Posts Tagged ‘Absquatulation’

Absquatulators! Whigs vs. Locofocos

November 14, 2009

From the O.S. Journal.

Inverse “Absquatulation” — The Tables Turned — The Ass Standing to Hay, but wouldn’t eat!

The scene in the Senate, yesterday afternoon, on the passage of the bill to amend the Congressional Districting law, was “rich” (as the Senator from Hamilton would say) beyond anything that has been witnessed this session. The majority proceeded with the business before them very orderly, and with no seeming haste, offering to the minority full swing at the bill. In the first place, it will be remembered, the State Printer discovered that the copy of the bill laid on the table of Senators, was a “forgery.” This astute discovery being exposed, what was next to be done? There was a bill — it was no forgery — should they stand up to the rack “fodder or no fodder,” or should they “absquatulate.” —

Unfortunately, they had passed a law during the session of 1842-‘3, when running over with patriotism at the outrageous conduct of the Whigs, which might be a little troublesome should they attempt that Constitutional remedy, so they began casting about for a substitute. They could play Dummy! — So they opened their mouths and proclaimed aloud that they couldn’t talk! — they would walk up to the rack, but they wouldn’t touch that bundle of hay, the vile thing — their “democratic” stomachs revolted at being obliged to eat their own trash — no! they would starve first! — they felt indignant! — and if the majority would stuff them, they would stand mute, their mouths sealed, and if all their friends would do the same thing, it would be some time before the majority got the bundle of hay eaten — that it would! — (Here the scene changed — the open mouths were shut — and there sat the Senators, the one from Hamilton and the one from Richland taking the lead, playing “absquatulation” on an inverse rule. They would not speak, not they — the majority might whisk the bundle of hay under their noses, but they wouldn’t open their mouths, if they died for it!)

At this point of the proceedings, a new act in the drama was being enacted by the majority. The first part had been broad farce — that which was to follow, was clearly tragi-comical. Mr. Kelley, from Franklin, rose, and began reading the proceedings of “an unprecedentedly large  meeting of citizens from different portions of Ohio, convened at the Market-house in Columbus, on the evening of Tuesday, August 11th, 1842,” to express their opinion of absquatulation in the abstract and in the concrete — of “absquatulaton” direct, and of “absquatulaton” inverse.

At this meeting presided as Chairman, “the Hon. DAVID T. DISNEY, of Hamilton county.” Mr. K. read the patriotic remarks of the Hon. Chairman, on taking the Chair, in explanation of the objects of the meeting. “This is no matter of party interest,” said the eloquent chairman — “it is above and beyond mere party — it is one which appeals to the heart and judgment of every man — it is an assault upon your Constitution — it is a dissolution of your Government.”

During the reading of the very moving remarks of the chairman, the muscles of the Senator from Hamilton were observed to twitch. The scene was “rich, racy, to use his own favorite expression.

It was supposed too that some slight recollection of the provisions of the Constitution was flitting across the minds of the dumb members, just at this time, wherein it is provided — that “each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, and punish its members for disorderly behavior.” There was a rule compelling the members to think of absquatulation direct, that is, resigning, when they would no longer be members. But then it occurred to the logical mind of the member from Richland, that it was not “disorderly” to refuse to talk. He seemed to think that “disorder” consisted in kicking up a fuss generally, like the member from Hamilton in the lower House — taking off your coat, rolling up your sleeves, and kicking up your heels. And “absquatulation” inverse, was not “absquatulation” direct — for though the mind might be absent, the body was there. They could count their bodies, but they couldn’t count their noes, for they wouldn’t open their mouths, Constitution or no Constitution!

Well — there say the Dummys. Mr. Kelley proceeded with the reading of the proceedings. He had got through with the pathetic speech of the Chairman, and he came next to the preamble of the Resolutions. From this he read — “And, whereas, the power to repeal the bill about to be passed, was boldly claimed upon the floor of the Senate, by one of the Senators who aided in this revolutionary attempt, AND THAT POWER NEVER DENIED, it is now too late to claim that if the law was odious to the People, still would it be saddled upon them for the next ten years”!!!

At the reading of this, the lips of the Dummys dropped, and it was supposed they would open their mouths. But this bill does not follow out the remedy above conceded — it does not repeal, it only AMENDS! Of course, said the Senator of Hamilton to himself, I admit the doctrine of Repeal — ain’t I going for repeal of the Bank Law? To be sure I am — and if these Whigs would only go for Repeal, I would be with ’em but not to amend! No, no — repeal, destroy, break down, but never amend and build up!

