55 Facts About John Quincy Adams

1. John Quincy Adams took early-morning walks, and if the weather was good he liked to swim, naked because why not, in a tributary to the Potomac river.

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2. John Quincy Adams is widely regarded as one of the most effective diplomats and secretaries of state in American history, but scholars generally rank him as an average president.

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3. John Quincy Adams thought his depression was due to the high expectations demanded of him by his father and mother.

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4. John Quincy Adams had been a vehement critic of the war, and as Congressmen rose up to say, "Aye!" in favor of the measure, he instead yelled, "No!" He rose to answer a question put forth by Speaker of the House Robert Charles Winthrop.

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5. John Quincy Adams realized that this might allow the United States to realize his dream of building a national institution of science and learning.

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6. John Quincy Adams became a leading force for the promotion of science.

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7. John Quincy Adams appeared on 24 February 1841, and spoke for four hours.

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8. John Quincy Adams went before the Supreme Court on behalf of African slaves who had revolted and seized the Spanish ship Amistad.

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9. In late 1836, John Quincy Adams began a campaign to ridicule slave owners and the gag rule.

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10. John Quincy Adams strongly attacked the treaty, arguing that the annexation of Texas would involve the United States in "a war for slavery.

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11. John Quincy Adams had sought to acquire Texas when he served as secretary of state, but he argued that, because Mexico had abolished slavery, the acquisition of Texas would the transform the region from a free territory into a slave state.

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12. John Quincy Adams generally opposed the initiatives of his President Van Buren, long a political adversary, though they maintained a cordial public relationship.

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13. John Quincy Adams was nearly elected to the Senate in 1835 by a coalition of Anti-Masons and National Republicans, but his support for Jackson in a minor foreign policy matter annoyed National Republican leaders enough that they dropped their support for his candidacy.

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14. John Quincy Adams was appalled by the Nullification Crisis's outcome, as he felt that the Southern states had unfairly benefited from challenging federal law.

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15. John Quincy Adams led passage of the Tariff of 1832, which lowered rates somewhat, but not enough to mollify the South Carolina nullifiers.

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16. John Quincy Adams signed a new treaty with the Muskogee in January 1826 that allowed the Muskogee to stay but ceded most of their land to Georgia.

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17. Early in his term, John Quincy Adams suspended the Treaty of Indian Springs after learning that the Governor of Georgia, George Troup, had forced the treaty on the Muscogee.

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18. John Quincy Adams sought the gradual assimilation of Native Americans via consensual agreements, a priority shared by few whites in the 1820s.

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19. John Quincy Adams was denounced in the South, but he received little credit for the tariff in the North.

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20. Aside from Clay, John Quincy Adams lacked strong supporters outside of the North, and Edward Everett, John Taylor, and Daniel Webster served as his strongest advocates in Congress.

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21. John Quincy Adams presided over major repairs and further construction on the National Road, and shortly after he left office the National Road extended from Cumberland, Maryland to Zanesville, Ohio.

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22. John Quincy Adams hoped to fund these measures primarily through Western land sales, rather than increased taxes or public debt.

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23. In his 1825 annual message to Congress, John Quincy Adams presented a comprehensive and ambitious agenda.

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24. John Quincy Adams chose Henry Clay as Secretary of State, angering those who believed that Clay had offered his support in the 1824 election for the most prestigious position in the cabinet.

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25. John Quincy Adams presided over a harmonious and productive cabinet that he met with on a weekly basis.

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26. John Quincy Adams won the House delegations of all the states in which he or Clay had won a majority of the electoral votes, as well as the delegations of Illinois, Louisiana, and Maryland.

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27. On February 9, 1825, John Quincy Adams won the contingent election on the first ballot, taking 13 of the 24 state delegations.

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28. John Quincy Adams met with Federalists like Daniel Webster, promising that he would not deny governmental positions to members of their party.

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29. John Quincy Adams felt that his own election as president would vindicate his father, while allowing him to pursue an ambitious domestic policy.

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30. John Quincy Adams was deeply interested in establishing American control over the Oregon Country, partly because he believed that control of that region would spur trade with Asia.

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31. John Quincy Adams informed Spain that Jackson had been compelled to act by Spain's failure to police its own territory, and he advised Spain to either secure the region or sell it to the United States.

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32. When John Quincy Adams took office, Spanish possessions bordered the United States to the South and West.

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33. John Quincy Adams developed a strong respect for Calhoun, but believed that Crawford was unduly focused on succeeding Monroe in 1824.

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34. John Quincy Adams served as Secretary of State throughout Monroe's eight-year presidency, from 1817 to 1825.

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35. With the aid of Clay and Gallatin, John Quincy Adams negotiated a limited trade agreement with Britain.

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36. In May 1815, John Quincy Adams learned that President Madison had appointed him as the US ambassador to Britain.

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37. John Quincy Adams had long feared that the United States would enter a war it could not win against Britain, and by early 1812 he saw such a war as inevitable due to the constant British attacks on American shipping and the British practice of impressment.

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38. From his diplomatic post, John Quincy Adams observed the French Emperor Napoleon's invasion of Russia, which ended in defeat for the French.

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39. John Quincy Adams continued to favor American neutrality between France and Britain in the midst of the Napoleonic War.

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40. John Quincy Adams was well-qualified for the role after his experiences in Europe generally and Russia specifically.

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41. John Quincy Adams adapted these classical republican ideals of public oratory to the American debate, viewing its multilevel political structure as ripe for "the renaissance of Demosthenic eloquence.

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42. John Quincy Adams became increasingly frustrated with the unwillingness of other Federalists to condemn British actions, including impressment, and he moved closer to the Jefferson administration.

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43. John Quincy Adams was the lone Federalist in Congress to vote for the Non-importation Act of 1806, which was designed to punish Britain for its attacks on American shipping in the midst of the ongoing Napoleonic Wars.

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44. John Quincy Adams had strongly opposed Jefferson's 1800 presidential candidacy, but he gradually became alienated from the Federalist Party.

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45. When the elder John Quincy Adams became president, he appointed his son as the US ambassador to Prussia.

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46. John Quincy Adams's parents disapproved of his decision to marry a woman who had grown up in England, but he informed his parents that he would not reconsider his decision.

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47. John Quincy Adams supported the Jay Treaty, but it proved unpopular with many in the United States, contributing to a growing partisan split between the Federalist Party of Alexander Hamilton and the Democratic-Republican Party of Thomas Jefferson.

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48. John Quincy Adams initially avoided becoming directly involved in politics, instead focusing on building his legal career.

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49. John Quincy Adams initially opposed the ratification of the United States Constitution, but he ultimately came to accept the document, and in 1789 his father was elected as the first Vice President of the United States.

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50. With his father's encouragement, John Quincy Adams would translate classical authors like Virgil, Horace, Plutarch, and Aristotle.

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51. Young John Quincy Adams was educated by private tutors—his cousin James Thaxter and his father's law clerk, Nathan Rice.

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52. Rather than retiring from public service, John Quincy Adams won election to the House of Representatives, where he would serve from 1831 to his death in 1848.

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53. President John Quincy Adams called for an ambitious agenda that included federally-funded infrastructure projects, the establishment of a national university, and engagement with the countries of Latin America, but many of his initiatives were defeated in Congress.

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54. John Quincy Adams held diplomatic posts for the duration of Madison's presidency, and he served as part of the American delegation that negotiated an end to the War of 1812.

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55. Born in Braintree, Massachusetts, John Quincy Adams spent much of his youth in Europe, where his father served as a diplomat.

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