John Quincy ADAMS
11 Jul 1767 - 23 Feb 1848
Father: John ADAMS
- BIRTH: 11 Jul 1767, Braintree, Suffolk, MA
- DEATH: 23 Feb 1848, Speaker's Room, Congress, Washington, DC
- BURIAL: Quincy, Suffolk, MA
Mother: Abigail SMITH
: Louisa Catherine JOHNSON
- MARRIAGE: 26 Jul 1797, London, Middlesex, England
_Joseph ADAMS ___+
_John ADAMS _______|
| |_Hannah BASS ____+
_John ADAMS ____|
| | _Peter BOYLSTON _+
| |_Susanna BOYLSTON _|
| |_Ann WHITE ______+
|--John Quincy ADAMS
| | |_________________
|_Abigail SMITH _|
(Adams and associated lines from a GEDCOM posted to Rootsweb
by Scott Williams [firstname.lastname@example.org]).
The Adams Family Papers
Massachusetts Historical Society
Adams, John Quincy (1767-1848), sixth president of the United States(1825-29), who combined brilliant statesmanship with skillful diplomacy. As secretary of state (1817-25) he ranks among the ablest holders of theoffice, and he played a major role in formulating American foreign policy. As an eight-term member of the House of Representatives (1831-48) he was a leading defender of freedom of speech and a spokesmanfor the antislavery cause.
Adams was born in Braintree (now Quincy), MA, on July 11, 1767, theeldest son of John and Abigail Adams. Remarkably precocious, at the ageof 12 he accompanied his father to Europe. He served as Frenchtranslator to Francis Dana, U.S. minister to Russia, in 1781-83 and ashis father's secretary in 1783, during the peace negotiations that endedthe American Revolution. He graduated from Harvard College and opened alaw office in Boston.
Adams's "Publicola" essays, attacking the views Thomas Paine expressedin the Rights of Man, won him early political recognition. In 1793President George Washington named him minister to Holland and then senthim to London to aid John Jay in negotiations with the British (JAY'STREATY). In London he met Louisa Catherine Johnson, whom he married in1797; it was a happy union, marked by deep affection. That same year hebecame minister to Prussia, with which he concluded a pact incorporatingthe neutral rights provisions of Jay's Treaty.
In 1801 Adams was elected to the MA Senate and two years later to theU.S. Senate. Although a Federalist, he followed an independent course.Adams's support of the Louisiana Purchase and his endorsement ofPresident Thomas Jefferson's policy of commercial warfare led to a breakwith his party and his resignation in 1808. The following year PresidentJames Madison appointed him minister to Russia, where he did much toencourage Czar Alexander's friendly feelings toward the U.S. As one ofthe delegates sent to Ghent to negotiate an end to the War of 1812,Adams found the British commissioners so intransigent that he had toapprove a peace treaty (1814) that fell short of U.S. expectations. In1815 he was appointed minister to Great Britain, where he did much toease tensions resulting from the war.
Secretary of State
In 1817 President James Monroe chose Adams as his secretary of state,inaugurating a long and harmonious association, for the two men agreedon basic foreign policy aims. Both were expansionists, and both wantedthe U.S. to follow a course distinct from that of the European powers.Monroe closely controlled foreign policy but relied heavily on theadvice of Adams, who was an adroit negotiator. Adams's state papers areamong the most brilliant ever penned by a secretary of state. WithMonroe's support, he forced Spain to cede Florida and to make afavorable settlement of the Louisiana boundary in the TranscontinentalTreaty drafted in 1819. His protracted negotiations with the Frenchminister on outstanding issues between the two countries were lesssuccessful. The treaty concluded in 1822 only provided for a gradualreduction of France's discriminatory tariff, leaving other questionsunsettled. His efforts to persuade Great Britain to open its West Indiantrade to American ships were unsuccessful.
Adams did not share Monroe's apprehension that the European powers mightintervene to suppress the South American revolutions and restore Spain'sauthority in its colonies. He was concerned, however, about Russianexpansion on the west coast and thus welcomed Monroe's decision toformulate in his annual message of December 1823 a declaration (laterknown as the Monroe Doctrine) expressing American opposition to Europeanintervention in the Americas. At Adams's suggestion, Monroe added astatement declaring that the U.S. regarded the western hemisphere asclosed to further European colonization. As a result, Adams obtained apledge from Russia to remain north of latitude 54ø40'. The British,however, refused to vacate the Columbia River area.
In 1824 Adams was involved in a bitter presidential contest in whichnone of the four candidates obtained a majority in the electoralcollege. Adams, with 84 votes (all from New England), ran behind AndrewJackson (99) but ahead of William H. Crawford (41) and Henry Clay (37).Victory went to Adams in the House of Representatives, when Claysupported him. Adams's choice of Clay as secretary of state led to acharge (probably unfounded) of a "corrupt bargain"-in effect, that Clayhad purchased the office with his votes.
Adams's presidency was marred by the incessant hostility of the combinedJackson and Crawford supporters in Congress, which prevented Adams fromexecuting his envisaged nationalist program. His proposals for thecreation of a department of the interior were rebuffed. Only afteracrimonious debate did he obtain the appointment of delegates to acongress of the American nations in Panama (1826). Committed to the ideaof a protective tariff, Adams in 1828 was maneuvered into signing thegrossly unfair Tariff of Abominations, thereby alienating the South, ashis enemies hoped he would. He steadfastly refused to use the federalpatronage to strengthen his party support, allowing his postmastergeneral to appoint Jackson backers. In the election of 1828, pilloriedas an aristocrat favoring special interests, Adams was overwhelminglydefeated by Jackson (178 to 83 electoral votes).
Was elected in 1824 by a popular vote of 108,740 and an electoral voteof 84.
Andrew Jackson - his successor - had garnered 153,544 popular and 99electoral
votes. However, no candidate had a majority, and election was decided inthe
House of Representatives. During his single term 1825-1829 John C.Calhoun
served as his vice-president. Was elected in 1830 as Representative for
Massachusetts and served 17 years in Congress.
Later Congressional Service
Two years after the end of his presidency, Adams returned to politics,entering the House of Representatives. Now nominally a Whig, he stillfollowed an independent course. For ten years he chaired the Committeeon Manufacturers, which drafted tariff bills. He lauded Jackson's firmresistance to southern attempts to nullify the tariff of 1832, butcondemned the compromise tariff of 1833 (not drafted by his committee)as being too great a concession to the nullificationists. After 1835 hewas identified with the antislavery forces, although not with theabolitionists. Every year from 1836 to 1844 he led the fight to lift thegag rule that had ordered the tabling of all resolutions concerningslavery. He triumphed in 1844, when it was rescinded.
A vigorous speaker, Adams earned the sobriquet Old Man Eloquent.Throughout his lifetime he kept a voluminous diary, later edited by hisson, Charles Francis Adams. On February 21, 1848, he suffered a strokeon the floor of the House, and he died two days later without regainingconsciousness.
(Adams and associated lines from a GEDCOM posted to Rootsweb
by Scott Williams [email@example.com])..
Gary O. Shaw - Family Historian & Genealogy