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John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams

*  1767 Braintree
† 1848 Washington D. C.

John Quincy Adams was born on July 11, 1767 in Braintree, Massachussetts, a place that was later renamed Quincy in his honor. His father was John Adams, one of the leaders of the American War of Independence and later the second President of the United States from 1797 until 1801. John Quincy Adams was sent to the Netherlands by his father to study law and to Harvard in Cambridge, Massachussetts. After finishing his studies at Harvard and practicing as a lawyer in Boston, Adams entered the diplomatic service in 1794 and served as an ambassador for the United States to the Netherlands (1794/95), Russia (1796 and 1809-1814), Prussia (1797-1802), and Great Britain (1815-1817). He was elected as a Federalist to the Massachussetts state legislature in 1802 and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1803. Following his split with the Federalist party, Adams resigned from his seat in 1808. He was appointed Secretary of State by President James Monroe in 1817, whom Adams followed into the Oval Office in 1825 as the sixth American President. He lost his reelection attempt to his rival Andrew Jackson in 1828. Instead of retreating from the political stage, Adams was elected as a Democratic Republican representative to the House of Representatives in 1831, a position he retained until his death on February 23, 1848, in Washington, D.C. He also served the chair of the Committee on Manufactures, the Committee on Indian Affairs, and the Committee on Foreign Affairs. In 1841, Adams represented the slaves of the Spanish slave ship "La Amistad" in front of the Supreme Court, the highest court of the United States. Due to Adams' efforts, these slaves, who rebelled against their captors and landed in the United States, were not left to the mercy of Spain; rather they were allowed to return to their homeland as free people.