John Quincy Adams by GPA Healy, 1858

John Quincy Adams (1767-1848). Official White House portrait by G.P.A. Healy (1813-1894), 1858. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

John Quincy Adams

6th President of the United States (U.S.)
In office
March 4, 1825 – March 4, 1829

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 8th district
In office
March 4, 1843 – February 23, 1848

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 12th district
In office
March 4, 1833 – March 4, 1843

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 11th district
In office
March 4, 1831 – March 4, 1833

8th U.S. Secretary of State
In office
September 22, 1817 – March 4, 1825

In office
April 28, 1814 – September 22, 1817

In office
November 5, 1809 – April 28, 1814

United States Senator
from Massachusetts
In office
March 4, 1803 – June 8, 1808

In office
December 5, 1797 – May 5, 1801

In office
November 6, 1794 – June 20, 1797
Personal details
Born July 11, 1767(1767-Template:MONTHNUMBER-11)
Braintree, Massachusetts (now Quincy)
Died February 23, 1848(1848-Template:MONTHNUMBER-23) (aged 80)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political party Whig (1838–1848)
Other political
Federalist (to 1808), Democratic-Republican (1808-1830), National Republican (1830-1834), Anti-Masonic (1834-1838)
Spouse(s) Louisa (Johnson)
Children Louisa, George, John, Charles
Alma mater Harvard University
Profession Lawyer
Religion Unitarian

John Quincy Adams (July 11, 1767 - February 23, 1848) was the 6th President of the United States (1825-1829), and a sometime American poet.



Adams served as an American diplomat, United States 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. As a diplomat, Adams played an important role in negotiating many international treaties, most notably the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812. As Secretary of State, he negotiated with the United Kingdom over America's northern border with Canada, negotiated with Spain the annexation of Florida, and authored the Monroe Doctrine. Historians agree he was one of the greatest diplomats and secretaries of state in American history.[1][2]

As president, he sought to modernize the American economy and promoted education. Adams enacted a part of his agenda and paid off much of the national debt.[3] He was stymied 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. In doing so, he became the first President since his father to serve a single term.

Adams is best known as a diplomat who shaped America's foreign policy in line with his ardently nationalist commitment to America's republican values. More recently Howe (2007) portrayed Adams 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.[4]

Adams was elected a U.S. Representative (from Massachusetts) after leaving office, the only president ever to be so, serving for the last 17 years of his life with far greater success than he had achieved in the presidency. Animated by his growing revulsion against slavery,[5] 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.[6]

Adams published a long poem in 4 cantos, Dermot MacMorrogh; or, The conquest of Ireland, in 1834.[7] His collected Poems of Religion and Society were published posthumously in 1848.[8]

Youth and personalityEdit

John Quincy Adams was born to John Adams and his wife, Abigail Adams, in what is now Quincy, Massachusetts.[9] The John Quincy Adams Birthplace is now part of Adams National Historical Park and open to the public. He was named for his mother's maternal grandfather, Colonel John Quincy, after whom Quincy, Massachusetts, is also named.[10] [11] Adams learned of the Declaration of Independence from the letters his father wrote his mother from the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. In 1779, Adams began a diary that he kept until just before he died in 1848.[12] The massive 50 volumes are a most extensive collection of eye-witness accounts of the times, and are widely cited by modern historians.[13]

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 journeys.[14] Adams acquired an education at institutions such as Leiden University. For nearly 3 years, at age 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.[15] During these years overseas, Adams became fluent in French and Dutch and became familiar with German and other European languages.

He entered Harvard College and graduated in 1787 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, Phi Beta Kappa.[16] He later earned an A.M. from Harvard in 1790.[17] He apprenticed as a lawyer with Theophilus Parsons in Newburyport, Massachusetts, from 1787 to 1789. He gained admittance to the bar in 1791 and began practicing law in Boston.[18]

Adams' personality was much like that of his father, as were his political beliefs.[19] Throughout his life, he always preferred reading in seclusion to social engagements, and several times had to be pressured by others to remain in public service. Historian Paul Nagel argues that, like Abraham Lincoln after him, Adams suffered from depression for much of his life. Early in his life he sought some form of treatment. Adams thought his depression was due to the high expectations demanded of him by his father and mother. Throughout his life he felt inadequate and socially awkward because of his depression, and was constantly bothered by his physical appearance.[19] He was closer to his father, whom he spent much of his early life with abroad, than he was to his mother.

When he was younger and the American Revolution was going on, his mother had told her children what their father was doing, and what he was risking, and because of this Adams grew to greatly respect his father.[20] His relationship with his mother was rocky; she had high expectations of him and was afraid her children might end up a dead alcoholic like her brother.[21] John's brother Charles would eventually follow this fate. He fell in love shortly after he finished school, but his mother did not approve and the relationship ended. When he fell in love with his future wife, Louisa Johnson, his mother likewise disapproved. Nagel argues that this disapproval motivated him to marry Johnson, despite reservations that she, like his mother, was too strong.[21]

Early careerEdit

File:Louisa Cathering Johnson Adams by Gilbert Stuart, 1821-26.jpg

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 1794. 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 Chief Justice John Jay, who was negotiating the Jay Treaty. After spending some time with Jay discussing the treaty, 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.[22] While going back and forth between The Hague and London, he met and proposed to his future wife.

