On his 45th birthday, John Quincy Adams wrote in his diary: “two-thirds of a long life are past, and I have done nothing to distinguish it by usefulness to my country or to mankind.” In fact, he had already served in the Massachusetts legislature and the U.S. Senate, represented clients before the U.S. Supreme Court, and served as U.S. minister to three countries. Fluent in several languages, John Quincy Adams became one of America’s greatest diplomats and secretaries of state. In 1824 he was elected president of the United States, the first son of a U.S. president to win that office. After that, he became a U.S. congressman and a passionate spokesperson for the abolition of slavery. Still, the dour little man never seemed satisfied with his accomplishments—might his standards have been just a little too high?
Presidential Leaders series
Ages 8 up
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“This is an excellent introduction to a man whose life was distinguished by its usefulness to his country and to mankind.”