John Quincy Adams

Portrait by John Singleton Copley, 1796

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QUICK FACTS
BORN:
11 July 1767 in the north precinct of Braintree, Massachusetts (now Quincy)
  DIED:
23 February 1848 at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
Buried at Quincy, in a crypt at United First Parish Church.

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Mr. Adams is the most valuable public character we have abroad ... there remains no doubt in my mind that he will prove himself to be ablest, of all our diplomatic corps.

George Washington in a letter to John Adams, 1797

Portrait to come. See entry in Wikipedia.

CONNECTED TO:
| Adams, Abigail | Adams, John

[Of those opposed to slavery,] George Washington belonged, with Mason and Jefferson, in the hardest category — disapproving owners. Theirs was the most difficult position to maintain, psychologically and rhetorically. It would not be maintained over the next sixty years, as southern antislavery rhetoric withered. Practically and politically, disapproving owners were in the hardest position from which to achieve their goals. How do you weaken an institution in which you and all your neighbors are enmeshed? Washington did enough, finally, to free his own slaves, which was more than many owners in his position did. Jefferson never freed all his, nor did any of the other slave-owning presidents.

Richard Brookhiser
Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington (1996)