John Quincy Adams
(1767–1848), American — president
Son of John Adams (1735–1826) and his wife, Abigail née Smith (1744–1818). Educated at the University of Leiden and at Harvard College; he practised as a lawyer in Boston until his appointment as American minister to the Netherlands 1793; to Portugal 1796; to Prussia 1797–1801. Elected to the Massachusetts senate 1802, to the United States Senate 1803; American minister to Russia 1808; to Britain 1815. He was secretary of state in the cabinet of James Monroe 1817–1825. He received fewer votes than Andrew Jackson in the 1824 presidential election, but no candidate had a majority and Adams was chosen by the House of Representatives. As president of the United States he is best known for his federal plan of public highways and canals, and his plans for a federal university. He was defeated in the 1828 election, but was elected to the House of Representatives two years later and continued his political career until his death. He died in the Capitol building.
Biographical note by Electronic Enlightenment Project.
Updated January 2009.
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