The Portraits

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John Quincy Adams

Artist
Auguste Edouart, 1788 - 1861
Sitter
John Quincy Adams, 11 Jul 1767 - 23 Feb 1848
Date
1841
Type
Silhouette
Medium
Lithograph, chalk and cut paper on paper
Dimensions
Image/Sheet: 28 x 21.2 cm (11 x 8 3/8")
Mat: 45.7 × 35.6 cm (18 × 14")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Robert L. McNeil, Jr.
Object number
NPG.91.126.68.A
Exhibition Label
Auguste Edouart captured John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States, twelve years after Adams had left office. Here, he stands in a setting that suggests his intellectual leanings. Note the bookshelf in the background and the rolled documents on the floor. Adams, whose political career was unusual, followed in his father’s footsteps and served as the nation’s president from 1825 to 1829. Opposition from Congress made it difficult for him to enact change. Following his defeat to Andrew Jackson for a second term, Adams became successful as a representative of Massachusetts. Adams vehemently opposed slavery. Trained as a lawyer, he effectively argued the well-known Amistad case before the Supreme Court in 1841. Consequently, the court freed the jailed Africans who had murdered the captain and several others on the slave ship that transported them. Adams also opposed the Mexican War, fearing that the annexation of Texas would extend slavery into new territory.
Auguste Edouart retrató a John Quincy Adams, sexto presidente de Estados Unidos, doce años después de haber finalizado su mandato. Adams aparece en un escenario que sugiere sus inclinaciones intelectuales. Nótese el librero en el fondo y los documentos enrollados en el piso. La trayectoria política de Adams fue inusual. Siguiendo los pasos de su padre, el joven Adams fungió como presidente del país desde 1825 hasta 1829, si bien la oposición del Congreso impidió que lograra cambios mayores. Luego de ser derrotado por Andrew Jackson en su aspiración a un segundo período presidencial, tuvo una exitosa carrera como representante por Massachusetts. Adams era abogado y ferviente opositor de la esclavitud. En 1841 argumentó una eficaz defensa ante el Tribunal Supremo en el famoso “caso Amistad”, consiguiendo la liberación de los africanos que habían asesinado al capitán y varios tripulantes en el barco negrero que los transportaba, llamado Amistad. Adams también se opuso a la guerra contra México, temiendo que la anexión de Texas extende- ría la esclavitud hacia un nuevo territorio.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Exhibition
Black Out: Silhouettes Then and Now
On View
NPG, North Gallery 220
Place
United States\District of Columbia\Washington