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 promoted to the Berlin Legation. 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 felt of his abilities.[23] 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.[23]

When the elder Adams became president, he appointed his son in 1797 as Minister to Prussia at Washington's urging. 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. While serving abroad, Adams married Louisa Catherine Johnson, the daughter of an American merchant, in a ceremony at the church of All Hallows-by-the-Tower, London. Adams remains the only president to have a First Lady born outside of the United States.

On his return to the United States Adams was appointed a Commissioner of Bankruptcy in Boston by a Federal District Judge. However, Thomas Jefferson rescinded this appointment. He again tried his hand as a lawyer, but shortly afterwards entered politics. John Quincy Adams was elected a member of the Massachusetts State Senate in April 1802. In November 1802 he ran as a Federalist for the United States House of Representatives and lost.[24]

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. Adams, as a Senator, had supported the Louisiana Purchase and Jefferson's Embargo Act, actions which made him very unpopular with Massachusetts Federalists. The Federalist-controlled Massachusetts Legislature chose a replacement for Adams on June 3, 1808, several months early. On June 8, Adams broke with the Federalists, resigned his Senate seat, and became a Democrat-Republican.[25] While a member of the Senate, Adams also served as a professor of rhetoric at Harvard University.[26]

Harvard professor of rhetoricEdit

Disowned by the Federalists and not fully accepted by the Democratic-Republican Party, Adams used his Boylston Professorship of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard as a new base.[27] 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's 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.[28]

Adams was influenced by the classical republican ideal of civic eloquence espoused by philosopher David Hume.[29] 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's 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.[30]


New President James Madison appointed Adams as the 1st U.S. 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). Louisa Adams was with him in Saint Petersburg almost the entire time. While not officially a diplomat, Louisa Adams did serve an invaluable role as wife-of-diplomat, becoming a favorite of the tsar and making up for her husband's utter lack of charm. She was an indispensable part of the American mission.[31] In 1812, Adams reported to Washington the news of Napoleon's invasion of Russia and Napoleon's disastrous retreat. 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 Great Britain. Finally, he was sent to be minister to the Court of St. James's (UK) from 1815 until 1817, a post that had been held by his father.[25]

Secretary of StateEdit

File:John Quincy Adams by Gilbert Stuart, 1818.jpg

Adams served as Secretary of State in the Cabinet of President Monroe from 1817 until 1825. Typically, his views concurred with those espoused by Monroe. As Secretary of State, he negotiated the Adams–Onís Treaty (also known as the Florida Treaty), the Treaty of 1818, and wrote the Monroe Doctrine. Many historians believe that he was 1 of the greatest secretaries of state in American history.[1][2]

The Floridas, still a Spanish territory but with no Spanish presence to speak of, became a refuge for runaway slaves and Indian raiders. Monroe sent in General Andrew Jackson who pushed the Seminole Indians south, executed two British merchants who were supplying weapons, deposed one governor and named another, and left an American garrison in occupation.[32] 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. 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.[32]

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.(Citation needed) 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.(Citation needed) 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.

By the time Monroe became president, several European powers, in particular Spain, were attempting to re-establish control over South America.[33] On Independence Day 1821, in response to those who advocated American support for independence movements in many South American countries,[34] Adams gave a speech in which he said that American policy was moral support for independence movements but not armed intervention. He stated that America "goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy."[35] From this, Adams authored what came to be known as the Monroe Doctrine, which was introduced on December 2, 1823. 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.[36] The United States, reflecting concerns raised by Great Britain, ultimately hoped to avoid having any European power take over Spain's colonies.[33] 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.

1824–25 presidential electionEdit

File:John Quincy Adams 1938 Issue-6c.jpg

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.[37]

Under the terms of the Twelfth Amendment, the presidential election fell to the House of Representatives, which was to choose from the top three candidates: Jackson, Adams, and Crawford. Clay had come in fourth place and thus was not on the ballot, but he retained considerable power and influence as Speaker of the House.

Clay's personal dislike for Jackson and the similarity of his American System to Adams' position on tariffs and public works caused him to throw his support to Adams, who was elected by the House on February 9, 1825, on the first ballot. 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.[37]

Presidency 1825–1829Edit

Adams served as the sixth President of the United States from March 4, 1825, to March 4, 1829. He took the oath of office on a book of laws, instead of the more traditional Bible, to preserve the separation of church and state.[38][39] The Adams administration's record was mixed, as it recorded some domestic policy achievements, as well as some minor foreign policy achievements. He supported 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.[40] He also reduced the national debt from $16 million to $5 million, the remainder of which was paid off by his successor.[3]

Historian Paul Hagel 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 advisor 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.[41] A product of the political environment of his day, he refused to play politics 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.[42] Jackson defeated Adams in 1828, and created the modern Democratic party thus inaugurating the Second Party System.[43]

Domestic policiesEdit

During his term, Adams worked on transforming America into a world power through "internal improvements," as a part of the "American System]]". It consisted of a high tariff to support internal improvements such as road-building, and a national bank to encourage productive enterprise and form a national currency. In his first annual message to Congress, Adams presented an ambitious program for modernization that included roads, canals, a national university, an astronomical observatory, and other initiatives. The support for his proposals was mixed, mainly due to opposition from Jackson's followers. His critics, still angry over the 1824 election, accused him of unseemly arrogance despite his narrow victory, and opposed many of his initiatives.[44]

