Key Dates


John Quincy Adams
1825 - 1829
Sixth President

John Quincy Adams was the 6th President of the United States.

He was the first president that had a middle name.

He was born in Massachusetts before the US became a country.

John attended Harvard.

John and his mother watched the Battle of Bunker Hill from a hill near his house.

He was secretary to the Minister to Russia when he was only fourteen.

Both John Quincy Adams and his father served as ambassador to Great Britain. This was the top post for American diplomats. John Quincy also served as an ambassador to The Netherlands, Prussia, and Russia.

In his election as President, Andrew Jackson had more popular votes and more electoral votes, but John Quincy Adams was elected by the House of Representatives because no one had a majority. President Adams was the first President to be elected without receiving a majority of the popular or electoral votes.

President John Quincy Adams was the first President to wear trousers at his inauguration.

In 1826, the Marquis de Lafayette gave John Quincy Adams an alligator. The alligator lived in the White House for several months.

Adams wife raised silkworms. She had the silk used in her gowns.

President John Quincy Adams dug the first spade of dirt neat Little Falls to begin construction of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal on July 4, 1828.

J.Q. Adams was one of 15 Presidents who were elected without winning the popular vote. When John Quincy Adams took the oath of office he did not want to involve the bible in politics so he was sworn in with hand on a book of law and the Constitution. He did not use the Bible.

He and Theodore Roosevelt were the two presidents who didn't lay their hand on the Bible to take the oath of office.

Adams did not belong to a political party.

John Quincy Adams was the son of a former president.

John Quincy Adams's Vice President was John C. Calhoun (1825-1829).

President Adams spoke in a high, shrill voice. He suffered from depression throughout his life.

John Quincy Adams was not very interested in clothes. It is rumored that he wore the same hat for 10 years.

He had three sons. He was the first and only President to have a son named George Washington.

He worked as a lawyer.

Adams customarily took a nude early morning swim in the Potomac River. Anne Royall, the first U.S. professional journalist, knew of his 5 a.m. swims. After being refused interviews with the president time after time, she went to the river, gathered his clothes and sat on them until she had her interview. Before this, no female had interviewed a president.

He was the first president to have his photo taken (April 13, 1843).

President John Quincy Adams was the first President to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives after he served as President.

He is one of only two Presidents who did not attend the inauguration of their successor. John Adams didn't attend Jefferson's.

John Quincy Adams died of a stroke on February 23, 1848. He was 80 years and 227 days old when he died.

Adams died at his desk in the House chamber and died in the speaker's office. As a member of Congress, he worked for years to overturn the rule that Congress would not accept petitions against slavery. He is the only President who died in the Capitol.

Quotes:" A confederation is not a country." Eulogy on James Madison.



Quick Facts


Wife: Lousia Adams



  • The Presidents of the United States. 22 September 2004
  • Davis, Gibbs and Ilus. David A. Johnson. Wackiest White House Pets. New York: Scholastic Press, October 2004
  • James, Barber and Amy Pastan. Smithsonian Presidents and First Ladies. New York: DK Publishing, 2002
  • Harnsberger, Caroline Thomas. Treasury of Presidential Quotations. Chicago: Follett Publishing Company, 1964
  • Kane, Joseph Natan. Facts about the Presidents from Washington to Johnson. New York: H.W. Wilson Company, 1964.
  • National Park Service Web Site on Presidential Trivia:

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This page was last modified: February 2, 2012