John Quincy Adams Facts


John Quincy Adams was born on July 11, 1767.

John Quincy Adams birthplace and childhood house is now part of the Adams National Park and it is open to the public.

John was 5′ 7″ tall and athletic.

He was an avid swimmer.

John Quincy was named after Colonel John Quincy, his mother’s maternal grandfather. The city of Quincy, Massachusetts was named after Colonel Quincy.

When John was 8 years old he watched the Battle of Bunker Hill from a hill near his house in Quincy.

His parents had high expectations of him and his siblings.

John Quincy, like his father, kept a diary which he started updating from 1779, age 12, until before his death in 1848.

His diary shows that he suffered from depression most of his life.

The entries in his diary amount to 51 volumes, more than 14,000 pages and are kept in the Adams Family Papers at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

When John Quincy was 11 he accompanied his father to Europe on a diplomatic assignment. It took them six weeks on board of the Boston to cross the Atlantic.

He earned a Bachelor Degree in Arts and a Master in Arts from Harvard University.

John always wanted to please his parents. He wanted to marry a young lady from Newburyport but his parents opposed as marriage might interfere with his law career.

His brother Charles and his second son John Adams II died from alcoholism.

John Quincy married Louisa Catherine Johnson, the only foreign born first lady.

John Quincy was 30 and Louisa Catherine Johnson 22 when they got married.

John Quincy and his father served as Ministers to Britain, a top post in diplomacy. Before becoming Secretary of State he served as minister to the Netherlands, Prussia and Russia.

Adams served as Secretary of State for 8 consecutive years under President James Monroe. John Quincy is considered one of the most accomplished Secretary of State of all times.

His father died on July 4th, 1826 when John Quincy was president.

John Quincy was an early proponent of Manifest Destiny, an American expansionist policy popular in the 19th century. He changed his position when the expansion of American territory also meant the expansion of slavery. Slavery was abolished in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln.

John Adams, 2nd president, and John Quincy Adams, 6th president, are the first father son pair to become U.S. presidents. George H. W. Bush, 41st president, and George W. Bush, 43rd president, are the second.

John Quincy was fluent in French, Dutch and German. He was proficient in Italian, Latin and classical Greek.

John Quincy had a stroke on February 21, 1848 while the House of Representatives was discussing a matter he strongly opposed. When it came to voting he cried “No!” and collapsed. He died two days later on February 23.

John Quincy Adams-Singleton Copley

John Quincy Adams portrait by John Singleton Copley, 1796. Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

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