Crisis threatened civil war over the Tariff of 1828.
    More Details Hide Details Adams authored an alteration to the tariff, which weakened it and diffused the crisis. Congress also passed the Force Bill which authorized President Andrew Jackson to use military force if Adams' compromise bill did not force the belligerent states to capitulate. There was no need, however, because Adams' compromise defused the issue. The compromise actually did not alter the tariff as much as the southern states had hoped, though they agreed not to continue pursuing the issue for fear of civil war.
    In authoring a change to the Tariff of 1828, he was instrumental to the compromise that ended the Nullification Crisis.
    More Details Hide Details When James Smithson died and left his estate to the U.S. government to build an institution of learning, many in Congress wanted to use the money for other purposes. Adams was key to ensuring that the money was instead used to build the Smithsonian Institution.
    For four years he worked hard, with help from his supporters in Congress, to defeat Adams in the presidential election of 1828.
    More Details Hide Details The campaign was very much a personal one. As was the tradition of the day and age in American presidential politics, neither candidate personally campaigned, but their political followers organized many campaign events. Both candidates were rhetorically attacked in the press. This reached a low point when the press accused Jackson's wife Rachel of bigamy. She died a few weeks after the elections. Jackson said he would forgive those who insulted him, but he would never forgive the ones who had attacked his wife. Adams lost the election by a decisive margin. He won all the same states that his father had won in the election of 1800: the New England states, New Jersey, and Delaware, as well as parts of New York and a majority of Maryland. Jackson won the rest of the states, picking up 178 electoral votes to Adams' 83 votes, and succeeded him. Adams and his father were the only U.S. presidents to serve a single term during the first 48 years of the Presidency (1789–1837). Historian Thomas Bailey observed, "Seldom has the public mind been so successfully poisoned against an honest and high-minded man."
    By signing into law the Tariff of 1828, quite unpopular in parts of the south, he further antagonized the Jacksonians.
    More Details Hide Details Adams' generous policy toward Native Americans caused him trouble. Settlers on the frontier, who were constantly seeking to move westward, cried for a more expansionist policy. When the federal government tried to assert authority on behalf of the Cherokees, the governor of Georgia took up arms. Adams defended his domestic agenda as continuing Monroe's policies. In contrast, Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren instigated the policy of Indian removal to the west (i.e. the Trail of Tears). Adams is regarded as one of the greatest diplomats in American history, and during his tenure as Secretary of State, he was the chief designer of the Monroe Doctrine. He had witnessed the First Barbary War and the Second Barbary War against the Arab pirates of North Africa, and the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Turks. Public opinion in the U.S. strongly favored the Greek cause and such leaders as Henry Clay called for intervention. Adams strongly opposed any entanglement in European affairs. According to Charles Edel, Adams believed that, "Intervention would accomplish little, retard the cause of republicanism, and distract the country from its primary goal of continental expansion". Moreover, fearful that U.S. intentions would outstrip its capabilities, Adams thought that projecting U.S. power abroad would weaken its gravitational force on the North American continent.
  • 1827
    After Adams lost control of Congress in 1827, the situation became more complicated.
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  • 1825
    In 1825 Adams signed a bill for the creation of a national observatory just before leaving presidential office.
    More Details Hide Details His efforts led to the founding in 1830 of what is now the oldest, still-operational scientific institution of the United States, the United States Naval Observatory. Adams in fact spent many nights at the Observatory, with celebrated national astronomer and oceanographer Matthew Fontaine Maury, watching and charting the stars, which had always been one of Adams' avocations. As for efforts to found the Smithsonian Institution, the money was invested in shaky state bonds, which quickly defaulted. After heated debate in Congress, Adams successfully argued to restore the lost funds with interest. Though Congress wanted to use the money for other purposes, Adams successfully persuaded Congress to preserve the money for an institution of science and learning. Congress also debated whether the federal government had the authority to accept the gift, though with Adams leading the initiative, Congress decided to accept the legacy bequeathed to the nation and pledged the faith of the United States to the charitable trust on July 1, 1836.
    After the inauguration of Adams in 1825, Jackson resigned from his senate seat.
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    Adams served as the sixth President of the United States from March 4, 1825, to March 4, 1829.