Some of his proposals were adopted, specifically the extension of the Cumberland Road into Ohio with surveys for its continuation west to St. Louis, Missouri; the beginning of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, the construction of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal and the Louisville and Portland Canal around the falls of the Ohio; the connection of the Great Lakes to the Ohio River system in Ohio and Indiana; and the enlargement and rebuilding of the Dismal Swamp Canal in North Carolina.[45] One of the issues which divided the administration was protective tariffs, of which Henry Clay was a leading advocate. After Adams lost control of Congress in 1827, the situation became more complicated. By signing into law the Tariff of 1828 (labeled by critics as the "Tariff of Abominations"), quite unpopular in parts of the south, he further antagonized the Jacksonians.[46]

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).[47]

Foreign policiesEdit

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.[48] He had witnessed the Barbary Wars against the Islamic pirates of North Africa, and the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Turks. Adams accepted that the Greek fight for independence from the Turks was only the beginning of a long conflict between Islam and the West. Although he sympathised with the Greeks, and held a deep mistrust of the defeated Muslims,[49] he was reluctant to support America's involvement in continuing wars far from home.[50]

File:John Quincy Adams 1824.jpg

On July 4, 1821, he gave an address to Congress:

... But she [the United States of America] goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.[35]

During his term as president, however, Adams achieved little of long-term consequence in foreign affairs. A reason for this was the opposition he faced in Congress, where his rivals prevented him from succeeding.[48] Among his diplomatic achievements were treaties of reciprocity with a number of nations, including Denmark, Mexico, the Hanseatic League, the Scandinavian countries, Prussia and Austria. However, thanks to the successes of Adams' diplomacy during his previous eight years as Secretary of State, most of the foreign policy issues he would have faced had been resolved by the time he became President.[51]

Administration and CabinetEdit

Template:Infobox U.S. Cabinet

Supreme CourtEdit

  • Robert Trimble – June 16, 1826 - August 25, 1828

Departure from officeEdit

Adams left office on March 4, 1829, after losing the election of 1828 to Andrew Jackson. Adams did not attend the inauguration of 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.[52] He was one of only 3 Presidents who chose not to attend their respective successor's inauguration; the others were his father and Andrew Johnson.

Although both Adams, and his father, served one full term in office, John Quincy Adams departed the presidency having served one day longer than his father. John Adams served during the year 1800, which did not have a leap year.

Election of 1828Edit

Main article: United States presidential election, 1828
File:John Q. Adams.jpg

After the inauguration of Adams in 1825, Jackson resigned from his senate seat. For 4 years he worked hard, with help from his supporters in Congress, to defeat Adams in the Presidential election of 1828. 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 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."[53]

Member of CongressEdit

Main article: John Quincy Adams and abolitionism

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. He was the 1st president to serve in Congress after his term of office, and one of only 2 former presidents to do so (Andrew Johnson later served in the Senate). He was elected to 8 terms, serving as a Representative for 17 years, from 1831 until his death. In Congress, he was chair of the Committee on Commerce and Manufactures, the Committee on Indian Affairs and the Committee on Foreign Affairs.[54] In authoring a change to the Tariff of 1828, he was instrumental to the compromise that ended the Nullification Crisis. When James Smithson died and left his estate to the U.S. government to build an institution of learning, congress wanted to appropriate the money for other purpose. Adams was key to ensuring that the money was instead used to build the Smithsonian Institution.[55] He also led the fight against the gag rule, which prevented congress from hearing anti-slavery petitions. Throughout much of his congressional career, he fought it, evaded it, and tried to repeal it. In 1844 he assembled a coalition that approved his resolution to repeal the rule.[56] He was considered by many to be the leader of the anti-slavery faction in congress, as he was one of America's most prominent opponents of slavery.[56]

Adams quickly became an important antislavery voice in the Congress. In 1836 Southern Congressmen voted in a rule, called the “gag rule,” that called for the immediate tabling of any petitions about slavery. He became a forceful opponent of this, and almost got himself censured over his opposition to it. He turned the debate on his proposed censure to a two week-long attack on slavery.[57] Later he led a committee that sought to reform congress's rules, and he used this opportunity to try to repeal the gag rule outright. He spent two months building support for this move, though due to northern opposition the rule narrowly survived.[58] He fiercely criticized northern congressmen and senators, in particular Stephen Douglas, who seemed to cater to the slave faction in exchange for southern support.[58] His opposition to slavery made him, along with Henry Clay, one of the leading opponents of Texas annexation and the Mexican–American War. He predicted, correctly, that these would both help lead to civil war.[58] After one of his reelection victories, he said that he must "bring about a day prophesied when slavery and war shall be banished from the face of the earth."[58] He prided himself on being "obnoxious to the slave faction."[58]

Adams sat for the earliest confirmed photograph still in existence of a U.S. president in 1843, although other sources contend that William Henry Harrison had posed even earlier for his portrait, in 1841.[59] The original daguerreotype is in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution.[60] 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. Thus, it has been suggested that Adams is the only major figure in American history who knew both the Founding Fathers and Abraham Lincoln, though Martin Van Buren knew Founding Fathers Thomas Jefferson and his mentor Aaron Burr and met the young Lincoln while on a campaign trip through Illinois.

