John Quincy Adams
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John Quincy Adams was all of these things and more. In this masterful biography, award winning author Harlow Giles Unger reveals Quincy Adams as a towering figure in the nation’s formative years and one of the most courageous figures in American history, which is why he ranked first in John F. Kennedy’s Pulitzer Prize–winning Profiles in Courage.
A magisterial biography and a sweeping panorama of American history from the Washington to Lincoln eras, Unger’s John Quincy Adams follows one of America’s most important yet least-known figures.
election (1824) and presidential election (1824), and “corrupt bargain” charges and presidential election (1824), and shift of votes to Adams, John Quincy and presidential election (1828) and presidential election (1832) as secretary of state as secretary of state, and leave of absence as Speaker of the House and War of 1812, commission to negotiate end to Clayton, Augustus Smith Clinton, George as vice president Colonization in Americas Committee of Friends of the Right to Petition
Bordeaux, and the French West Indies. Insurance rates on American cargoes soared and threatened to price American exports out of world markets. After France rejected Charles Pinckney as America’s new ambassador, President Adams and the Federalist-controlled Senate threatened war. “France has already gone to war with us,” the President bellowed. “She is at war with us, but we are not at war with her.”10 The Republican majority in the House of Representatives, however, demanded that Adams send a
hysteric fits, convulsions, and raving madness marked the shock of this calamitous accident. . . . I passed the period between the two centuries in communion with my own soul and in prostration to the being who directs the universe, with thanksgiving for his numerous blessings in the past times.25 John Quincy feared the young man’s death was an omen of worse things to come, and a few days later he learned that his nation’s revered leader, George Washington, had died two weeks earlier, on
battle and the carnage it left made “an impression in my mind” that haunted him the rest of his life. Seven-year-old John Quincy Adams witnessed the Battle of Bunker’s Hill with his mother from a distant hilltop. Nearly 270 patriots perished, including Dr. Joseph Warren, the Revolutionary War leader and the Adams family’s physician, seen in the throes of death in an engraving by Gotthard von Muller, after the painting by John Trumbull. (NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY, SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION) “I saw
off the Canadian Atlantic coast unless Americans granted Britain an equivalent privilege, such as navigation rights on the Mississippi River. John Quincy rejected all the British demands, and as negotiations dragged on, each side backed away or increased its demands, according to news from American battlefields, with British negotiators stiffening after the burning of Washington. In America itself, the press and public had unleashed a torrent of abuse on President Madison after the British