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John Quincy Adams

6th President of the United States

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John Quincy Adams was the son of John Adams, the 2nd President. Born like his father in Braintree, now Quincy, Massachusetts in 1767, he was the second child and eldest son. As a youth, he traveled abroad with his father on diplomatic missions. He returned home in 1785 and graduated from Harvard College, now part of Harvard University, in 1787.

After a brief law career and a period as a political journalist, Adams was appointed by George Washington to be minister to the Netherlands in 1794. He continued through his father's term as President, returning in 1801. He was later elected to the United States Senate, but returned to diplomacy. As minister to Great Britain, he helped negotiate the demilitarization of the Great Lakes. Under James Madison, he was Secretary of State.

The Election of 1824 gave no one a majority in the Electoral College, and Adams was elected by the United States House of Representatives. The Erie Canal was completed during his term. Defeated by Andrew Jackson in 1828, he returned to the United States House of Representatives. He died in 1848.