Nullification Crisis and Smithsonian InstitutionEdit

Besides his opposition to slavery and the gag rule (discussed below), his congressional career is remembered for several other key accomplishments. Shortly after entering Congress, the Nullification Crisis threatened civil war over the Tariff of 1828. 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.[61]

File:John Quincy Adams in National Portrait Gallery IMG 4490.JPG

Adams also became a leading force for the advancement of science. As president, he had proposed a national observatory, which did not win much support. In 1829 British scientist James Smithson died, and left his fortune for the "increase and diffusion of knowledge". In Smithson's will, he stated that should his nephew, Henry James Hungerford, die without heirs, the Smithson estate would go to the government of the United States to create an "Establishment for the increase & diffusion of Knowledge among men". After the nephew died without heirs in 1835, President Andrew Jackson informed Congress of the bequest, which amounted to about US$500,000 ($10,100,997 in 2008 U.S. dollars after inflation). Adams realized that this might allow the United States to realize his dream of building a national institution of science and learning. Adams thus became Congress' primary supporter of what would become the Smithsonian Institution. He also relentlessly pursued support for astronomical efforts and observatories, seeking a national observatory for the United States.[62][63] His efforts eventually lead to what is now the United States' oldest, still-operational scientific institution, the United States Naval Observatory. In 1825 Adams signed a bill for the creation of a national observatory just before leaving presidential office – which became the 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.[64] 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.[65] 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.[66]

Anti-Slavery PetitionsEdit

Late in life, especially after his election to the House, Adams was famous as the most prominent national leader opposing slavery. He was not an abolitionist, say biographers Nagle and Parsons.[67][68] Remini notes that Adams thought the end of slavery would come by either civil war or the consent of the slave South, but definitely not through the work of abolitionists.[69]

The turning point came with the debate on the Missouri Compromise in 1820 when he broke with his friend John C. Calhoun, who became the most outspoken national leader in favor of slavery. They became bitter enemies. Adams vilified slavery as a terrible evil and preached total abolition, while Calhoun countered that the right to own slaves had to be protected from interference from the federal government to keep the nation alive. Adams said slavery contradicted the principles of republicanism, while Calhoun said that slavery was essential to American democracy, for it made all white men equal. Both men pulled away from nationalism, and started to consider dissolution of the Union as a way of resolving the slavery predicament. Adams predicted that if the South formed a new nation, it would be torn apart by an extremely violent slave insurrection. If the two nations went to war, Adams predicted the president of the United States would use his war powers to abolish slavery. The two men became ideological leaders of the North and the South.[70] In the House Adams became a champion of free speech, demanding that petitions against slavery be heard despite a "gag rule" that said they could not be heard.[71]

Since the gag rule prevented him from bringing slavery petitions to the floor, he used a petition from a Georgia citizen over another matter to bring a separate petition to the floor. This petition urged disunion due to the continuation of slavery in the south. Though he certainly did not support it (which he made clear at the time), he was purposely trying to antagonize the pro-slavery faction of Congress into an open fight on the matter.[57] This infuriated his congressional enemies, many of whom were agitating for disunion. They moved that he be censured over the matter. He drew the debate over his censure to a two week-long attack on slavery. He changed the focus from his own actions to those of the slaveholders, knowing he would probably be acquitted. He decided that if he were censured, he would resign and run again - and probably win easily.[57] When his opponents realized what they had gotten themselves into, they tried to bury the censure and move on, but Adams made sure this did not happen and the censure continued to be debated. He attacked slavery and slaveholders as immoral, and condemned the institution while calling for it to end.[57]

Adams took advantage of his right to defend himself in front of the members to deliver days of prepared and impromptu remarks against slavery and in favor of abolition.[57] He spoke against the slave trade and the ownership of slaves. As others continued to attack him and call for his censure, Adams continued to debate the issues of slavery and the evils of slaveholding.[72] Adams also called into question the actions of a House that would limit its own ability to debate and resolve questions internally. After the two week-long debate, a vote was held and he was not censured. The whole time he delighted in the misery he was inflicting on the slaveholders he so hated.[73] Although any move to censure Adams over the slavery petition was ultimately abandoned, the House did address the issue of petitions from enslaved persons. Adams rose again to argue that the right to petition was a universal right granted by God so that those in the weakest positions might always have recourse to those in the most powerful. The gag rule was ultimately retained.[74] The discussion ignited by his actions and the attempts of others to quiet him raised questions of the right to petition, the right to legislative debate, and the morality of slavery.[75] During the censure debate, Adams said that he took delight in the fact that southerners would forever remember him as "the acutest, the astutest, the archest enemy of southern slavery that every existed".[65]

Last years Edit

John Quincy Adams - copy of 1843 Philip Haas Daguerreotype

Adams in 1843. Copy of daguerreotype by Philip Haas. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

In 1841, Adams had the case of a lifetime, representing the defendants in United States v. The Amistad Africans in the Supreme Court of the United States. He successfully argued that the Africans, who had seized control of a Spanish ship on which they were being transported illegally as slaves, should not be extradited or deported to Cuba (a Spanish colony where slavery was legal) but should be considered free. Under President Martin Van Buren, the government argued the Africans should be deported for having mutinied and killed officers on the ship. Adams won their freedom, with the chance to stay in the United States or return to Africa. Adams made the argument because the U.S. had prohibited the international slave trade, although it allowed internal slavery. He never billed for his services in the Amistad case.[76] The speech was directed not only at the justices of this Supreme Court hearing the case, but also to the broad national audience he instructed in the evils of slavery.[77]

