piration of Mr. Madison's adminstration. At the elec-
tion held the previous autumn Mr. Monroe himself had
been chosen President with but little opposition, and
upon March 4, 1817, was inaugurated. Four years
later he was elected for a second term.
Among the important measures of his Presidency
were the cession of Florida to the United States; the
Missouri Compromise, and the " Monroe doctrine,'
This famous doctrine, since known as the " Monroe
doctrine," was enunciated by him in 1823. At tha^
time the United States had recognized the independ-
ence of the South American states, and did not wish
to have European (wwers longer attenniting to sub
due portions of the American Continent. The doctrine
is as follows: "That we should consider any ;ii tempt
on the part of European powers to extend their sys-
tem to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous
to our peace and safety," and "that we could not
view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing
or controlling American governments or provinces in
any other light than as a manifestation by Europeai:
powers of an unfriendly disposition toward the United
States." This doctrine immediately affected the course
of foreign governments, and has become the approved
sentiment of the LTnited States.
At the end of his fecond term Mr Monroe retired
to his home in Virginia, where he lived until t830.
when he went to New York to live with his son-in-
law. In that city he died, on the 4th of July. 1831,
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
J . 5 , "^ ^ cu)y\J
W}\\ Qail]6Y '^D^llQS.
OHN QUINCY ADAMS, the
^ixth President of the United
'Slates, was lx)rn in the rural
home of his honored fallier,
John Adams, in Quincy, Mass.,
on the I ith cf July, 1767. His
mother, a woman of exahed
worth, watched over his childhood
(luring the almost constant ab-
sence of his father. When but
eight years of age, he stood with
' his mother on an eminence, listen-
ing to the booming of the great bat-
tle on Bunkers Hill, and gazing on
\.\\ion the smoke and flames billow-
ing up from the conflagration of
When but eleven years old he
took a tearful adieu of his mother,
to sail with his father for Europe,
through a fleet ot hostile British cruisers. The bright,
.iiimated l>oy sjient a year and a half in Paris, where
iiK father was associated with Franklin and Lee as
minister plenipotentiary. His intelligence attracted
the notice of these distinguished men, and he received
from them flattering m.irks of attention.
Mr. Jolin Adams had scarcely returned to this
'■on. try, in 1779, ere he was again sent abroad. Again
oI.,i Quincy accompanied his father. At Paris he
ip^ilied himself with great diligence, for six months,
t(> .-.'udy; then accompained his father to Holland,
vncre he entered, first a school in .Amsterdam, then
ihe University at I.eyden. Al)out a year from tliis
'ime, in 1781, when the manly boy was but fourteen
yea's of age, he was selected by Mr. Dana, our min-
ister to the Russian court, as his private secretary.
In this school of incessant lalor and of enobling
fultnre he sjicnt fourteen months, and then returned
•o Holland through Sweden, Denmark, Hamburg and
l?re lien. This Icng journey he took alone, in the
winter, when in his sixteenth year. Again he resumed
ais studies, under a private tutor, at Hague. Thence,
in the spring of 1782, he accompanied his father t;
Paris, traveling leisurely, and forming acijuaintanct
with the most distinguished men on the Continent
examining architectural remains, galleries of paintings
and all renowned works of art. At Paris he again
became associated with the most illustrious men o(
all lands in the contemplations of the loftiest temporal
themes which can engross the human mind. Afte-
a short visit to England he returned to Paris, and
consecrated all his enerdes to study until May, 1785,
when he returned lo .Vuierica. To a brilliant young
man of eighteen, who had seen much of the world,
and who was familiar with the eti<iuette of courts, a
residence with his father in London, under such cir-
cumstances, must have been extremely attractive
but with judgment very rare in one of his age, he pre-
ferred to return to .America to complete his education
in an .American college. He wished then to study
law, that with an honorable profession, he might be
able to obtain an independent supjKjrt.
LI))on leaving Harvard College, at theageof twentj'
he studied law for three years. In June, :794, be-
ing then but twenty-seven years of age, he was ap)-
[Kjinted by Washington, resident minister at tht
Netherlands. Sailing from Boston in July, he reached
Ix)ndon in October, where he was immediately admit-
ted to the deliberations of Messrs. Jay and Pinckney.
assisting them in negotiating a commercial treaty with
Gieat Brilian. .After thus spending a fortnight i;
London, he proceeded to the Hague.