    More Details Hide Details He took the oath of office on a book of constitutional law, instead of the more traditional Bible. Adams proposed an elaborate program of internal improvements (roads, ports and canals), a national university, and federal support for the arts and sciences. He favored a high tariff to encourage the building of factories, and restricted land sales to slow the movement west. Opposition from the states' rights faction of a hostile congress killed many of his proposals. He also reduced the national debt from $16 million to $5 million, the remainder of which was paid off by his immediate successor, Andrew Jackson. Paul Nagel argues that his political acumen was not any less developed than others were in his day, and notes that Henry Clay, one of the era's most astute politicians, was a principal adviser to Adams and supporter throughout his presidency. Nagel argues that Adams' political problems were the result of an unusually hostile Jacksonian faction, and Adams' own dislike of the office. Although a product of the political culture of his day, he refused to play politics according to the usual rules and was not as aggressive in courting political support as he could have been. He was attacked by the followers of Jackson, who accused him of being a partner to a "corrupt bargain" to obtain Clay's support in the election and then appoint him Secretary of State. Jackson defeated Adams in 1828, and created the modern Democratic party thus inaugurating the Second Party System.
    Clay's personal dislike for Jackson and the similarity of his American System to Adams' position on tariffs and internal improvements caused him to throw his support to Adams, who was elected by the House on February 9, 1825, on the first ballot.
    More Details Hide Details Adams' victory shocked Jackson, who had won the most electoral and popular votes and fully expected to be elected president. When Adams appointed Clay as Secretary of State—the position that Adams and his three predecessors had held before becoming president—Jacksonian Democrats were outraged, and claimed that Adams and Clay had struck a "corrupt bargain". This contention overshadowed Adams' term and greatly contributed to Adams' loss to Jackson four years later, in the 1828 election.
  • 1824
    Adams was elected president in a close and controversial four-way contest in 1824.
    More Details Hide Details As president he sought to modernize the American economy and promote education. Adams enacted a part of his agenda and paid off much of the national debt. However he was stymied time and again by a Congress controlled by his enemies, and his lack of patronage networks helped politicians eager to undercut him. He lost his 1828 bid for re-election to Andrew Jackson. Adams is best known as a diplomat who shaped U.S. foreign policy in line with his ardently nationalist commitment to U.S. republican values. More recently, he has been portrayed as the exemplar and moral leader in an era of modernization. During Adams' lifetime, technological innovations and new means of communication spread messages of religious revival, social reform, and party politics. Goods, money, and people traveled more rapidly and efficiently than ever before. Adams was elected as U.S. Representative from Massachusetts after leaving office, serving for the last 17 years of his life with far greater acclaim than he had achieved as president. Animated by his growing revulsion against slavery, Adams became a leading opponent of the Slave Power. He predicted that if a civil war were to break out, the president could abolish slavery by using his war powers. Adams also predicted the Union's dissolution over the slavery issue, but said that if the South became independent there would be a series of bloody slave revolts.
  • 1823
    From this, Adams authored what came to be known as the Monroe Doctrine, which was introduced on December 2, 1823.
    More Details Hide Details It stated that further efforts by European countries to colonize land or interfere with states in the Americas would be viewed as acts of aggression requiring U.S. intervention. The United States, reflecting concerns raised by the United Kingdom, ultimately hoped to avoid having any European power take over Spain's colonies. It became a defining moment in the foreign policy of the United States and one of its longest-standing tenets, and would be invoked by many U.S. statesmen and several U.S. presidents, including Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and others. As the 1824 election drew near people began looking for candidates. New England voters admired Adams' patriotism and political skills and it was mainly due to their support that he entered the race. The old caucus system of the Democratic-Republican Party had collapsed; indeed the entire First Party System had collapsed and the election was a fight based on regional support. Adams had a strong base in New England. His opponents included John C. Calhoun, William H. Crawford, Henry Clay, and the hero of New Orleans, Andrew Jackson. During the campaign Calhoun dropped out, and Crawford fell ill giving further support to the other candidates. When Election Day arrived, Andrew Jackson won, although narrowly, pluralities of the popular and electoral votes, but not the necessary majority of electoral votes. With just over one-fourth voter turnout for the election, combined with Adams receiving less than one-third of the popular vote, Adams scored only 113,142 votes.
