« AnteriorContinuar »
favored the revolution. At the close of Washington's administration he was recalled On his return to the United States, he published a work, in explanation of his own opinions and proceedings, in an octavo volume of four hundred and seven pages. At a subsequent period, with the true nobility of a mind which disdains to cherish preconceived opinions if erroneous, he cast off all remembrance of past animosity, and harmonized in an entire and perfect veneration of the character and policy of Washington. In 1799, Mr. Monroe was elected governor of Virginia, which office he filled three years. He was appointed, on the 11th of January, 1803, envoy extraordinary to France, and in April of the same year minister plenipotentiary to England. The next year, he was appointed minister to Spain, in connection with Mr. William Pinckney, for the purpose of settling a disputed question of boundary. He remained at Madrid five months. Prom thence he returned to London, where, in 1806, he was joined by Mr. Pinckney. Their mission ended in 1807, when they returned home. For a little while he enjoyed uninterrupted quiet, but, in 1808, was again elected to the office of governor of Virginia, served three years, and, in 1811, was appointed, by President Madison, secretary of state. Upon the resignation of the secretary of war, Mr. Monroe discharged voluntarily-all the duties of the war department, beside his own. He was regularly appointed secretary of war in 1814. He devoted his energies to that exclusive department until the return of peace, then reassumed the office of secretary of state, by appointment, and continued therein until the close of Madison's administration. On the 5th of March, 1817, Mr. Monroe was inaugurated president of the United States. Among the early appointments of the president, was Mr. John Quincy Adams, as secretary of state. About the 1st of June, the president left Washington on a tour through the states, which elicited a most general expression of kindness, respect, and courtesy. After the session of Congress held 1817–18, the president left Washington, accompanied by the secretaries of war and the navy, to survey the Chesapeake Bay, and the country lying on its extensive shores, most exposed to the invasions of an enemy. At the close of his first term, President Monroe was reëlected by a unanimous vote, with the single exception of one electoral vote in New Hampshire, which was for J. Q. Adams. This indicated the confidence of a free people in their president. The administration of Mr. Monroe closed on the 3d of March, 1825. He retired to his residence in Loudon county, Virginia, where he discharged the ordinary judicial functions of a magistrate, and also of the curator of the University of Virginia. In the winter of 1829–30, he served as a member of the Convention called to revise the constitution of Virginia. He was unanimously chosen to preside; but, before the close of the labors of the Convention, he was compelled to retire, because of severe illness. The ensuing summer, he was bereaved by death of his beloved partner. Soon after this, he removed to New York city, where the flickering lamp of life held out its lingerin 3 flame, until the dawning of the glorious day of a nation's birth and glory, when the soldier and the statesman was folded in the embrace of death, on the 4th of July, 1831, aged seventy-two years." “Such was the man who presents the only example of one whose public life commenced with the war of independence, and is identified with all the important events of our history, for a full half century.”
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.
John QUINCY ADAMs, the sixth president, was born 1767. His ancestors resided in America from 1630, near a century and a half before the revolution. Thus early rooted in the soil, a warm attachment to the cause and rights of America has been, from generation to generation, the birthright of the family. The principles of American independence and freedom were instilled into the mind of John Quincy in the very dawn of his existence.
