U.S. Presidents / John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams

1767 - 1848

John Quincy Adams

Union, justice, tranquillity, the common defense, the general welfare, and the blessings of liberty—all have been promoted by the Government under which we have lived. Inaugural Address


Reared for public service, John Quincy Adams became one of the nation's preeminent secretaries of state but proved the wrong man for the presidency. Aloof, stubborn, and ferociously independent, he failed to develop the support he needed in Washington, even among his own party. Faced throughout his term with organized opposition from the Democrats—who were committed to limiting Adams to a single term and replacing him with Andrew Jackson—Adams refused to forge the political alliances necessary to push his ideas into policy. His father, President John Adams, had also ignored the political side of the office and served only one term. History repeated itself with his son: John Quincy Adams lost his reelection bid to Jackson in 1828.

Fast Facts

John Quincy Adams
Braintree (now Quincy), Massachusetts
Harvard College (graduated 1787)
Lawyer, Senator, Diplomat
Federalist, Democratic-Republican, Whig
“Old Man Eloquent”
July 26, 1797, to Louisa Catherine Johnson (1775–1852)
George Washington (1801–1829), John (1803–1834), Charles Francis (1807–1886), Louisa Catherine (1811–1812)
First Unitarian Church, Quincy, Massachusetts
Margaret A. Hogan

Chicago Style

Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia. “John Quincy Adams.” Accessed May 17, 2024. https://prod.millercenter.org/president/jqadams.

Margaret A. Hogan

Ms. Hogan is a freelance editor and the former managing editor of the Adams Papers at the Massachusetts Historical Society.