  • 1821
    By the time Monroe became president, several European powers, in particular Spain, were attempting to re-establish control over South America. On Independence Day 1821, in response to those who advocated American support for independence movements in many South American countries, Adams gave a speech in which he said that American policy was moral support for independence movements but not armed intervention.
    More Details Hide Details Adams foresaw what would befall the United States if it sacrificed its republican spirit on the altar of empire. He stated that America "goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy" lest she "involve herself beyond power of extrication, in all wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force." The United States, Adams warned, might "become the dictatress of the world but she would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit."
  • 1819
    Adams used the events that had unfolded in Florida to negotiate the Florida Treaty with Spain in 1819 that turned Florida over to the U.S. and resolved border issues regarding the Louisiana Purchase.
    More Details Hide Details With the ongoing Oregon boundary dispute, Adams sought to negotiate a settlement with England to decide the border between the western United States and Canada. This would become the Treaty of 1818. Along with the Rush–Bagot Treaty of 1817, this marked the beginning of improved relations between the British Empire and its former colonies, and paved the way for better relations between the U.S. and Canada. The treaty had several provisions, but in particular it set the boundary between British North America and the United States along the 49th parallel through the Rocky Mountains. This settled a boundary dispute caused by ignorance of actual geography in the boundary agreed to in the 1783 Treaty of Paris that ended the American Revolutionary War. That earlier treaty had used the Mississippi River to determine the border, but assumed that the river extended further north than it did, and so that earlier settlement was unworkable.
  • 1818
    As Secretary of State, he negotiated the Adams–Onís Treaty (which acquired Florida for the United States), the Treaty of 1818, and wrote the Monroe Doctrine.
    More Details Hide Details Many historians regard him as one of the greatest Secretaries of State in American history. The Floridas, still a Spanish territory but with no Spanish presence to speak of, became a refuge for runaway slaves and Native Americans. Monroe sent in General Andrew Jackson who pushed the Seminole south, executed two British merchants who were supplying weapons, deposed one governor and named another, and left an American garrison in occupation. President Monroe and all his cabinet, except Adams, believed Jackson had exceeded his instructions. Adams argued that since Spain had proved incapable of policing her territories, the United States was obliged to act in self-defense. Adams so ably justified Jackson's conduct that he silenced protests from either Spain or Britain; Congress refused to punish Jackson.
  • 1817
    Adams served as Secretary of State in the Cabinet of President James Monroe from 1817 until 1825.
    More Details Hide Details Typically, his views concurred with those espoused by Monroe.
  • 1815
    Finally, he was sent to be minister to the Court of St. James's (Britain) from 1815 until 1817, a post that was first held by his father.
    More Details Hide Details The name is derived from its location at St. James's Palace. In London, Adams was part of a U.S. Legation consisting of himself, two young secretaries and a small office in Craven Street, London WC2. Since they were not particularly well paid, Adams and his wife Louisa lived in Ealing, at that time a village in the countryside, in order to maintain the expensive carriages and liveries which social appearance demanded.
  • 1814
    In 1814, Adams was recalled from Russia to serve as chief negotiator of the U.S. commission for the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812 between the United States and United Kingdom.
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  • 1813
    The U.S. accepted the offer and in July 1813, two associates of Adams, Albert Gallatin and James A. Bayard arrived in St. Petersburg to begin negotiations under mediation by Alexander.
    More Details Hide Details Gallatin was at that time Secretary of Treasury and the Senate rejected his appointment to the diplomatic mission as incompatible under the Constitution. However, this rejection did not occur until after Gallatin and Bayard had already left for St. Petersburg. In September, Lord William Cathcart delivered a British memoir to Alexander explaining their reasons for declining the mediation. Thus ended President Madison's hope that Alexander could end the war. Adams was well liked by the Russian Court and often would be met on walks by Alexander. The Tsar asked Adams if he would be taking a house in the country over the summer. When Adams hesitated, the emperor stated with good humor that perhaps it was a financial consideration and Adams was able to respond in kind that it was in large part. Adams was a man who endeavored to live within the means provided by the American government.
  • 1812
    Also in 1812, Rumyantsev asked if he should request Alexander to mediate a pacification of hostilities between the United States and Great Britain.
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    In 1812, Adams witnessed and reported the news of Napoleon's invasion of Russia and Napoleon's disastrous retreat.
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  • 1811
    In 1811, Adams received a commission from the Secretary of State as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
    More Details Hide Details Adams immediately declined and remained in St. Petersburg.