Adams repeatedly spoke out against the "Slave Power", that is the organized political power of the slave owners who dominated all the southern states and their representation in Congress.[78] He vehemently attacked the annexation of Texas (1845) and the Mexican War (1846–48) as part of a "conspiracy" to extend slavery.[79]

On February 21, 1848, the House of Representatives was discussing the matter of honoring US Army officers who served in the Mexican–American War. Adams firmly opposed this idea, so when the rest of the house erupted into 'ayes', he cried out, 'No!'[80] He rose to answer a question put forth by the Speaker of the House.[81] Immediately thereafter, Adams collapsed, having suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage.[82] 2 days later, on February 23, he died with his wife and 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 passed away at 7:20 P.M.[81]

His original interment was temporary, in the public vault at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C. Later, he was buried in the family burial ground in Quincy across from the First Parish Church, called Hancock Cemetery. After his wife's death, his son, Charles Francis Adams, had him re-interred with his wife in the expanded family crypt in the United First Parish Church across the street, next to his parents. Both tombs are viewable by the public. Adams' original tomb at Hancock Cemetery is still there and marked simply "J.Q. Adams".[83]


John Quincy Adams and Louisa Catherine (Johnson) Adams had three sons and a daughter. Louisa was born in 1811 but died in 1812 while the family was in Russia. They named their first son George Washington Adams (1801–1829) after the first president. Both George and their second son, John (1803–1834), led troubled lives and died in early adulthood.[84][85] (George committed suicide and John was expelled from Harvard before his 1823 graduation.)

File:JQ Adams Vault, Hancock Cemetery.jpg

Adams' youngest son, Charles Francis Adams (who named his own son John Quincy), also pursued a career in diplomacy and politics. In 1870 Charles Francis built the first memorial presidential library in the United States, to honor his father. The Stone Library includes over 14,000 books written in twelve languages. The library is located in the "Old House" at Adams National Historical Park in Quincy, Massachusetts.

John Adams and John Quincy Adams were the 1st father and son to each serve as president (the others being George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush). Each Adams served only 1 term as President.


John Quincy Adams Presidential $1 Coin obverse

John Quincy Adams $1 coin. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Adams was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1797.[86]

Adams House at Harvard College is named in honor of Adams and his father.

One of Adams' most important legacies is his massive diary,[13] which he began at age 11 with the simple entry "A journal, by me, J.Q.A." It covers, in extraordinary detail, his life and experiences up to his death in 1848.[12] The massive 50 volumes are one a most extensive collections of eye-witnedd information about his day, and are cited by historians in a wide range of matters from that period.[13]

In popular cultureEdit

Adams occasionally is featured in the mass media. In the PBS miniseries The Adams Chronicles (1976), he was portrayed by David Birney, William Daniels, Marcel Trenchard, Stephen Austin, Steven Grover and Mark Winkworth. He was also portrayed by Anthony Hopkins in the 1997 film Amistad, and again by Ebon Moss-Bachrach in the 2008 HBO television miniseries John Adams; the HBO series received criticism for needless historical and temporal distortions in its portrayal.[87]




Collected editionsEdit

  • Writings (edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford). New York: Macmillan, 1913-1917; New York: Greednwood Press, 1968 Volume I, 1913; Volume II, 1913; Volume III, 1914; Volume IV, 1914; Volume V; Volume VI:; Volume VII, 1917.
  • Selected Writings (edited by Adrienne Koch & William Peden). New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1946.

Letters and journalsEdit

  • Letters on Silesia. London: J. Budd, 1804.
  • Correspondence between John Quincy Adams, Esquire, President of the United States, and Several Citizens of Massachusetts. Boston: Press of the Boston Daily Advertiser, 1829.
  • Letters from John Quincy Adams: To his constituents of the twelfth congressional district in Massachusetts. Boston: I. Knapp, 1837.
  • Letters of John Quincy Adams to His Son: On the Bible and its teachings. Auburn, NY: Derby, Miller, 1848; Auburn, AL: James M. Alden, 1850.
  • Memoirs of John Quincy Adams: Comprising portions of his diary from 1795 to 1848 (edited by Charles Francis Adams). Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott.[88] Volume 1, 1874; Volume 2, 1874; Volume 3, 1874; Volume 4, 1875; Volume 5, 1875; Volume 6, 1875; Volume 8, 1875; Volume 7, 1875; Volume 9, 1876; Volume 10, 1876; Volume 11, 1876; Volume 12, 1877
  • Life in a New England Town, 1787 ... diary of John Quincy Adams, while a student. Boston: Little, Brown, for the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1903.
  • Correspondence, 1811-1814 (edited by Charles Francis Adams). Worcester, MA: American Antiquarian Society, 1913.
  • John Quincy Adams and American Continental Empire: Letters, papers, and speeches (edited by Walter LeFaber). Chicago, Quadrangle Books, 1965.
  • John Quincy Adams, 1767-1848: Chronology, documents, bibliographical aids (edited by Kenneth V Jones). Dobbs Ferry, NY: Oceana Publications, 1970.
  • The Russian Memoirs of John Quincy Adams: His diary from 1809-1814. New York: Arno Press, 1970. w
  • Diary (edited by Marc Friedlaender & Robert J Taylor). Cambridge, MA, & London: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1981. w

