John Quincy Adams
Background and Experience
- born 1767 in Quincy, Mass., to John and Abigail Adams
- would become the only son of a president to be elected president until "Dubya"
- travel 1778 with father to Europe, educated in Europe 1779-85
- began diary 1785 that he would keep for 63 years, published in 12 volumes as his Memoirs 1874-77
- described himself as "a man of reserved, cold, austere, and forbidding manners; my political adversaries say, a gloomy misanthropist, and my personal enemies, an unsocial savage. With a knowledge of the actual defect in my character, I have not the pliability to reform it."
- admitted to the junior class of Harvard 1786 and graduated Phi Beta Kappa 1787
- studied law for 3 years and started a practice in Boston 1790 but failed
- appointed minister to Netherlands 1794, then Berlin, Russia, Britain
- married Louisa Johnson in Britain 1797 and would have 3 children: George, John, Charles
- adopted Mary Catherine in 1817, the orphaned daughter of Louisa's sister
- importance of family - "we are all each others shadows" - strict discipline and "study your every move" - avoid "boastfulness" and ambition
- classic republicanism - disinterested virtue, public service, honor
- appointed Secretary of State by James Monroe 1817
- elected 6th President of the U.S. by the House in 1825 after the "corrupt bargain"
- would serve in the House of Representatives 1830 and dies 1848 in the Speaker's Room
revised 10/1/03 | Monroe Doctrine | Transcontinental Treaty of 1819 | Class Page