portrait of John Quincy Adams
Oil on canvas by George Peter Alexander Healy (1858)

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Quotes of the Day for 11 July 2004 – John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams was born at Braintree (now Quincy), Massachusetts on this day in 1767. After graduating from Harvard in 1787 he practiced law at Boston, but was then named as ambassador to the Netherlands, Portugal, and Prussia before gaining a seat in the Senate in 1803. He returned to foreign service in Russia and England after one term, then became Secretary of State under James Monroe. In the presidential election of 1824 he came in second in a four-way race which was settled in the House, which elected him over front-runner Andrew Jackson. (He was the first son of a president to become president himself, the other is in office now.) The deal that gave him the office came back to cost him reelection, but he was promptly elected to a House seat and served from 1831 to his death. He suffered a stroke on the floor of the House and died in the Speaker's Room. After his years as a diplomat and politician his eloquence is no surprise.

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You will find an expanded profile, photo, additional biographical links, and all quotes from this author on the author's Notable Quotable page.

The quotes:

All the public business in Congress now connects itself with intrigues, and there is great danger that the whole government will degenerate into a struggle of cabals.

Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.

Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.

Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak; and that it is doing God's service when it is violating all his laws.

The influence of each human being on others in this life is a kind of immortality.

To believe all men honest would be folly. To believe none so is something worse
     - All from John Quincy Adams, 1767 - 1848

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