— In this state of suspense the bill was gone through with, and put on its passage in the Senate. The time had arrived for seeing how many intended to play “absquatulation” in dumb show. The Constitution requires a quorum of two-thirds to do business. The question was put — a sufficient number, under a sense of duty imposed by their oaths while members, answered to their names to make a quorum, and the bill passed. Thus ended “absquatulation” inversed — and so ended this game of wickeness and folly. We have not heard this morning from the Dummys, whether they have recovered their speech or not. The bill has yet to pass the House.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Mar 18, 1845

kelley

Alfred Kelley

Alfred Kelley: His Life and Work

by the Hon. James L. Bates 1888 (Read it online HERE)

Locofoco “Absquatulation.”

Our readers will learn, by perusing the proceedings of the State Legislature, that the Locofoco members of the Senate arrested the proceedings of that body on the 14th instant, by absenting themselves from the Senate chamber while the Apportionment Bill was under consideration in that body. This high-handed act was committed by every Locofoco member of the Senate, with the exception of Messrs. Archbold and Spindler, thus leaving the Senate without a quorum for the transaction of further business. A call of the Senate took place, and the proper officer sent for the absentees, who announced that he could find but two of them, and that they refused to return to the Senate. The reason the “Absquatulators” assign for the course they have pursued, is, that the majority were about to pass an Apportionment Bill which contained a provision for dividing the county of Hamilton into two districts, which provision they claim to be unconstitutional; and rather than see the constitution violated, they say they were determined to commit the “treasonable” act of breaking up the Legislature, and dissolving the State Government. They well knew that unless the present Legislature passed a law to apportion the members among the several counties of the State, there existed no authority under the constitution for holding another election for members of the Legislature, and that the State Government would be at an end, — and yet they deliberately vacated their seats.

We are somewhat anxious to know what our neighbors of the Experiment will say to this “treasonable” act of his Locofoco brethren. —

When the Whig Senators resigned, at the extra session in 1842, for the purpose of preventing the passage of the bill to divide the State into Congressional Districts, no person was louder or more bitter in his denunciations of those who felt it their duty to defeat that unjust measure in the only constitutional manner that was left to them, than the editor of the Experiment. Their resignations, too, only had the effect of postponing the apportionment bill until the next session of the Legislature, and the people then had ample time to elect their Congressmen before they were required to assemble at the national capital. But now, the absence of the Locofoco Senators, if persisted in, will prevent an organization of the State Government next winter — leave the office of Auditor of State vacant — defeat, among other important measures, the passage of the bill making appropriations for the support of the State Government for the ensuing year — and leave the affairs of our State in confusion.

The Statesman and other Locofoco papers, uphold and approve the course pursued by the refractory Senators, and we have no doubt our neighbor will be found following in the footsteps of his illustrious leader — Sam Medary.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Feb 22, 1848

SamuelMedary

Samuel Medary

For more on Samuel Medary:

Historical Collections Relating to Gwynedd (Pennsylvania)
By Howard M. Jenkins
Second Edition 1897

Scroll down a bit HERE.

The Legislature.

This body adjourned sine die on Friday last, having been in session about eleven weeks, during which time a large amount of business has been accomplished. The session was prolonged somewhat in consequence of the factious course pursued by the fifteen Locofoco “Absquatulaors.”

The bill dividing the State into Legislative districts for the ensuing four years, which caused so much squirming among the Locofoco, became a law in spite of the fifteen Locofoco Senators who fled from the Senate at the bidding of Sam Medary, and issued their decrees from “No. 18.” We learn from the Cleveland Herald, that the following is the mudus operandi by which the bill was passed into a law:

The Senatorial Absquatulators and their party associates in the House who had signed and sealed a contract to back up the revolution, were completely out-generaled in the final action on the apportionment bill, and by one of the quietest as well as most worthy men in the house.

The House some time previous passed the Senate Apportionment Bill with amendments. It was sent to the Senate for concurrence. The Senate disagreed. The House insisted on its amendments — then moved a reconsideration, and receded from some of its amendments. — The bill was again sent to the Senate. The Senate were about to take the vote upon the question of concurring with the remaining House amendments, when the absquatulation took place. Peaceful and legal measures were employed to bring the recreants back to duty, and these failing, the Whigs of the House “did up the job in a hurry.”

In pursuance to a preconcerted arrangement, when the Locos in the House were somewhat off their guard, Mr. Park, of Lorain, rose and offered a resolution, which he sent to the chair. Now Mr. P. is a philanthropist as well as a Solon, and a portion of his business this session as well as the previous one, had been to get the Legislature to allow a cripple among his constituents by the name of Coppins, to peddle without license. Of course when Mr. P. offered his resolution the Locos thought it must pertain to the Coppins project, and paid no attention to it. What made them still more off their guard was the fact that the Speaker was not in the Chair, but it was occupied at the time by Dr. Truesdale, of Trumbull. The resolution was read rather rapidly, the Whigs voting  Aye, and the Locos two or three of them saying No, and it was declared carried before the opposition collected themselves enough to ask for a division of the question, to call the ayes and nays, or to absquatulate!

When they finally came to their senses, they found that the resolution declared that the House receded from all the amendments of the House to the Apportionment Bill, which the Senate had not concurred in, and that the bill was a law!