In July, 1797, he left the Hague to go to Portugal as
minister ])leiii]X)tentiary. On his way to Portugal,
uiX)n arriving in Ixjndon, he met with despatches
directing him to the court of Beiiin, but requesting
him to remain in London until he should receive his
instructions, \\hile w.-.iting he was married to ar
American lady to whom he had been previously en-
gaged, — Miss Ix)ujsa Catherine Johnson, daughte
of Mr. Joshua Johnson, American consul in I ondon
a lady endownd with that beauty and those accom-
plishment which emiiicnlly fitted her to irovc in t'u|
elevated sphere for which she was ^twined.
JOHN QUlNCY ADAMS.
He reached Berlin with his wife in November, 1797 ;
where he remained until July, 1799, when, havingful-
filled all the puriwses of his mission, he solicited his
Soon after his return, in 1802, he was chosen to
the Senate of Massachusetts, from Boston, and then
was elected Senator of the United States for six years,
from the 4th of March, 1804. His reputation, his
ability and his experience, placed him immediately
among the most prominent and influential members
of that body. Especially did he sustain the Govern-
ment in its measures of resistance to the encroach-
ments of England, destroying our commerce and in-
sulting our flag. There was no man in An\erica more
familiar with the arrogance of the British court upon
these points, and no one more resolved to present
a firm resistance.
In 1809, Madison succeeded Jefferson in the Pres-
idential chair, and he immediately nominated John
Quincy .4dams minister to St. Petersburg. Resign-
ing his professorship in Harvard College, he embarked
at Boston, in August, 1809.
While in Russia, Mr. Adams was an intense stu-
dent. He devoted his attention to the language and
history of Russia; to the Chinese trade; to the
European system of weights, measures, and coins ; to
the climate and astronomical observations ; while he
kept up a familiar acquaintance with the Greek and
Latin classics. In all the universities of Europe, a
more accomplished scholar could scarcely be found.
■All through life the Bible constituted an importai t
jpart of his studies. It was his rule to read five
Ichapters every day.
On the 4th of March, 1817, Mr. Monroe took the
Presidential chair, and immediately appointed Mr.
Adams Secretai^ of State. Taking leave of his num-
erous friends in public and private life in Europe, he
sailed in June, 1819, forthe United States. On the
i8th of August, he again crossed the threshold of his
home in Quincy. During the eight years of Mr. Mon-
roe's administration, Mr. Adams continued Secretary
Some time before Ihe close of Mr. Monroe's second
term of office, new candidates began to be presented
forthe Presidency. The friends of Mr. .\dams brought
forward his name. It was an exciting campaign.
Party spirit was never more bitter. Two liundred and
sixty electoral votes were cast. Andrew Jackson re-
ceived ninety nine; John Quincy Adams, eighty-four;
William H. Crawford, forty-<^)ne; Henry Clay, thirty-
seven. As there was no choice by the people, the
question went to the House of Representatives. Mr.
Clay gave the vote of Kentucky to Mr. Adams, and
he was elected.
The friends of all the disappointed candidates now
;ombined in a venomous and persistent assault upon
Mr. Adams. There is nothing more disgraceful in
*« P-ist history of our country than the abuse which
was jwured in o.ie uninterrupted stream, upon this
high-minded, upright, patriotic man. There never was
an administration more pure in principles, more con-
scientiously devoted to the best interests of the coun-
try, than that of John Quincy Adams; and never, per-
haps, was there an administration more unscrupu-
lously and outrageously assailed.
Mr. Adams was, to a very remarkable degree, ab-
stemious and temperate in his habits; always rising
early, and taking much exercise. When at his home in
Quincy, he has been known to walk, before breakfast,
seven miles to Boston. In Washington, it was said
that he was the first man up in the city, lighting his
own fire and applying himself to work in his library
often long before dawn.
On the 4th of March, 1829, Mr. Adams retired
from the Presidency, and was succeeded by Andrew
Jackson. John C. Calhoun was elected Vice Presi-
dent. The slavery question now began to assume
ixjrtentous magnitude. Mr. Adams returned to
Quincy and to his studies, which he pursued with un-
abated zeal. But he was not long permitted to re-
main in retirement. In November, 1830, he was
elected representative to Congress. For seventeen
years, until his death, he occupied the post as repre-
sentative, towering above all his peers, ever :eady to
do brave battle' for freedom, and winning the title of
"the old man eloquent." Upon taking his seat in
the House, he announced that he should hold him-
self bound to no party. Probably there never was a
member more devoted to his duties. He was usually
the first in his i)lace in the morning, and (he last to
leave his seat in the evening. Not a measure could
be brougiit forward and escape his scrutiny. 'I he
battle which Mr. .\dams fought, almost singly, against
the proslavery party in the Government, was sublime
in Its moral daring and heroism. For persisting in
presenting petitions for the abolition of slavery, he
was threatened with indictment by the grand jur)-
with expulsion from the House, with assassination
but no tlireats could intimidate him, and his final
triumph was complete.
