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John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life
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PRESIDENTIAL SERIES > 14. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS~~CHAPTER FOURTEEN (354 - 381) (4/9/12 - 4/15/12)~No Spoilers, please




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message 16: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (last edited May 03, 2012 07:21AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bryan Craig | 10804 comments Vince wrote: "Yup - we see it even today - canyou lend me fifty bucks?

I will lend you the fifty bucks I borrowed from a friend, lol.





Joke"


Vince (vpbrancato) | 701 comments Yup - we see it even today - canyou lend me fifty bucks?







Joke


message 14: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bryan Craig | 10804 comments Thanks, Vince. It is pretty baffling about the money. I am reminded of TJ, who wrote every day his expenses in his books, but never grasped the fact he was broke. We see it today even. It is pretty hard thing to face, wouldn't you say?


Vince (vpbrancato) | 701 comments Rodney wrote: "I knew of the Amastad case only from the move and I enjoyed reading a more accurate account of JQAs role.

I think after his Limited success at being President, being a representative seemed more..."



His limited success was better than our last president's less limited failure (that we continue to see it our war costs and wounded)

I wasn't aware of the possible affair between TJ & Walker's wife - maybe I have to read a full biography of Jefferson (but it may not be there)

JQA's seeming refusal to face his economic reality baffles me - especially in his keeping the losing mill working.

So now he is 73 or so - near the end of the book - I am thinking while he is able he will be working.

I am glad for his sake that the next chapter is named victory.


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Bryan Craig | 10804 comments Thanks Rodney. The House did suit him better, I think, too. He could escape criticism a bit more and debate. Oh, he loved to debate!

This period of time was very bitter (leading to civil war). We had a full break-down of the political system. People now talk about break-down, but compared tot he 1840s and 1850s, no way.


Rodney | 83 comments I knew of the Amastad case only from the move and I enjoyed reading a more accurate account of JQAs role.

I think after his Limited success at being President, being a representative seemed more fitting. The limit on debate regarding slavery gave JQA something he needed, to be angered at the silence of free thought and debate and know he was in the right to battle it. I would not want to have been on the other side of JQA in this debate.

I often find myself thinking of these overall debates on slavery leading up to the devastation of the Civil War whenever I hear that the political climate of today is the worst in US history. In my opinion it's been much worse before in both tone and blood.


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Bryan Craig | 10804 comments I got the impression JQA did more with the Amistad case, but it seems he did the closing argument. However, having him around was probably great publicity and authority.


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Bryan Craig | 10804 comments Amistad:

In February of 1839, Portuguese slave hunters abducted a large group of Africans from Sierra Leone and shipped them to Havana, Cuba, a center for the slave trade. This abduction violated all of the treaties then in existence. Fifty-three Africans were purchased by two Spanish planters and put aboard the Cuban schooner Amistad for shipment to a Caribbean plantation. On July 1, 1839, the Africans seized the ship, killed the captain and the cook, and ordered the planters to sail to Africa. On August 24, 1839, the Amistad was seized off Long Island, NY, by the U.S. brig Washington. The planters were freed and the Africans were imprisoned in New Haven, CT, on charges of murder. Although the murder charges were dismissed, the Africans continued to be held in confinement as the focus of the case turned to salvage claims and property rights. President Van Buren was in favor of extraditing the Africans to Cuba. However, abolitionists in the North opposed extradition and raised money to defend the Africans. Claims to the Africans by the planters, the government of Spain, and the captain of the brig led the case to trial in the Federal District Court in Connecticut. The court ruled that the case fell within Federal jurisdiction and that the claims to the Africans as property were not legitimate because they were illegally held as slaves. The case went to the Supreme Court in January 1841, and former President John Quincy Adams argued the defendants' case. Adams defended the right of the accused to fight to regain their freedom. The Supreme Court decided in favor of the Africans, and 35 of them were returned to their homeland. The others died at sea or in prison while awaiting trial.
(Source: http://www.archives.gov/education/les...)

More:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Amistad
http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects...


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Bryan Craig | 10804 comments I find it interesting that he never was a big fan of Thomas Jefferson. He recounts Senator John Walker's claim that TJ made advances toward his wife Betsey. We will never know what really happened since there is no evidence either way.

What does this say about JQA by continuing this story?


message 7: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (last edited Apr 11, 2012 08:02AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bryan Craig | 10804 comments James Smithson:



James Smithson (c.1765–1829), the founding donor of the Smithsonian was an English chemist and mineralogist. He was the illegitimate son of Hugh Smithson, the first Duke of Northumberland, and Elizabeth Hungerford Keate Macie, a wealthy widow who was a cousin of the Duchess of Northumberland. His exact birthday remains unknown because he was born in secret in Paris, where his mother had gone to hide her pregnancy. In his youth, his name was James Lewis Macie, but in 1801, after his parents died, he took his father’s last name of Smithson.

Smithson never married; he had no children; and he lived a peripatetic life, traveling widely in Europe during a time of great turbulence and political upheaval. He was in Paris during the French Revolution, and was later imprisoned during the Napoleonic Wars. Friends with many of the great scientific minds of his age, he believed that the pursuit of science and knowledge was the key to happiness and prosperity for all of society. He saw scientists as benefactors of all mankind, and thought that they should be considered “citizens of the world.”

