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N the 11th day of July, 1767, the subject of our sketch
was born at the family mansion of his father, John Adams, in Quincy, Massachusetts, and christened by the name of John QUINCY, after his great-grandfather, who was a distinguished citizen of the province
about the commencement of the eighteenth century. At the age of eleven years," he accompanied his father to France,* and received the daily caresses and instructions of Doctor Franklin and other distinguished men there. Thus he in a measure entered public life in early childhood. In 1780, he again accompanied his father to France. He went to school a short time in Paris; and on the removal of his father to Holland, he was sent, first to the public school in Amsterdam, and afterward to the city university of Leyden. In 1781, then only fourteen years of age, he accompanied Mr. Francis Dana to Russia. Mr. Dana had been appointed embassador to that court, and young
his private secretary. In the winter of 1782-'3, he travelled alone through Sweden and Denmark, thence to Hamburg and Bremen, and reached the Hague in safety, where his father was then minister for the United States. When, in 1785, his father was appointed a minister to England, he asked leave to return home and complete his education, for hitherto his book-studies had been constantly interrupted. He entered Harvard university, where he graduated in July, 1787.
At the age of twenty he commenced the study of law with Theophilus Parsons, of Newburyport ;t and after completing his course of study, he
* John Adams was a joint commissioner with Franklin and Lee to negotiate a treaty of commerce, &c.
+ While a student in his office, Parsons was chosen to address Washington on the occasion of his visit there. He asked each of bis students to write an address. That of Adams was chosen and delivered by Parsons.
His essays on “ Neutrality."- His various public services.— Is elected president of the United States, removed to Boston and commenced practice, employing his leisure in writing upon political subjects. His essays, showing it to be the duty of the United States to remain neutral in regard to the existing quarrel between France and England, were read with admiration, and they effectually aided in resisting the efforts of Genet to involve the United States in the controversy. They gave him a reputation as a writer and statesman, and his talents were appreciated by Washington.* In May, 1794, he was appointed resident minister to the Netherlands. Toward the close of his administration, Washington appointed him minister to Portugal : but while on his way to Lisbon, he received a new commission from his father (then president), which changed his destination to Berlin, where he effected a commercial treaty with Prussia. In May, 1797, he was married to Louisa Catharine, daughter of Joshua Johnson, of Maryland, at that time residing in London.
He returned to America in 1801, and in 1802 he was elected to the senate of Massachusetts. In 1803, he was elected to a seat in the United States senate, where he uniformly supported the measures of Mr. Jefferson. For this support the Massachusetts legislature censured him, and in 1806 he resigned his seat.
In 1809, Mr. Madison appointed him minister plenipotentiary to the court of the emperor of Russia, and he was the first who occupied that station. The emperor Alexander admitted him to a degree of intimacy quite extraordinary; and when war between the United States and Great Britain was declared in 1812, he offered his mediation, but it was rejected by the latter government. In 1814, Mr. Adams was placed at the head of the American commission that met the English commissioners at Ghent, to negotiate for peace. In connexion with Clay and Gallatin, he negotiated a treaty of commerce with Great Britain, on th: basis of which our present commercial relations with that country ar founded.
In 1815, Mr. Adams was appointed minister to the court of St. James, which post he occupied until 1817, when President Monroe offered him a seat in his cabinet as secretary of state. He accepted the office, and he remained therein during the eight years' administration of Mr. Monroe. His indefatigable industry, and clear, statesmanlike views, rendered him one of the most useful men in the country.
In 1824, Mr. Adams was one of five candidates for president of the United States. In consequence of this number, by which the votes in the electoral college were divided, that body could not make a choice, and it was referred to the house of representatives. Mr. Adams was
• Mr. Jefferson, who formed an acquaintance with him in Paris, recommended Washington io introduce him into the public service.
+ This change was made by the advice and approval of Washington.
Growth of opposition. - Trouble in Georgid: - Indian treaties. — Tariff-bill. - Presidential election chosen, and on the 4th of March, 1825, he was inaugurated. The senate being in session, he at once nominated his cabinet, which nominations were confirmed.*
Mr. Adams's administration was one of almost unbroken peace and prosperity - peace with foreign nations, and tranquillity and prosperity at home. Such being the case, there are but a few prominent events in his administration requiring especial notice, and these chiefly relate to
our domestic affairs. Unlike his predecessor, Mr. Monroe, Mr. Adams i found a powerful opposition to his administration rapidly growing up, and at the close of his term, the party lines were very distinctly drawn.
