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The “Adams Family” impacted early America in colonial times and as a new nation. John Adams became the second US President. His son, John Quincy Adams, became the sixth president. And they both held historic roles before the presidency. (Here’s a link to the overall presidential post.) They indeed were “Adams – Early American Unforgettable People” back in our early history.
On my trip, I visited their birthplaces in Quincy, MA. And, speaking of the Adams family, John Adams and Samuel Adams were second cousins. Yes, the beer is named after Samuel Adams!
John Adams’ family lived in the house on the left. The house continues to be maintained by the National Park Service. When John married Abigail, his father bought him the home on the left. John Quincy Adams and his siblings were born here. For a short time, John practiced law in the house on the right. Although, he spent much time in Europe as well.
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Here is John Adams – Adams – Early American Unforgettable People
And, John Adams retired to this stately home when he left the presidency. The second building anchors the garden. It remains a maintained building for visitor viewing. (Both buildings “COVID closed.”)
Historians credit John Adams with being a better political philosopher than a politician. Although he earned a Harvard law degree, he practiced diplomatic roles before entering politics. He served as ambassador to France and Holland during the Revolutionary War. He returned to help negotiate the treaty of peace with England after the war.
Later, he returned to Europe as ambassador to the Court of St. James. In 1788, he returned to accept the Vice Presidential nomination under George Washington. He complained to Abigail, “My country has in its wisdom contrived for me the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived.”!
Presidential Adams – Adams – Early American Unforgettable People
During his presidency, the war between England and France caused great difficulties for the fledgling nation. Both France and England attacked US ships on the high seas. The French refused to negotiate with his envoy unless the US paid a substantial bribe! Adams reported the attempt to Congress and the public. The people cheered wherever the President appeared.
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Congress authorized three new frigates. And they, along with armed merchant ships, cleared the sea lanes. Consequently, the new nation achieved several brilliant naval victories. However, a declaration of war was averted.
John Adams began disagreements with Thomas Jefferson, his Vice President. Jefferson ran against and defeated his reelection bid. He retired to his farm pictured above. On July 4, 1826, he whispered his last words: “Thomas Jefferson survives.” But Jefferson had died at Monticello a few hours earlier. It was unusual that these two historical figures died on the same day, and it was July 4th. Adams – Early American Unforgettable People.
Historians have difficulty assessing John Adams’s presidency. His stubborn independence left him politically isolated and alone.
John Quincy Adams – Adams – Early American Unforgettable People
How about John Quincy Adams early career?
His birthplace never became his home after leaving for Europe with his father in 1778. In 1781, he accompanied a diplomat to St. Petersburg, Russia, serving as his secretary, at the age of 14! He achieved his early education from tutors, including learning several languages. Adams returned to the US in 1787 to attend Harvard. Due to his individual tutoring and his high intelligence, he entered as a junior. And graduated second in his class in 1787!
He studied law from a senior lawyer and established a legal practice in 1790 in Boston. Consequently, Adams achieved success and established financial independence from his family. He established himself as part of the Adams – Early American Unforgettable People!
In 1794, Washington appointed him ambassador to the Netherlands. In the winter of 1795-1796, he spent time in London and met and married Louisa Catherine Johnson, the daughter of an American merchant. Despite his parents’ disapproval, he married her in July 1797. He remained in Europe, initially as ambassador to Portugal and then to Prussia, now Germany. Adams negotiated new trade agreements and became a successful diplomat.
Adams returned to Boston and his legal career in 1801. He was continuing the role of Adams – Early American Unforgettable People!
John Quincy Adams politial career – Adams – Early American Unforgettable People
He served in the US Senate from 1803 until 1809 before becoming Ambassador to Russia. He remained in Europe, becoming Ambassador to Great Britain in 1815. In 1817, he returned to the US to accept the position of Secretary of State under Jame Monroe.
Historians view Adams as a successful Secretary of State. His experiences in Europe built excellent skills in negotiating with the Europeans. In his position as Secretary of State, Adams became the front-runner for the presidency in 1824. Another example of Adams – Early American Unforgettable People.
Adams’s presidency became initially successful with approval for domestic infrastructure projects. For example, the first passenger railroad received support and completed construction during his term. While his foreign affairs, negotiation of trade treaties with other countries, his initiative to trade with the British West Indies failed, impacting his prestige.
Initially, Andrew Jackson became a political ally, but that quickly changed during his presidency. During the 1828 election, Adams’s disdain for partisan politics and his recent failure in the British West Indies led to his defeat by Andrew Jackson.
While historians generally rank him as one of the most influential diplomats and secretaries of state in American history, they also consider him an average president. And so goes the Adams – Early American Unforgettable People in American history.
Classic Rock Recollection
“The Best of Me” by Bryan Adams!
You got it!
Sometimes words are hard to find
I’m looking for that perfect line
To let you know you’re always on my mind
Yeah, this is love, and I’ve learned enough to know
I’m never lettin’ go
No, no, no, won’t let go
Written by: Bryan Adams and Robert John Lange