Scholar, minister, academic, Senator, Congressman, sixth President of the United States; a devoted son and extraordinarily serious man, JQA was a strong defender of his father. Not afraid to go his own way politically, he would be the only Federalist representative in Congress to support the controversial Embargo Act during Jefferson’s second term. A fateful meeting between the two men affected the course of Jefferson’s presidency and the country: only JQA’s personal warning to Jefferson averted a catastrophic secession crisis that would have destroyed the new country in its infancy.
A man of service and great insight, he was determined to live up to the extraordinary example of effort, education, service, and morality set by his parents. His Harvard lectures provide a particularly insightful view into humanity and the several revolutions happening simultaneously – and still ongoing today. He would serve only one term as president, as his father had done. Known now mainly for his successful defense of the slaves aboard the slave ship Amistad in the early 1840s, John Quincy Adams was a man who truly believed in freedom and the promise of America.
Unlike some of his predecessors his thinking was neither local nor regional, but national and beyond. Ever the man of service, the single term former president returned to Washington as a Congressman from Massachusetts in 1830. Suffering a stroke during a debate in Congress, Adams died two days later, February 21, 1848. His personal diary spans 51 volumes.