John Quincy Adams was born at Braintree (now Quincy), Massachusetts on this day in 1767. Adams accompanied his father who representated the US in France and the Netherlands, getting some of his education abroad and then graduating from Harvard in 1787. He briefly practiced law at Boston, was soon named ambassador to the Netherlands, Portugal, and Prussia before gaining a seat in the Senate in 1803. He returned to foreign service in Russia and England after one term, then became Secretary of State under James Monroe. In the presidential election of 1824 he came in second in a four-way race which was settled in the House, which elected him over front-runner Andrew Jackson, making him the first son of a president to become president himself. The deal that gave him the office came back to cost him reelection, but he was promptly elected to a House seat and served from 1831 to his death, the only former president to serve there. He suffered a stroke on the floor of the House and died in the Speaker's Room.
“Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.”
“America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to freedom and independence of all.
She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.”
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
“Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people.”
“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”
“The laws of man may bind him in chains or may put him to death, but they never can make him wise, virtuous, or happy.”
All from John Quincy Adams, 1767 – 1848