Joseph] 1811-1891 [Thomas.

John Quincy Adams online

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.»OHN QUINCY ADAMS.




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PHILADELPHIA:

J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY.

1888.



£"^77
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Copyright, 1888, by J. B. Lippincott Company.



JOHN QTTINOT ADAMS.



Adams, John Quincy, an American statesman, tlio
son of President Jolin Adams, and liiniself tlic sixtii
'president of the United States, was born in tiie parisli
of North Braintree (now Quiney), in the colony of Mas-
sacliusetts Bay, Jniy 11, 1767. When eleven years old,
lie accompanied his father on a diplomatic jonrney to
Paris, and at the age of fourteen became ])rivate secre-
tary to Francis Dana, the envoy from the United States
to St Petersburg. He was secretary to the commission
whicii negotiated the treaty of ])eace between the colo-
nies and the mother-country; but when, in 1785, his
fatiier received the appointment of minister to the court
of St James's, Adams returned to America, and entered
the junior class of Harvard College. He graduated in
1787, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1790.
In 1794 he received from President Washington the
appointment of minister resident at the Hague; was
afterwards sent to the court of St James's ; was nomi-
nated by Washington as minister to Portugal ; and on
the accession of the elder Adams to the presidency, was
appointed minister to Prussia. In 1802 he was chosen
state senator by the Federalists of his district, and in
1803 was elected to the United States senate from Mas-
sachusetts. Here he gradually rose into a position of
influence, tlioiigh often jeopardising his ])opularitv with
his own party by acting with the opposition.



4 JOHN qVINCY ADAMS.

In 1.S06 he boldly denounced in the senate tlie right
claimed by the British government of searching and
confiscating the cargoes of neutral vessels bound for
countries with which the British were at war, and intro-
duced resolutions (which were supported by the republi-
cans) requesting the president to demand the restoration
of property so confiscated. This position thoroughly
alienated Adams from the Federal party, and the Mas-
sachusetts legislature expressing its disapproval of his
course by prematurely electing his successor, he promptly
resigned his seat in the senate. In 1809 he was ap-
pointed minister to St Petersburg by President Madi-
son; in 1814, was chosen a member of a commission to
negotiate a treaty of peace between Great Britain and
the United States, and in the following year became
minister at the court of St James's, where he remained
until he was recalled in 1817 to assume the duties of
secretary of state under President Monroe. In the
latter capacity he negotiated with Spain a treaty for the
acquisition of Florida hy the United States, and for the
settlement of the western boundary of Louisiana; and
it is claimed that to him belongs the paternity of that
policy which denies the right of interference by Euro-
pean governments in the affairs of the American conti-
nents, familiarly known as 'The Monroe Doctrine.'

On the close of Monroe's administration in 1825,
Adams was elected jjresident by the House of Repre-
sentatives — no election having been made by the people.
An uneventful administration followed. Failing of an
election for a second term, he retired to his home at
Quincy, depressed, unhappy, and poor in purse. In
1830 he was elected by the National Republican (after-



JOHN qVINCY ADAMS. 5

wards the Whig) party to tlie h)\ver house of congress,
where ho became p;irticiilarly noted as a promoter of the
growing anti-slavery sentiments of the Nortliern States ;
was ever ready to defend tiie abstract rigiit of petition,
and subjected iiiraself to severe reproaches by constantly
laying before the house floods of petitions for the abo-
lition of slavery. One of tlie ablest of the old school
of statesmen, he was returned to each successive congress
until his death, which occurred in the Speaker's room of
the House of llepresentatives, February 23, 1848.

His Memoirs, comprising portions of his diary from 1795 to
18-18, were edited and published by his son, Charles P. Adams, in
12 vols. See John (luincy Adams (American Statesmen Series),
by John T. Morse (1 vol. 12mo, 1882).



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Online LibraryJoseph] 1811-1891 [ThomasJohn Quincy Adams → online text (page 1 of 1)