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[89]

See alsoEdit

The Wants of Man John Quincy Adams Audiobook Short poetry

The Wants of Man John Quincy Adams Audiobook Short poetry

To the Sundial by John Quincy Adams

To the Sundial by John Quincy Adams


  • Adams, Sean Patrick. "The Tao of John Quincy Adams: Or, The New Institutionalism and the new American republic" Common-Place v.9#1 (Oct 2008) online
  • Allgor, Catherine (1997). "'A Republican in a Monarchy': Louisa Catherine Adams in Russia". Diplomatic History 21 (1): 15–43. doi:10.1111/1467-7709.00049. ISSN 0145-2096.  Fulltext in Swetswise, Ingenta and Ebsco.
  • Bemis, Samuel Flagg. John Quincy Adams and the Foundations of American Foreign Policy. vol 1 (1949), John Quincy Adams and the Union (1956), vol 2. Pulitzer prize biography.
  • Brinkley, Alan; Dyer, Davis (2004). The American Presidency. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0618382739. 
  • Crofts, Daniel W. (1997). "Congressmen, Heroic and Otherwise". Reviews in American History 25 (2): 243–247. ISSN 0048-7511.  Fulltext in Project Muse. Adams role in antislavery petitions debate 1835–44.
  • Heffron, Margery M. "'A Fine Romance': The Courtship Correspondence between Louisa Catherine Johnson and John Quincy Adams," New England Quarterly, June 2010, Vol. 83 Issue 2, pp 200–218
  • Holt, Michael F. The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party: Jacksonian Politics and the Onset of the Civil War. 1999.
  • Howe, Daniel Walker. What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848. 2007.
  • Lewis, James E., Jr. John Quincy Adams: Policymaker for the Union. Scholarly Resources, 2001. 164 pp.
  • Mattie, Sean (2003). "John Quincy Adams and American Conservatism". Modern Age 45 (4): 305–314. ISSN 0026-7457.  fulltext online
  • McMillan, Richard (2001). "Election of 1824: Corrupt Bargain or the Birth of Modern Politics?". New England Journal of History 58 (2): 24–37. 
  • Melanson, James. "'Entangling Affiances with None': John Quincy Adams, James K. Polk, and the Impact of Conflicting Interpretations," New England Journal of History, Fall 2009, Vol. 66 Issue 1, pp 26–36, on Monroe Doctrine
  • Miller, Chandra (2000). "'Title Page to a Great Tragic Volume': the Impact of the Missouri Crisis on Slavery, Race, and Republicanism in the Thought of John C. Calhoun and John Quincy Adams". Missouri Historical Review 94 (4): 365–388. ISSN 0026-6582.  Shows that both men considered splitting the country as a solution.
  • Miller, William Lee (1995). Arguing About Slavery. John Quincy Adams and the Great Battle in the United States Congress. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-3945-6922-9. 
  • Nagel, Paul C. (1983). Descent from Glory: Four Generations of the John Adams Family. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195031720. 
  • Nagel, Paul C. (1999). John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0674479401. 
  • Parsons, Lynn Hudson (October 1, 2003). "In Which the Political Becomes Personal, and Vice Versa: the Last Ten Years of John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson". Journal of the Early Republic 23 (3): 421–443. doi:10.2307/3595046. ISSN 0275-1275. JSTOR 3595046. 
  • Parsons, Lynn H. The Birth of Modern Politics: Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, and the Election of 1828 (2009) excerpt and text search
  • Parsons, Lynn H. John Quincy Adams (1999), scholarly biography
  • Portolano, Marlana (2000). "John Quincy Adams's Rhetorical Crusade for Astronomy". Isis 91 (3): 480–503. doi:10.1086/384852. ISSN 0021-1753. PMID 11143785.  Fulltext online at Jstor and Ebsco. He tried to create a national observatory, which became the U.S. Naval Observatory.
  • Potkay, Adam S. (1999). "Theorizing Civic Eloquence in the Early Republic: the Road from David Hume to John Quincy Adams". Early American Literature 34 (2): 147–170. ISSN 0012-8163.  Fulltext online at Swetswise and Ebsco.
  • Rathbun, Lyon (2000). "The Ciceronian Rhetoric of John Quincy Adams". Rhetorica 18 (2): 175–215. doi:10.1525/rh.2000.18.2.175. ISSN 0734-8584. 
  • Remini, Robert V. (2002). John Quincy Adams. New York: Times Books. ISBN 0805069399. 
  • Wood, Gary V. (2004). Heir to the Fathers: John Quincy Adams and the Spirit of Constitutional Government. Ladham, MD: Lexington. ISBN 0739106015. 


