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Bishop & Gray Studio, active c. 1843
John Quincy Adams, 11 Jul 1767 - 23 Feb 1848
Image: 8.3 x 7cm (3 1/4 x 2 3/4")
Case Closed: 9.4 x 8.3cm (3 11/16 x 3 1/4")
Case Open: 9.4 x 16.4 x 1.4cm (3 11/16 x 6 7/16 x 9/16")
Personal Attribute\Facial Hair\Muttonchops
John Quincy Adams: Male
John Quincy Adams: Politics and Government\US Congressman\Massachusetts
John Quincy Adams: Politics and Government\Diplomat\Ambassador
John Quincy Adams: Politics and Government\President of US
John Quincy Adams: Politics and Government\Cabinet member\Secretary of State
John Quincy Adams: Politics and Government\US Senator\Massachusetts
John Quincy Adams: Politics and Government\Son of US President
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of John D. Duncan and an anonymous donor
Restrictions & Rights
Born Braintree, Massachusetts
John Quincy Adams was destined for a life of public service. The eldest son of John and Abigail Adams, he was only ten when he accompanied his famous father on a diplomatic mission to Europe in 1778. The younger Adams later graduated from Harvard, practiced law, and served as U.S. minister to the Netherlands before his election to the U.S. Senate (1803). Although his disdain for partisan politics would cost him that seat, he served ably as a diplomat and as secretary of state (1817–25). In 1824 Adams defeated Andrew Jackson for the presidency but lost to his rival in a rematch in 1828. Three years later, he was elected to the House of Representatives, where he served for eight successive terms.
In the summer of 1843, Adams embarked on what he hoped would be a private trip through New York State. Such was his popularity, however, that his “journey for pleasure and recreation . . . [was] converted into a triumphal progress.” In Utica, where he was feted with a torchlight parade, Adams was taken by his hosts to “Bishop & Gray’s Daguerreotype rooms” for a series of four portraits. Far from pleased with the results, Adams recorded in his diary that the daguerreotypes were “all hideous.” Regrettably, this portrait from that sitting has suffered abrasions that partially obscure Adams’s face.