It has been said of President Adams, that when his
body was bent and his hair silvered by the lapse of
fourscore years, yielding to the simple faith of a little
child, he was accustomed to repeat every night, before
he slept, the prajer which his mother taught him in
his infant years.
On the 2 1 St of February, 1848, he rose on tlie floor
of Congress, with a paper in his hand, to address the
speaker. Suddenly he fell, again stricken by paraly-
sis, and was caught in the amis of those around iiim.
For a time he was senseless, as he was conveyed to
tlie sofa in the rotunda. With reviving conscious-
ness, he opened his eyes, looked calmly around and
said " T/iis is the end of earth ;"\\\^w after a moment's
|xause he added, " I am content" These were the
last words of the grand " Old Man Eloquent."
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
NDREW JACKSON, the
cvcnth President of the
■' 'it- /#^VW^n"'"'""'^'^ States, was born in
'^"^i'JM. ^& m)^ Y U'axhaw settlement, N. C,
"^^^^rr^^-^^h March 15, 1767, a few days
after his father's death. His
parents were jxwr emigrants
from Ireland, and took up
their abode in Waxhaw set-
tlement, where they lived in
Andrew, or Andy, as he Was
universally called, grew up a very
rough, rude, turbulent boy. His
features were coarse, his form un-
gainly; and there was but very
little in his character, made visible, which was at-
When only thirteen years old he joined the volun-
teers of Carolina against the Hritish invasion. In
1781, he and his brother Robert were captured and
ini[)risoned for a time at Camden. A British officer
ordered him to brush his mud-spattered boots. " I am
a prisoner of war, not your servant," was the re|)ly of
the dauntless lK>y.
The brute drew his sword, and aimed a desperate
Dlow at the head of the helpless young prisoner.
Andrew raised his hand, and thus received two fear-
ful gashes, — one on the hand and the other ujxjn the
head. The officer then turned to his brother Robert
•Arith the same demand. He also refused, and re-
ceived a blow from the keen-edged sabre, which quite
disabled him, and which probably soon after caused
his death. They suffered much other ill-treatment, and
were finally stricken with the small-jxix. Their
mother was successful vc\ yblaining their exchanjje.
and took her sick i)oys home. After a long illn si.
Andrew recovered, and the death of his mother ^oon
left him entirely friendless.
.\ndrew sjpiwried himself in various ways,s r..;: aj
working at the saddler's trade, teaching school and
clerking in a general store, until 17 84, when he
entered a law office at Salisbury, N. C. He, however,
gave more attention to the wild amusen)ents of tht
times than to his studies. In 1788, he was ai)i)ointed
solicitor for the western district of North Carolina, of
which Tennessee was then a part. This involved
many long and tedious journeys amid dangers of
every kind, but Andrew Jackson never knew fear,
and the Indians had no desire to repeat a skirmisbl
witn the Sharp Knife.
In 1791, Mr. Jackson was married to a woman who
s'.ipix)sed herself divorced from her former husbar>d.
Creat was the surjirise of l)oth parties, two years later,
to find that the conditionsofilic divorce had just been
definitely settled l>y tlie first husband. The marriage
ceremony was performed a second time, but the occur.,
rence was often used by his enemies to bring Mr.
Jackson into disfavor.
During these years he worked hard at his profes
sion, and frequently had one or more duels on hand,
one of which, when he killed Dirkenson, was espec-
In January, 1796, the Territory of Tennessee then
containing nearly eighty thousand inhabitants, the
people met in convention at Knowille to frame a con-
stitution. Five were sent from each of the elevn ,
counties. Andrew Jackson was one of the delegates.'
The new State was entitled to but one member is
the Natioiial House of Representatives. Andrew J.nd;-
son was chosen that member. Mounting his horse he
rode to Philedelphia, where Congress then held its
sessions; — a distance of about eight hundred miles.