  1. 1.0 1.1 Bemis (1949)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Herring, George. "From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1776". p129. Oxford University Press, 2008.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Nagel, Paul. "John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life". p272. 1999, Harvard University Press
  4. See Howe (2007)
  5. Lynn H. Parsons, John Quincy Adams (1999) p. 232
  6. Parsons, John Quincy Adams (1999) p. 162
  7. Dermot MacMorrogh; or, The Conquest of Ireland: An historical tale of the twelfth century, in four cantos. Boston: Carter, Hendee, 1832; Columbus, OH: I.N. Whiting, 1834. Internet Archive, Web, Mar. 22, 2018.
  8. Poems of Religion and Society. New York: Miller & Graham, 1848; Auburn, AL: Derby & Miller, 1850. Internet Archive, Web, Mar. 22, 2018.
  9. Rettig, Polly M. (3 April 1978). "John Quincy Adams Birthplace". National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination. National Park Service. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  10. Herring, James; Longacre, James Barton (1853). The National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans. D. Rice & A.N. Hart. p. 1. ISBN 0405025009. Retrieved October 22, 2008. 
  11. The name Quincy has subsequently been used for at least 19 other places in the United States. Those places were either directly or indirectly named for John Quincy Adams (for example, Quincy, Illinois was named in honor of Adams while Quincy, California was named for Quincy, Illinois). The Quincy family name was pronounced /ˈkwɪnzi/, as is the name of the city in Massachusetts where Adams was born. However, all of the other place names are locally /ˈkwɪnsi/. Though technically incorrect, this pronunciation is also commonly used for Adams' middle name. Sources: "Frequently Asked Questions". City of Quincy. Retrieved July 9, 2009. ; Wead, Doug (2005). The raising of a president: the mothers and fathers of our nation's leaders. New York: Atria Books. p. 59. ISBN 0743497260. OCLC 57358429. Retrieved July 9, 2009. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 "The Diaries of John Quincy Adams: A Digital Collection". Massachusetts Historical Society. Retrieved 30 October 2011. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Nagel, Paul. "John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life". p21. 1999, Harvard University Press
  14. Nagel, Paul. "John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life". p26. 1999, Harvard University Press
  15. Adams, John Quincy (1804). Letters on Silesia: Written During a Tour Through That Country in the Years 1800, 1801. London: Printed for J. Budd. 
  16. "U.S. Presidents Who Are Phi Beta Kappa Members". Phi Beta Kappa Society. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  17. "Obama joins list of seven presidents with Harvard degrees". Harvard Gazette. 6 November 2008. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  18. Nagel, Paul. "John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life". p30. 1999, Harvard University Press
  19. 19.0 19.1 Nagel, Paul. "John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life". p32. 1999, Harvard University Press
  20. Nagel, Paul. "John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life". p19. 1999, Harvard University Press
  21. 21.0 21.1 Nagel, Paul. "John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life". p54. 1999, Harvard University Press
  22. Nagel, Paul. "John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life". p49. 1999, Harvard University Press
  23. 23.0 23.1 Nagel, Paul. "John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life". p51. 1999, Harvard University Press
  24. McCullough. John Adams. pp. 575–576
  25. 25.0 25.1 "NPS bio of JQA". 2006-07-30. Retrieved 2011-12-05. 
  26. David McCullough. John Adams. (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005) p. 587
  27. He was appointed in 1805, after turning down the presidency of Harvard.
  28. Lyon Rathbun, "The Ciceronian Rhetoric of John Quincy Adams." Rhetorica (2000) 18(2): 175–215.
  29. See David Hume, "Of Eloquence," in Essays, Political and Moral *1742)
  30. Adam S. Potkay, "Theorizing Civic Eloquence in the Early Republic: the Road from David Hume to John Quincy Adams." Early American Literature (1999) 34(2): 147–170.
  31. Allgor, (1997).
  32. 32.0 32.1 "The odd couple who won Florida and half the West. (Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams)". Smithsonian. April 1, 1988. 
  33. 33.0 33.1 Herring, George C., From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1776, (2008) pp. 153–155
  34. "Francis Sempa essay". 2008-07-08. Retrieved 2011-12-05. 
  35. 35.0 35.1 Adams, John Quincy (July 4, 1821). "Speech to the U.S. House of Representatives on Foreign Policy". Miller Center of Public Affairs. University of Virginia. Retrieved 30 October 2011. 
  36. Rodrigue Tremblay (2004). The New American Empire (pp 133–134). Buy Books on the web. ISBN 9780741418876.,M1. Retrieved 2008-12-20. 
  37. 37.0 37.1 "John Quincy Adams". About the White House. The White House. Retrieved February 15, 2011. 
  38. "Presidential Inaugurations Past and Present: A Look at the History Behind the Pomp and Circumstance". Retrieved September 16, 2008. 
  39. Romero, Frances (January 15, 2009). "A Brief History Of: Swearing In". Time (magazine).,9171,1871905,00.html. Retrieved January 18, 2009. 
  40. Lynn H. Parsons, John Quincy Adams (1999)
  41. Nagel, Paul. "John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life". p279. 1999, Harvard University Press
