The New Student's Reference Work/Adams, John Quincy

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John Quincy Adams

Ad′ams, John Quincy, sixth President of the United States and eldest son of John Adams, was born July 11, 1767, at Braintree, Mass. He graduated at Harvard College in 1788. Washington appointed him minister to The Hague in 1794, and later on minister to Portugal, but his father, becoming President, changed his destination to Berlin. In this promotion of his own son John Adams acted on the written advice of Washington, who said that young Adams was the ablest person in the American diplomatic service, and merited promotion ought not to be withheld from him because he was the son of the President. He soon became a leader of the Federal party, but separated from them on the question of the embargo. He was sent as minister to Russia and to England by Madison. He was secretary of state under Monroe. In the presidential contest of 1824 he was the candidate of the Whig party. As no one of the candidates secured a majority of the electors chosen by the states the election went to the House of Representatives, where Adams was chosen. His administration was marked by few events of importance, though it was a period of general progress and prosperity. In 1830 he was elected to Congress, where he continued to represent his district until his death. Here he rendered perhaps the most important service in his political life, becoming conspicuous and influential in shaping tariff legislation, in arguing for the right of petition to Congress and in organizing and leading the opposition to slavery. He was stricken with paralysis while occupying his seat in the House of Representatives, and died Feb. 23, 1848. See Morse's Life, in American Statesmen Series.