Jackson was an earnest advocate of the Demo-
cratic jjurty. Jefferson was liis idol. He admired
Bonaparte, loved France and hated England. As Mr.
Jackson took his seat, Gen. Washington, whose
second term of office was then expiring, delivered his
last speech to Congress. A committee drew up a
com[)limentary address in reply. Andrew Jackson
did not approve of the address, and was one of the
twelve who voted against it. He was not willing to
say that Cien. Washington's adminstration had been
" wise, firm and patriotic."
Mr. Jackson was elected to the United States
Senate in 1797, but soon resigned and returned home.
Soon after he was chosen Judge of the Supreme Court
of his State, which position he held fjr six years.
When the war of 1812 with Creat Britian com-
menced, Madison occupied the Presidential chair.
Aaron Burr sent word to the President that there was
an unknown man in the West, Andrew Jackson, who
would do credit to a commission if one were con-
ferred u|)on him. Just at that time Gen. Jackson
offeied his services and those of twenty-five hundred
volunteers. His offer was accepted, and the troops
were assembled at Nashville.
As the British were hourly expected to make an at-
tack upon New Orleans, where Gen. Wilkinson was
in command, he was ordered to descend the river
•with fifteen hundred troops to aid Wilkinson. The
expedition reached Natchez; and after a delay of sev-
eral weeks there, without accomplishing anything,
the men were ordered back to their homes. But the
energy Gen. Jackson had displayed, and his entire
devotion to the comrfort of his soldiers, won him
golden opinions; and he became the most popular
man in the State. It was in this expedition that his
toughness gave him the nickname of "Old Hickory."
Soon after this, while attempting to horsewliip Col.
Thomas H. Benton, for a remark that gentleman
made about his taking a part as second in a duel, in
which a younger brother of Benton's was engaged,
he received two severe pistol wounds. While he was
lingering ujxjn a bed of suffering news came that the
Indians, who had combined under Tecumseh from
Florida to the Lakes, to exterminate the white set-
tlers, were committing the most awful ravages. De-
cisive action l)ecame necessary. Gen. Jackson, with
his fractured bone just beginning to heal, Jiis arm in
a sling, and unable to mount his horse without assis-
tance, gave his amazing energies to the raising of an
army to rendezvous at FayettesviUe, Alabama.
The Creek Indians had established a strong fort on
one of the bends of the Tallapoosa River, near the cen-
ter of Alabama, about fifty miles below Fort Sirother.
With an army of two thousand men, Gen. Jackson
traversed the pathless wilderness in a march of eleven
days. He reached their fort, called Toho])eka or
Horse-shoe, on the 27th of March- 1814. The bend
of the river enclosed nearly one hanared acres 01
tangled forest and wild ravine. Acnjss the n;-.riow
neck the Indians had constructed a formidable breast-
work of logs and brush. Here nine hundred warriors,
with an ample suplyof arms were asstmbled.
The fort was stormed. The figlu was utterly des-
perate. Not an Indian would accept of i|uarter. When
bleeding and dying, they would fight those who en-
deavored to spare their lives. From ten in the morn-
ing until dark, the battle raged. The carnage was
awful and revolting. Some threw themselves into the
river; but the unerring bullet struck their heads as
they swam. Nearly everj'one of the nine hundred war-
rios were killed A few probably, in the night, swam
the river and escaped. This ended the war. The
j»wer of the Creeks was broken forever. This bold
plunge into the wilderness, with its terriftic slaughter,
so appalled the savages, that the haggard remnants
of the bands caiue to the camp, begging for peace.
This closing of the Creek war enabled us to con-
centrate all our militia ujxjn the British, who were the
allies of the Indians No man of less resolute will
than Gen. Jackson could have conducted this Indian
campaign to so successful an issue Immediately he
was appointed major-general.
Late in August, with an army of two thousand
men, on a rushing march, Gen. Jackson came to
Mobile. A British fleet came from Pensacola, landed
a force upon the beach, anchored near the little fort,
and from both ship and shore commenced a furious
assault. The battle was long and doubtful. At length
one of the ships was blown up and the rest retired.
Garrisoning Mobile, where he had taken his little
army, he moved his troops to New Orleans,
And the battle of New Orleans which soon ensued,
was in reality a very arduous campaign. This Won
for Gen. Jackson an imjierishable name. Here his
troops, which numbered about four thousand men,
won a signal victory over the British army of about
nine thousand. His loss was but thiileen, while the
loss of the British was two thousand six hundred.