  • 1809
    Because of the many delays, the Adamses did not arrive in St. Petersburg until October 23, 1809.
    More Details Hide Details Count Nikolay Rumyantsev, Chancellor of the empire, formally received Adams, and requested a copy of his credential letter. Romanzoff assured Adams that his appointment pleased him personally. Adams presentation to the emperor was postponed however because of the temporary indisposition of Alexander I. Rumyantsev immediately invited Adams to a diplomatic dinner which included the French ambassador, Armand Augustin Louis de Caulaincourt, Duke of Vicenza, numerous foreign ministers then at the Russian Court, and many of the nobility. This was the same mansion where Adams had dined in 1781, as secretary of Francis Dana. Tsar Alexander I received Adams alone in his cabinet where he expressed his pleasure at Adams' appointment. Adams told Alexander that "the President of the United States had desired him to express the hope that his mission would be considered as a proof of respect for the person and character of his majesty, as an acknowledgment of the many testimonies of good-will he had already given to the United States, and of a desire to strengthen commercial relations between them and his provinces." Alexander replied, that, "in everything depending on him, he should be happy to contribute to the increase of their friendly relations; that it was his wish to establish a just system of maritime rights, and that he should adhere invariably to those he had declared." After these official diplomatic greetings, Alexander and Adams discussed several other issues such as the policies of the different European powers, trade and commerce, and other mutually beneficial prospects, and that Russia and U.S. could be very useful to each other.
    After resigning his post at Harvard, Adams and his wife Louisa boarded a merchant ship in Boston on Aug. 5, 1809.
    More Details Hide Details Their youngest son was with them during the long and tedious voyage to St. Petersburg. Their voyage was temporarily interrupted outside the southern coast of Norway due to the Gunboat War. They were at first boarded by a British officer who examined their papers and then, later that day, by a Norwegian officer who ordered the ship to Christiansand. In Christiansand, Adams discovered thirty-eight U.S. vessels which had been detained by the Norwegians and decided to take whatever action necessary to gain the release of both ships and crew as soon as possible. The voyage to St. Petersburg resumed but was once again stopped by a British squadron. Adams showed his commission to Admiral Albermarle Bertie, the commander of the Squadron who recognized the usage of nations and Adams as an ambassador. The usage of nations is common laws of nations founded on custom.
    President James Madison appointed Adams as the first ever United States Minister to Russia in 1809 (though Francis Dana and William Short had previously been nominated to the post, neither presented his credentials at Saint Petersburg).
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  • 1808
    The Federalist-controlled Massachusetts Legislature chose a replacement for Adams on June 3, 1808, several months early.
    More Details Hide Details On June 8, Adams broke with the Federalists, resigned his Senate seat, and became a Republican. While a member of the Senate, Adams also served as a professor of logic at Brown University. Disowned by the Federalists and not fully accepted by the Republicans, Adams used his Boylston Professorship of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard as a new base. Adams' devotion to classical rhetoric shaped his response to public issues. He remained inspired by classical rhetorical ideals long after the neo-classicalism and deferential politics of the founding generation had been eclipsed by the commercial ethos and mass democracy of the Jacksonian Era. Many of Adams' idiosyncratic positions were rooted in his abiding devotion to the Ciceronian ideal of the citizen-orator "speaking well" to promote the welfare of the polis. Adams was influenced by the classical republican ideal of civic eloquence espoused by British philosopher David Hume. Adams adapted these classical republican ideals of public oratory to America, viewing the multilevel political structure as ripe for "the renaissance of Demosthenic eloquence." Adams' Lectures on Rhetoric and Oratory (1810) looks at the fate of ancient oratory, the necessity of liberty for it to flourish, and its importance as a unifying element for a new nation of diverse cultures and beliefs. Just as civic eloquence failed to gain popularity in Britain, in the United States interest faded in the second decade of the 19th century as the "public spheres of heated oratory" disappeared in favor of the private sphere.
  • 1803
    The Massachusetts General Court elected Adams as a Federalist to the U.S. Senate soon after, and he served from March 4, 1803, until 1808, when he broke with the Federalist Party.
    More Details Hide Details Adams, as a senator, had supported the Louisiana Purchase and Jefferson's Embargo Act, actions which made him very unpopular with Massachusetts Federalists.
