John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams was the sixth President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 (1825–1829). He served as an American diplomat
Foreign relations of the United States
The United States has formal diplomatic relations with most nations. The United States federal statutes relating to foreign relations can be found in Title 22 of the United States Code.-Pacific:-Americas:-Caribbean:...

, Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

, and Congressional representative
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

. He was a member of the Federalist, Democratic-Republican, National Republican, and later Anti-Masonic
Anti-Masonic Party
The Anti-Masonic Party was the first "third party" in the United States. It strongly opposed Freemasonry and was founded as a single-issue party aspiring to become a major party....

 and Whig
Whig Party (United States)
The Whig Party was a political party of the United States during the era of Jacksonian democracy. Considered integral to the Second Party System and operating from the early 1830s to the mid-1850s, the party was formed in opposition to the policies of President Andrew Jackson and his Democratic...

Political parties in the United States
This article presents the historical development and role of political parties in United States politics, and outlines more extensively the significant modern political parties. Throughout most of its history, American politics have been dominated by a two-party system...

. Adams was the son of former President John Adams
John Adams
John Adams was an American lawyer, statesman, diplomat and political theorist. A leading champion of independence in 1776, he was the second President of the United States...

 and Abigail Adams
Abigail Adams
Abigail Adams was the wife of John Adams, who was the second President of the United States, and the mother of John Quincy Adams, the sixth...

. As a diplomat, Adams played an important role in negotiating many international treaties, most notably the Treaty of Ghent
Treaty of Ghent
The Treaty of Ghent , signed on 24 December 1814, in Ghent , was the peace treaty that ended the War of 1812 between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...

, which ended the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...


Individual liberty is individual power, and as the power of a community is a mass compounded of individual powers, the nation which enjoys the most freedom must necessarily be in proportion to its numbers the most powerful nation.

Letter to James Lloyd (1 October 1822)

This house will bear witness to his piety; this town, his birthplace, to his munificence; history to his patriotism; posterity to the depth and compass of his mind.

Epitaph for John Adams (1829), inscribed on one of the portals of the United First Parish Church Unitarian (Church of the Presidents), Quincy, Massachusetts|Quincy

In charity to all mankind, bearing no malice or ill will to any human being, and even compassionating those who hold in bondage their fellow men, not knowing what they do.

Letter to A. Bronson (30 July 1838); a similar idea was later more famously expressed by Abraham Lincoln, "With malice towards none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right".

My wants are many, and, if told, Would muster many a score; And were each wish a mint of gold, I still would want for more.

The Wants of Man, stanza 1, published in The Quincy Patriot (25 September 1841)

I want the seals of power and place, The ensigns of command, Charged by the people's unbought grace, To rule my native land. Nor crown, nor scepter would I ask But from my country's will, By day, by night, to ply the task Her cup of bliss to fill.

The Wants of Man, stanza 22 (25 September 1841)

The great problem of legislation is, so to organize the civil government of a community ... that in the operation of human institutions upon social action, self-love and social may be made the same.

"Society and Civilization" in the American Review (July 1845)

To furnish the means of acquiring knowledge is ... the greatest benefit that can be conferred upon mankind. It prolongs life itself and enlarges the sphere of existence.

Report on the establishment of the Smithsonian Institution (c. 1846)

This hand, to tyrants ever sworn the foe, For Freedom only deals the deadly blow; Then sheathes in calm repose the vengeful blade, For gentle peace in Freedom’s hallowed shade.

Written in an Album (1842)l compare: "Manus haec inimica tyrannis / Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem", Algernon Sidney, From the Life and Memoirs of Algernon Sidney.