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Timeline of the life of John Quincy Adams

Chronological events in the life of John Quincy Adams



July 11:  John Quincy Adams was born in Quincy, Massachusetts. His parents were second President of the United States, John Adams and Abigail Smith.

1778 to 1779

Eleven year old John Quincy traveled with John Adams to France where his father served as a diplomatic envoy. It took them six weeks on board of the Boston to cross the Atlantic.

Enrolled in L’Ecole de Mathematiques, a private academy.

Started entry in diary which was kept until 1848 before he died.


Charles and John Quincy accompanied John Adams to the Netherlands to negotiated a loan.

Studied at the University of Leiden, Netherlands.


At age 14 and because of his fluency in French John Quincy traveled to St. Petersburg as secretary and translator for Francis Dana.


Returned to Paris and served as secretary to his father.


Returned to Boston and started his education in Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


John Quincy graduated from Harvard College with a Bachelor Degree in Arts.


He studied law with Theophilus Parsons in Newburyport, north of Boston.


John Quincy earned his Master of Art degree from Harvard.


He was admitted to the bar and started practicing law in Boston.


President George Washington appointed him Minister to the Netherlands.


July 26: Married Louisa Catherine Johnson. British born, daughter of Joshua Johnson, American merchant and consul in 1790.


President John Adams appointed him Minister to Prussia.


April 12: The couple had their first child, George Washington Adams, who died at age 28 of apparent suicide.

Elected to the Massachusetts Legislature.


July 4: Second son, John Adams II was born. He died at age 31 from alcoholism.


August 18: John Quincy and Louisa Catherine had their third child, Charles Francis Adams.

Appointed to the U.S. Senate

John Quincy switched allegiance from the Federalist Party to Democratic-Republican Party.


President James Madison appointed him as the first U.S Minister to Russia.


While in Russia the couple had their third child, Louisa Catherine, who died in her first year of life.


John Quincy headed the American delegation that signed the Treaty of Ghent ending the War of 1812.


President James Madison appointed him Minister to Great Britain.


John Quincy became Secretary of State to President James Monroe for two consecutive terms. He is considered one of the most accomplished Secretary of State of all times.


After a contested presidential election, John Quincy Adams was elected the sixth President of the United States.


Adams lost the presidential election to Andrew Jackson.


He was elected to nine consecutive terms in Congress as a Massachusetts representative.


February 21: Suffered a stroke.

February 23: Died.

John Quincy Adams Presidential Portrait

John Quincy Adams presidential portrait by George Caleb Bingham, 1844. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.


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