Smithson was interested in almost everything and studied a wide range of natural phenomena: the venom of snakes, the chemistry of volcanoes, the constituents of a lady’s tear, and even the fundamental nature of electricity. He published twenty-seven papers in his lifetime, ranging from an improved method of making coffee, to an analysis of the mineral calamine, critical in the manufacture of brass—which led to the mineral being named smithsonite in his honor. In one of his last papers, he laid out his philosophy most clearly: “It is in his knowledge that man has found his greatness and his happiness. . . . No ignorance is probably without loss to him.”

Toward the end of his life, under a clause in his will, he left his fortune to the United States, a place he had never visited, to found in Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, “an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men.” Smithson died in Genoa, Italy, on June 27, 1829, and was interred nearby. In 1904, Smithsonian Regent Alexander Graham Bell brought Smithson’s remains to the United States to rest at the Institution, his bequest created.
(Source: http://siarchives.si.edu/history/jame...)

More:
http://www.150.si.edu/smithexb/smitti...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Sm...
The Lost World of James Smithson  Science, Revolution, and the Birth of the Smithsonian by Heather EwingHeather Ewing


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Bryan Craig | 10804 comments These quotes are interesting about JQA fighting hard in Congress:

"The situation left Louisa with a revealing regret: yielding to no one in her admiration for her husband's strengths, she believed that by fighting in Congress, he was wasting 'all the energies of his fine mind upon a people who do not either understand or appreciate his talents.'" (p. 356)

What about this one from Charles:
"'My own opinion is and has been for many years that his whole system of life was very wrong-that he sleeps by far too little, that he eats and drinks too irregularly, and that he has habituated his mind to a state of morbid activity which makes life in its common forms very tedious.'" (p. 357)


message 5: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (last edited Apr 09, 2012 07:30AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bryan Craig | 10804 comments I assumed JQA was an abolitionist, but apparently not. His angle was more on the order of free speech.

Did this surprise anyone else? Does his stance make sense from what we learned about JQA so far?


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Bryan Craig | 10804 comments Gag Rule:

The Constitution guarantees citizens the right "to petition the government for a redress of grievances." Nineteenth-century Americans exercised this right vigorously. Each session, Congress received petitions "respectfully," but "earnestly praying" for action. In 1834 the American Anti-Slavery Society began an antislavery petition drive. Over the next few years the number of petitions sent to Congress increased sharply. In 1837—38, for example, abolitionists sent more than 130,000 petitions to Congress asking for the abolition of slavery in Washington, DC. As antislavery opponents became more insistent, Southern members of Congress were increasingly adamant in their defense of slavery.

In May of 1836 the House passed a resolution that automatically "tabled," or postponed action on all petitions relating to slavery without hearing them. Stricter versions of this gag rule passed in succeeding Congresses. At first, only a small group of congressmen, led by Representative John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts, opposed the rule. Adams used a variety of parliamentary tactics to try to read slavery petitions on the floor of the House, but each time he fell victim to the rule. Gradually, as antislavery sentiment in the North grew, more Northern congressmen supported Adams’s argument that, whatever one’s view on slavery, stifling the right to petition was wrong. In 1844 the House rescinded the gag rule on a motion made by John Quincy Adams.
(Source: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/trea...)

More:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gag_rule
http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/h...


message 3: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bryan Craig | 10804 comments I wanted to share this book title with everyone:

The Life and Times of Congressman John Quincy Adams by Leonard L. RichardsLeonard L. Richards


message 2: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (last edited Apr 09, 2012 07:12AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bryan Craig | 10804 comments Chapter Overview and Summary

Chapter Fourteen: Battle


The cause JQA had found was the right to petition Congress. It wasn't about being an abolitionist, but the right to state your cause to your representative in Congress. So, JQA fought against the gag rule the South tried to impose in May 1836. The former president also wanted to use a sizable bequeath by Englishman, James Smithson, to develop American education. He also participated in the Texas debate where he opposed Texas' entry in the union where he was effective in delaying action by President Martin Van Buren. He was building respect around Boston due to his work. When not in Congress, JQA delivered orations such as a eulogy for James Madison, faith, and unionism.

JQA supported William Henry Harrison and the two liked each other. JQA gave the closing statement in the famous Amistad case.

At home, money remained tight as the Columbian mills still took away precious income. He still suffered from depression and found relief only in his work. He helped George Bancroft with his book on U.S. history and even started on his own book on his father. In 1839, his grand-daughter, Fanny, died. In the end, JQA decided not to retire and run for another term in the House.


message 1: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (last edited Apr 16, 2012 09:07AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bryan Craig | 10804 comments This is the Week Fourteen thread for the next Presidential Series selection (John Quincy Adams).

The week's reading assignment is:

Week Fourteen - April 9th - April 15th -> FOURTEEN p. 354 - 381

We will open up a thread for each week's reading. Please make sure to post in the particular thread dedicated to those specific chapters and page numbers to avoid spoilers. We will also open up supplemental threads as we did for other spotlighted books.

We look forward to your participation. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders and other noted on line booksellers do have copies of the book and shipment can be expedited. The book can also be obtained easily at your local library. Bryan's edition is ISBN: 0679404449 (hardcover)

There is no rush and we are thrilled to have you join us. It is never too late to begin reading this selection and/or to post.

Bryan Craig will be your moderator for this selection as he is our lead for all Presidential selections. We hope you enjoy Week Fourteen of this discussion.

Welcome,

~Bryan

John Quincy Adams  A Public Life, a Private Life by Paul C. Nagel by Paul C. Nagel


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