The name of Gen. Jackson soon began to be men-
tioned in connection with the Presidency, but, in 1824,
he was defeated by Mr. Adams. He was, however,
successful in the election of 1828, and was re-elected
for a second term in 1832. In 1829, just before he
assumed the reins of the government, he met with
the most terrible affliction of his life in the death of
his wife, whom he had loved with a devotion which has
perhaps never been surpassed. From the shock of
her death he never recovered.
His administration was one of the most niimorabie
in the annals of our country; app"laude/f oyone party,
condemned by the other. No man had more bitter
enemies or warmer friends. At the expiration of his
two terms of office he retired to the Hermitage, where
he died June 8, 1S45. The last years of >Ir. Jack-
son's life were that of a devoted Christian man.
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
^ ^ ^2^^^ .^z^yu<_^.
ARTIN VAN BUREN, the
eighth President of the
I'nited States, was born at
Kinderhook, N. Y., Dec. 5,
1782. He died at the same
|)l.ice, July 24, 1862. His
body rests in the cemetery
at Kinderhook. Above it is
a plain granite shaft fifteen feet
high, bearing a simple inscription
al)Out hall way up on one face.
The lot is unfenced, unbordered
or unbonndcd by shrub or flower.
There '•- ..ut lUtle in the life of Martin Van Biiren
of ruman' c interest. He fought no battles, engaged
in no wild adventures. Though his life w.is stormy in
political and intellectual conflicts, and he gained many
signal victories, his days passed uneventful in those
incidents which give zest to biography. His an-
cestors, as his name indicates, were of Dutch origin,
and were among the earliest emigrants from Holland
to the banks of the Hudson. His father was a fanner,
residing in the old town of Kinderhook. His mother,
also of Dutch lineage, was a woman of superior intel-
ligence and exemplary piety.
A'i was decidedly a precocious boy, developing un-
usual activity, vigor and strength of mind. At the
age of fourteen, he had finished his academic studies
in his native village, and commenced the study of
;aw. As he had not a collegiate education, seven
years of study in a law-office were reipiired of him
<)efore he could be ad:iiitted to the bar. Ins|)ired with
Ji lofty ambition, and conscious of his jxiwers, he |)ur-
sued Ills studies with indefatigable industry. After
51)ending six ye.irs in an office in his native village,
he went to the city of Xew York, and prosecuted hi^
studies for the seventh year.
In 1803, Mr. Van Buren, then twenty-one years ol
age, commenced the practice of law in his native vil-
lage. The great conflict between the Federal and
Republican party was then at its height. Mr. Van
Buren was from the beginning a iwlitician. He had,
perhaps, imbibed that spirit while listening to the
many discussions which had been carried on in his
father's hotel. He was in cordial symp-ithy with
JelTerson, and earnestly and eloquently esiwused the
cause of State Rights ; though at that lime the Fed-
eral i)arty held the supremacy both in his towa
His success and increasing ruputation led him
after six years of practice, to remove to Hudson, \\\<
county seat of his county. Here he spent seven years,
constantly gaining strength by contending in tlu
courts with some of the ablest men who have adorned
the bar of his State.
Just before leaving Kinderhook for Hudson, Mi.
Van Buren married a lady alike distinguished for
beauty and accomplishments. After twelve short
years she sank into the grave, the victim of consump-
tion, leaving her husband and four sons to weep ovei
her loss. For twenty-five years, Mr. Van Buren was
an earnest, successful, assiduous lawyer. The record
of those years is barren in items of public interest.
In 181 2, when thirty years of age, he was chosen to
the State Senate, and gave his strenuous supiwrt to
Mr. Madison's adininstration. In 1815, he was ap-
l>ointed .Xttorney-Oeneral, and the next year moved
to .Albany, the capital of the State.
While he was acknow'ledged as one of the most
piominent leaders of ths Dcuiocaric party, he had
MARTIN VAN BUREN.
the moral courage to avow that true democracy did
not require th.it '' universal suffrage" which admits
the vile, the degraded, the ignorant, to the right of
governing the State. In true consistency with his
democratic principles, he contended that, while the
path leading to the privilege of voting should be open
to every man without distinction, no one should be
invested with that sacred prerogative, unless he were
in some degree qualified for it by intelligence, virtue
and some property interests in the welfare of the
In 182 1 he was elected ; member of the United
States Senate; and in the same year, he took a seat
m the convention to revise the constitution of his