John Quincy Adams


by Kasondra Lamberton

John Quincy Adams was born to John and Abigail Smith Adams on July 11th, 1767. He grew up on a large farm in Braintree, (now the town is called Quincy) Massachusetts. He was the second child and eldest son of the second President of the United States. John Quincy was destined to be the president of the united sates, following his father's footsteps.

He attended schools in Paris, Amsterdam, and Leydent. When he was 14 years old John went to St. Petersburg to work as a private secretary to Francis Dana, the first American Diplomat in Russia. He then became a Democratic-Republication. His religion was Unitarian.

In 1785 he returned home and went to Harvard College. Soon after he married Louisa Catherine Johnson in 1787. They had four children, 3 sons and one daughter. One died as an infant, one in 1829, and another died five years later. The last remaining child served as a minister during the Civil War.

Before John was President, he was a lawyer, diplomat, senator, secretary of state, and a member of Congress, even though he wanted to stay out of public life permanently. In 1814-1815 John Adams helped negotiate peace with Great Britain. After this peace treaty, he became minister to Great Britain.

Adams had never been popular for many reasons. First, he was seen as an aristocrat, so he was nicknamed "Old Man Eloquent." Second, he seemed to have an aloof manner. Lastly, he was thought to have cheated his way to Presidency.

People thought this because John knew the speaker of the house, Henry Clay, who helped Adams become elected on March 4th, 1825, becoming the sixth President.

John Q. Adams wanted many things for his country. He wanted the federal government to help the young economy and spend money on roads and canals. He wanted an observatory for astronomers, and he wanted the government to support improvement of farming, manufacturing, trade, science, and arts. Many people objected spending federal money on these things, so congress turned down most of his plans.

John Quincy Adams lived a plain life as a President. He rose at 5:00am each morning, built his own fire, read from his bible and swam in the Potomac river- before anyone else was awake!

Adams threw all his energy into being the President from the day he came into office. He once wrote in his diary, "I can scarcely conceive a more harassing, wearying, teasing condition of existence".

His wife, Louisa, suffered ill health during John's term. When she was well, however, she arranged a brilliant series of parties. She also became the White House hostess.

While in office, John accomplished building the Smithsonian Institution, and the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825. The Erie Canal sped settlement of the mid-west. It provided inexpensive freight service between New York City and the Great Lakes. He also opened the Baltimore and Ohio railroad in 1828, becoming the first passenger railroad in America. No new states or territories were organized during Adam's term as president, but Russia expanded greatly. The First Women's Labor Union was created along with the Webster's Dictionary. He was also the first President to be photographed.

Throughout Adam's term, The USA flag had 24