In 1825, some difficulty arose between the general government and the state of Georgia, respecting the extinguishment of the Indian titles in that state,t but it was soon amicably settled. In August, a treaty was concluded with the northwest tribes, and a general peace with the savages ensued. In September, La Fayette departed for France in the frigate Brandywine. When he left Washington, Mr. Adams pronounced an eloquent parting address in the presence of a vast concourse of people.
The first session of the nineteenth Congress passed but few acts of general public interest; and when the second session opened, hostility to the administration was so strongly manifested, that it was evident that measures, even of acknowledged public utility, would, if proposed by the president or his friends, meet with much opposition. Mr. Calhoun, the vice-president, was alienated from Mr. Adams; and the opposition, daily accumulating strength, assumed the decided lineaments of a distinct
party before the close of the session in 1827. As early as October, 1825, the legislature of Tennessee nominated General Jackson as a candidate for the presidency, which nomination was accepted by him, and he resigned his seat in the senate of that state.
A general tariff-bill was passed on the 19th of April, 1828, in accordance with numerous petitions and memorials from northern manufacturers and others. It was very unpopular in the southern states, and attempts were made for its revision, but it remained in force until 1832, when it was changed by the compromise-bill offered by Mr. Clay.
The presidential election took place in the autumn of 1828. Public feeling was highly excited, and all the bitterness of party rancor which distinguished the two parties at the time of Mr. Jefferson's election was exhibited. The candidates were General Jackson and Mr. Adams; the His retirement from office.-Elected a member of the house of representatives.-His character. result was the election of the former by a vote in the electoral college of one hundred and seventy-one to eighty-eight. On the 3d of March, 1829, Mr. Adams left the presidential chair and retired to private life, beloved by his political friends, and highly respected by his opponents.
* He appointed Henry Clay, of Kentucky, secretary of state ; Richard Rush, of Pennsylva. nia, secretary of the treasury; James Barbour, of Virginia, secretary of war; and Mr. Wirt was continued attorney-general.
+ A few Creek chiefs, in violation of a law of their nation, negotiated with the United States for a cession of all their lands in Georgia and Alabama. The matter was finally settled to the satisfaction of both Georgia and the Indians, by the latter retaining their lands in Alabama.
This was a new frigate, and was named Brandywine in honor of La Fayette, who was distinguished for bis valor in the battle at the river of that name, during our Revolution.
The most prominent features in Mr. Adams's administration were those pertaining to the domestic policy of the government, and time alone can determine how far that policy was based upon
sound wisdom. That much was done for the true honor, glory, and prosperity of the country, none can deny. During his administration, internal improvements had been fostered with a liberal hand, nearly fourteen millions of dollars having been expended for these and other beneficial objects ; more than five millions of dollars were appropriated to the surviving officers of the Revolution; and at the same time the interest on the pub·lic debt was punctually paid, and the principal was reduced more than thirty millions of dollars. When Mr. Adams left the executive chair, the United States were at peace with all the world.
But he was not long permitted to enjoy the repose of private life. In 1830, he was elected to represent in Congress the district in which he resided, and in December, 1831, he took his seat in the house of representatives. He was then in the sixty-fifth year of his age. From that time until the present, he has been a member of the house, and one of its most active and indefatigable laborers. His fervid eloquence on all occasions where his feelings are warmly enlisted, has always given him great power in debate, and obtained for him the appellation of the old man eloquent.” His feelings and his exertions have ever been enlisted on the side of popular freedom and human rights ; and in the national legislature he is one of the stoutest champions of the right of petition in its broadest sense. He is now past eighty years
of physical strength is failing under the accumulating weight of years, but his intellect seems to retain its strength and brilliancy almost undiminished.
Mr. Adams's private character has always been above reproach, and in his professions and practice he exhibits the traits of the sincere Christian. Having been in public life almost from infancy, and constantly associated with distinguished men of many nations, his school of observation has been vast and varied. His early taste for literature has been a passion through life, and his ever-active and retentive memory has made his mind a vast storehouse of knowledge. He is acknowledged to be one of the most (perhaps the most) accomplished scholars in America.
Mr. Adams is of middle stature and rather full person, and his dark, penetrating eyes beam with intelligence. Old age is bowing his head, but when seated at his desk, in Congress, nothing but his thin gray hair would indicate his physical decadence.