Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[graphic][merged small]

BIOGR A P H Y

or

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.

[ocr errors]

John Quincy Adams is descended from a race of farmers, iradesmen, and mechanics. In 1630, his remote ancestor, Henry Adams, came to America, with seven sons, and established himself in this country. Thus early rooted in the soil, a warm attachment to the cause and the rights of America bas been, from generation to generation, the birthright of this family.

The first of this name, who emerged from private life, and rose to conspicuous public stations, were Samuel Adams, the proscribed patriot of the Revolution, and John Adams who was pronounced by his venerable copatriot, Thomas Jefferson, " The Colossus of Independence.” These two distinguished benefactors of their country, were descendants of the same remote ancestor. Samuel Adams deceased without male issue ; John Quincy Adams is the son of his illustrious fellow laborer and relative. He was born in the year 1767, and was named for John Quincy, his great-grandfather, who bore a distinguished part in the councils of the province, at the commencement of the last century.

The principles of American Independence and freedom were instilled into the mind of Mr. John Q. Adams, in the very dawn of his existence. Both of his revered parents had entered, with every power

and faculty, into the cause of the country. When the father of Mr. Adams repaired to France as joint commissioner with Franklin and Lee, he was accom. panied by his son John Quincy, then in his eleventh year. In this country he passed a year and a half with his father, and enjoyed the enviable privilege of the daily intercourse and parental attentions of Benjamin Franklin ; whose kind notice of the young was a peculiar trait in his character, and whose primitive simplicity of manners and methdoical habits left a lasting impression on the mind of his youthful countryman.

After a residence of about eighteen months in France, John Quincy Adams returned to America with his father who came home to take part in the formation of the Constitution of his native state. After a sojourn of a few months at hoine, the voice of the country called on Mr. Adam's father again to repair to Europe as a commissioner for negociating á treaty of peace and commerce with Great Britain, whenever she might be disposed to put an end to the war.

He took his son with him. They sailed in a French srigate bound to Brest; but the vessel having sprung a dangerous leak, was obliged to put in the nearest port, which proved to be Ferrol, in Spain. From that place Mr. Adams travelled by land to Paris, where he arrived in January, 1780, anrl when his son, J. Q. Adams, was put to school. In the month of July, of the same year, Mr. Adams repaired to Holland to negotiate a loan in that country. His son accompanied him, and was placed first in the public school of the city of Amsterdam, and afterwards in the University of Leyden. In July, 1781 Mr. Francis Dana, (afterwards Chief Justice of the State of Massachusetts), who had gone out with Mr. Adams,

as Secretary of Legation, received, from the continental Congress, the commission of Minister to the Empress of Russia, and John Q. Adams was selected by Mr. Dana, as a private secretary of this mission. After spending tourteen months with Mr. Dana, he left him to return through Sweden, Denmark, Hamburgh, and Bremen, to Holland, where his father had been publicly received as Minister from the United States, and had concluded a commercial treaty with the republic of the Netherlands. He performed this journey during the winter of 1782—3, being sixteen years of age, without a companion. He reached the Hague in April, 1783, his father being at that time engaged at Paris in the negociation of peace. From April to July his son remained at the Hague under the care of Mr. Dumas, a native of Switzerland, a zealous friend of America, who then filled the office of an agent of the United States. The negociations for peace being suspended in July, Mr. Adams's lather repaired on business to Ainsterdam, and on his return to Paris he took his son with him. The definitive treaty of peace was signed in September, 1783, from which time till May, 1785, he was chiefly with his father in England, Holland, and France.

It was at that period, that he formed an acquaintance with Mr. Jefferson, then residing in France aś American Minister. The intercourse of Mr. Jefferson with his former colleague, the father of Mr. Adams, of an intimate and confidential kind, and led to a friendship for his son, which, formed in early lise, scarcely suffered an interruption from subsequent political dissensions, and revived with original strength during the last years of the life of this venerable statesman.

« AnteriorContinuar »