From the eleventh year of his age, until the eighteenth, he resided for the most part in Europe, having accompanied his father when appointed as a joint commissioner to France, with Franklin and Lee. When only fourteen
years of age, he was selected by Mr. F. Dana, minister to Russia, as the private secretary of that mission. After remaining in Europe seven years, and being a visitant, for a longer or shorter time, of France, Spain, Holland, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and England, he solicited permission of his father to return to his native country, which was granted. On his return to America, he entered Cambridge College. In 1787, he left college, and commenced the study of law, at Newburyport, in the office of Mr. Theophilus Parsons; whence, after completing his law studies, he became a resident at the capital of Massachusetts. In April, 1793, Mr. Adams published a short series of papers, to prove that the duty and interest of the United States required neutrality, in the contest between England and France. These were published before President Washington's proclamation of neutrality. He was the first to express publicly the views on the difficult topic cf international law, respecting our treaty of alliance with France, which were confirmed by the proclamation of the president. Mr. Adams's essays in support of the administration were read and admired throughout the country; and his reputation was now established as an American statesman, patriot, and political writer of the first order, at the early age of twenty-seven. In 1794, President Washington appointed Mr. Adams to the office of minister resident to the Netherlands; and near the close of Washington's administration, Mr. Adams was appointed minister plenipotentiary to Portugal, but, by the advice of Washington, and the appointment of his father, John Adams, then president, his destination was changed to Prussia; whence he was recalled in 1801. During this last year of his residence in Germany, he made an excursion into the province of Silesia, describing it in a series of letters, that have been collected and published in a volume, and have been translated into French and German, and extensively circulated in Europe. In 1802, Mr. Adams was elected to the Senate of Massachusetts, from Boston district; and, in ISC3, he was, by the legislature, elected to the Senate of the United States, for six years, from March 4th, 1803. During the time he filled this office, he was an efficient supporter of Mr. Jefferson's administration, although he bore the name of the opposite party in politics. In pursuing this independent course, Mr. Adams incurred the disapprobation of the legislature of Massachusetts, who, by a small majority of votes, in 1808, elected another person as senator from the expiration of his term, and passed resolutions of instruction to their senators, containing principles which Mr. Adams disapproved. Not willing to conform to these instructions, nor misrepresent his constituents, he resigned his place in the United States Senate. In 1809, President Madison appointed him minister to Russia. Through his influence with the Emperor Alexander, the mediation of Russia was tendered between England and the United States. He was placed by Madison at the head of the commission of five, by which the treaty of peace between the two countries was negotiated. The cogency and skill manifested by that commission drew from the marquis of Wellesley, in the British House of Lords, the declaration, that, in his opinion, “the American commissioners had shown the most astonishing superiority over the British, during the whole of the correspondence.” . o After the war was thus closed by an honorable treaty, being appointed minister at London, he remained there until 1817; when he was recalled, and, by President Monroe, appointed secretary of state. Of this appointment, General Jackson said, in a letter to the president, dated March 18th, “I have no hesitation in saying you have made the best selection to fill the department of state, and I am convinced that his appointment will afford general satisfaction.” Mr. Adams is mostly entitled to the credit of the measures adopted during Monroe's administration, in reference to the foreign policy of the government, the successful termination of our difficulties with Spain, the indemnity of our merchants, and the addition of East and West Florida to our republic. Such are specimens of his claims to the highest gift which the people can bestow on a long-tried and faithful servant. Various circumstances conspired to strengthen his claims, in the presidential canvass, for the term begin
ning in 1825. Of the several candidates presented to the people at this election, Mr. Adams was the only one representing the non-slaveholding states. Had the choice been between him and any other candidate singly, Mr. Adams would probably have been chosen by the votes of the people. In consequence of the number of votes, no choice by the people was effected. The election devolved upon the House of Representatives, and Mr. Adams was chosen. On the 4th of March, 1825, President Adams was inaugurated. During his administration, GENERAL LAFAYEtte took leave of the people, on his return to France. It was thought proper that his departure should be from the Capitol. On this occasion, the farewell address was delivered by President Adams, which is one of the most favorable specimens of his eloquence. The administration of President Adams was without regard to the distinctions of party. In the distribution of offices, he asked merely as to the qualifications of the candidates. In a word, he acted with that stern and fearless integrity which has marked the whole course of his political life. Notwithstanding the integrity of his course, a deeprooted hostility was manifested, in efforts to embarrass his administration. But still the country progressed rapidly in wealth and prosperity. The great works of internal improvements were prosecuted with much spirit and vigor. During his continuance in office, new and increased activity was imparted to those powers invested in the sederal government, for the development of the resources of the country. Indeed, more had been directly effected in this respect, than during the administration of all his predecessors. About fourteen million dollars were expended for the permanent benefit of the country during the four years he was chief magistrate. In this condition was the country when his administration ended — an administration marked by definite and consistent policy and energetic councils, and governed by upright motives, but from the beginning devoted to the most violent opposition. Since he was succeeded in the presidency by General Jackson, Mr. Adams has still taken an active part in