  42. Stenberg, R. R. (1934). "Jackson, Buchanan, and the "Corrupt Bargain" Calumny". The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 58 (1): 61–85. 
  43. Donald B. Cole, Vindicating Andrew Jackson: The 1828 Election and the Rise of the Two-Party System (2009)
  44. Mary W.M. Hargreaves, The Presidency of John Quincy Adams (1985)
  45. Hargreaves, The Presidency of John Quincy Adams (1985) ch 9
  46. Hargreaves, The Presidency of John Quincy Adams (1985) ch 8
  47. Ronald N. Satz, American Indian Policy in the Jacksonian Era (1975)
  48. 48.0 48.1 Bemis John Quincy Adams and the Union (1956)
  49. E&GW Blunt The American Annual Register New York (1830) p274
  50. "Richard Samuelson, John Quincy Adams on the War We Are In, The Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy". 2002-12-05. Retrieved 2011-12-05. 
  51. Hargreaves, The Presidency of John Quincy Adams (1985) ch 4
  52. Nagel, Paul C. John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life (1999), p. 327
  53. Bailey, Thomas. The American Pageant, A History of the Republic. Vol.1, 4th Edition. Lexington, Massachusetts: D.C. Heath and Company, 1971.p. 264
  54. "Congressional biography". Retrieved 2011-12-05. 
  55. Nagel, Paul. "John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life". p346. 1999, Harvard University Press
  56. 56.0 56.1 Nagel, Paul. "John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life". p359. 1999, Harvard University Press
  57. 57.0 57.1 57.2 57.3 57.4 Nagel, Paul. "John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life". p353. 1999, Harvard University Press
  58. 58.0 58.1 58.2 58.3 58.4 Nagel, Paul. "John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life". p357. 1999, Harvard University Press
  59. Krainik, Clifford. "Face the Lens, Mr. President: A Gallery of Photographic Portraits of 19th-Century U.S. Presidents". The White House Historical Association. Retrieved September 4, 2009. 
  60. "CAP Search results related to Bishop". National Portrait Gallery.,/is/,/30789/,/false/,/true&newvalues=1&rawsearch=constituentid/,/is/,/30789/,/false/,/true&newstyle=text&newprofile=CAP&newsearchdesc=Related%20to%20Bishop%20&%20Gray%20Studio&newcurrentrecord=1&module=CAP&moduleid=1. Retrieved September 4, 2009. 
  61. Nagel, Paul. "John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life". p347. 1999, Harvard University Press
  62. "Letter - To President John Quincy Adams - Re: United States National Observatory, &C. - From: Lieutenant Matthew Fontaine Maury". Retrieved 2011-12-05. 
  63. USA (2011-10-03). "John Quincy Adams's rhetorical crusade for astronomy. [Isis. 2000] - PubMed - NCBI". Retrieved 2011-12-05. 
  64. "Smithsonian Information Brochure", Smithsonian Visitor Information and Associates' Reception Center, May 2009
  65. 65.0 65.1 Nagel, Paul. "John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life". p348. 1999, Harvard University Press
  66. James Smithson Jr.Template:Dead link
  67. Nagle, Adams (1999) p 355 says "Adams never supported the abolitionists."
  68. ; Parsons, Adams, (1999) p 224
  69. Remini, Adams (2002) p 142
  70. Chandra Miller, "'Title Page to a Great Tragic Volume': The Impact of the Missouri Crisis on Slavery, Race, and Republicanism in the Thought of John C. Calhoun and John Quincy Adams," Missouri Historical Review, July 2000, Vol. 94 Issue 4, pp 365–388
  71. David C. Frederick, "John Quincy Adams, Slavery, and the Disappearance of the Right of Petition," Law and History Review, Spring 1991, Vol. 9 Issue 1, pp 113–155
  72. The information in this paragraph is from the US House historian’s website. [1]
  73. Nagel, Paul. "John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life". p351. 1999, Harvard University Press
  74. Miller, ‘’Arguing about Slavery, 270
  75. Nagel, Paul. "John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life". p352. 1999, Harvard University Press
  76. Miller, William Lee, pg 402
  77. A. Cheree Carlson, "John Quincy Adams' 'Amistad Address': Eloquence in a Generic Hybrid," Western Journal of Speech Communication: WJSC, Winter 1985, Vol. 49 Issue 1, pp 14–26
  78. Leonard L. Richards, The slave power: the free North and southern domination, 1780–1860 (2000) p. 44
  79. Leonard L. Richards, The life and times of Congressman John Quincy Adams (1986) ch 6
  80. Parker, Theodore (1848). A discourse occasioned by the death of John Quincy Adams. Boston: Published by Bela Marsh, 25 Cornhill. p. 26. OCLC 6354870. Retrieved August 2, 2009. 
  81. 81.0 81.1 Donaldson, Norman and Betty (1980). How Did They Die?. Greenwich House. ISBN 0-517-403021. 
  82. Widmer, Edward L. (2008). Ark of the liberties: America and the world. New York: Hill and Wang. p. 120. ISBN 978-0809027354. OCLC 191882004. Retrieved August 2, 2009. 
  83. "John Quincy Adams (1767–1848) – Find A Grave Memorial (original burial site". Retrieved 2011-12-05. 
  84. "Brief Biographies of Jackson Era Characters (A)". Retrieved September 16, 2008. 
  85. Shepherd, Jack, Cannibals of the Heart: A Personal Biography of Louisa Catherine and John Quincy Adams, New York, McGraw-Hill 1980
  86. "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter A". American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved April 1, 2011. 
  87. Jeremy Stern (October 27, 2008). "What's Wrong with HBO's Dramatization of John Adams's Story". History News Network. Retrieved March 18, 2011. 
  88. Memoirs of John Quincy Adams,: Comprising Portions of His Diary from 1795 to 1848 (1876), Internet Archive. Web, June 24, 2013.
  89. Search results = au:John Quincy Adams, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Dec. 26, 2016.

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