  • 1802
    In November 1802 he ran as a Federalist for the United States House of Representatives and lost.
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    John Quincy Adams was elected a member of the Massachusetts State Senate in April 1802.
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  • 1797
    While serving abroad, in 1797 Adams also married Louisa Catherine Johnson, the daughter of a poor American merchant, in a ceremony at the church of All Hallows-by-the-Tower, London.
    More Details Hide Details Adams remains the only president to have married a First Lady born outside of the United States. On his return to the United States, Adams was appointed a Commissioner of Monetary Affairs in Boston by a Federal District Judge; however, Thomas Jefferson rescinded this appointment. He again tried his hand as an attorney, but shortly afterward entered politics.
    When the elder Adams became president, he appointed his son in 1797 as Minister to Prussia at Washington's urging.
    More Details Hide Details There Adams signed the renewal of the very liberal Prussian-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce after negotiations with Prussian Foreign Minister Count Karl-Wilhelm Finck von Finckenstein. He served at that post until 1801.
    He became a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1797.
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  • 1796
    Though he wanted to return to private life at the end of his appointment, Washington appointed him minister to Portugal in 1796, where he was soon appointed to the Berlin Legation.
    More Details Hide Details Though his talents were far greater than his desire to serve, he was finally convinced to remain in public service when he learned how highly Washington thought of his abilities. Washington called Adams "the most valuable of America's officials abroad," and Nagel believes that it was at this time that Adams first came to terms with a lifetime of public service.
  • 1793
    Adams first won national recognition when he published a series of widely read articles supporting Washington's decision to keep America out of the growing hostilities surrounding the French Revolution. Soon after, George Washington appointed Adams minister to the Netherlands (at the age of 26) in 1793.
    More Details Hide Details He did not want the position, preferring to maintain his quiet life of reading in Massachusetts, and probably would have rejected it if his father had not persuaded him to take it. On his way to the Netherlands, he was to deliver a set of documents to John Jay, who was negotiating the Jay Treaty. After spending some time with Jay, Adams wrote home to his father, in support of the emerging treaty because he thought America should stay out of European affairs. Historian Paul Nagel has noted that this letter reached Washington, and that parts of it were used by Washington when drafting his farewell address. While going back and forth between The Hague and London, he met and proposed to his future wife, Louisa Catherine Johnson.
  • 1791
    He was admitted to the bar in 1791 and began practicing in Boston.
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  • 1787
    He entered Harvard College and graduated in 1787 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, Phi Beta Kappa.
    More Details Hide Details He studied law with Theophilus Parsons in Newburyport, Massachusetts from 1787 to 1789, and earned a Master of Arts from Harvard in 1790.
  • 1781
    He matriculated in Leiden January 10, 1781.
    More Details Hide Details For nearly three years, beginning at the age of 14, he accompanied Francis Dana as a secretary on a mission to Saint Petersburg, Russia, to obtain recognition of the new United States. He spent time in Finland, Sweden, and Denmark and, in 1804, published a travel report of Silesia. During these years overseas, Adams became fluent in French and Dutch and became familiar with German and other European languages. Adams, mainly through the influence of his father, had also excelled in classical studies and reached high fluency of Latin and Greek. Upon entering Harvard he had already translated Virgil, Horace, Plutarch, and Aristotle and within six months memorized his Greek grammar and translated the New Testament.
  • 1779
    In 1779, Adams began a diary that he kept until just before he died in 1848.
    More Details Hide Details The massive fifty volumes are one of the most extensive collections of first-hand information from the period of the early republic and are widely cited by modern historians.
  • 1778
    Much of Adams' youth was spent accompanying his father overseas. John Adams served as an American envoy to France from 1778 until 1779 and to the Netherlands from 1780 until 1782, and the younger Adams accompanied his father on these diplomatic missions.
    More Details Hide Details Adams acquired an education at institutions such as Leiden University.
  • 1767
    John Quincy Adams was born on July 11, 1767, to John Adams and his wife Abigail Adams (née Smith) in a part of Braintree, Massachusetts that is now Quincy.
    More Details Hide Details John Quincy Adams did not attend school, but was tutored by his cousin James Thax and his father's law clerk, Nathan Rice. He was named for his mother's maternal grandfather, Colonel John Quincy, after whom Quincy, Massachusetts, is named.
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