Uncle Toby says “our army swore terribly in Flanders,” but that swearing we are told, was not a priming to the oaths of Ohio Locofocoism at the successful maneuvre of Mr. Park, of Lorain. Absquatulation at once fizzled out! and the Legislators who had sneaked to the tavern, sneaked back to the Senate Chamber! —

Farmer Park had blocked the Revolution!

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Feb 29, 1848

The Revolution — The Great Day.

Thanks to the vigilance of our city authorities or to some other cause, no violence has yet been perpetrated, no wrong has been done, no hen roost has been robbed, no watchful mother goose had been untimely torn from her callow offspring.

Rain, that stern and relentless enemy of popular movements, sat in early in the morning, and has fallen during the whole day; and powder and patriotism have alike suffered under the influence of its rigid conversatism. The advances of the Revolutionary army have been made under cover of their umbrellas; and have given no alarm and done no damage.

The plan of taking possession of the vacant public buildings at Franklinton, organizing there a provisional government, and making that place the capital of the State of Locodom, which was projected yesterday, has, as we are informed, been abandoned, at least until the weather changes.

— O.S. Jour.

THE DEMOCRACY IN COUNCIL.

The agony is over. The long talked of Convention of the disorganizing, revolutionary Democracy has met and separated. The great cloud which arose with so much bluster, has spent itself in wind, and now is not even so large as Tom Thumb’s hand. The great bull-frogs of the party; as John Brough and others of acknowledged parts, hopped about a little, with an occasional boo-o-boo, marked with the melancholy languor which distinguishes the moanings of a dying calf. The reptile tribe, who have been for years winding their coils tighter and tighter about the consumption-stricken carcass of Locofocoism, as Sam Medary and his abettors, moving sluggishly in their slimy beds, emitting now and then a hiss which only served to make the little polliwogs of the Democratic family, wiggle their little tails like mad. Yes, the agony is over, and the sun shines as brightly as ever, the stars twinkle at night, without any apparent diminution of lustre, the earth rolls along in her orbit, and thank fortune the constitution still stands! Law and order reigns, and the evil day — the day of anarchy and blood, if not altogether abolished, is at least far away.

Cleveland Herald.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) May 23, 1848

squiggle

Below is an excerpt that gives some context to the above news articles. To read more, click the link below.

Volume 38 OHIO HISTORY: The Scholarly Journal of the Ohio Historical Society

Party Politics in Ohio, 1840-1850 (continued)
by Edgar Allan Holt

CHAPTER VI

THE APPORTIONMENT BILL OF FEBRUARY, 1848 [excerpt]

The first Ohio State Constitution provided that the General Assembly should apportion representation among the several counties in proportion to population.

The controversy over the constitutionality of the act passed by the Whig Legislature on February 18, 1848, in accordance with this provision of the State Constitution, became so bitter that it convulsed the State for two years; interrupted legislative procedure for weeks; led to a realignment of parties and to the election of Salmon P. Chase to the United States Senate.

Before the State elections were held in October, 1847, attention had been called by Whig papers to the need of a fair districting of the State, on the ground that the Democrats had been able to control the General Assembly, previously, by gerrymandering. The issue assumed additional importance because upon the 1848-1849 Legislature depended the election of a successor to William Allen to the United States Senate. The Hamilton Intelligencer favored dividing the State into single member districts; and the Clermont Courier recalled how the Democrats in 1839-1840 had united Clermont, Brown, and Clinton Counties in order to overcome Whig majorities.

Reapportionment had not figured in the campaign of 1847, and the Democratic leaders, therefore, were all the more surprised, when on January 12, 1848, an apportionment measure was introduced by the Whigs in the Senate, providing among other things, for the division of Hamilton County into two electoral districts and assigning two senators and five representatives to the whole County as before. This measure the Democrats denounced as unfair, unjust and unconstitutional, and centered their fire on the proposed division of Hamilton County.

The Life and Death of John Quincy Adams

November 13, 2009

Death of John Quincy Adams!

The Telegraph reports the death, on the 24th ultimo, of JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, the illustrious sage of Quincy. The whole nation will deplore the loss of this great and good man. Venerable alike for his years, his honors, his eminent worth, and his faithful and distinguished public services, he had outlived the rancor of party, and won the admiration and respect even of those who most bitterly opposed him. He died, as he lived, in the service of his country, leaving behind him a reputation for ability second to but one or two in the roll of America’s Great Men, and a character of honesty, integrity, public and private virtue, second to none. His name will be embalmed with those of WASHINGTON, FRANKLIN, JEFFERSON, HAMILTON and other Sages and Statesmen in the hearts of the American people — fitting Mausoleum for a PATRIOT’s Memory!

[Sent. & Gaz.

Mr. ADAMS was struck with paralysis on the 21st., whilst in his seat, in the House. He lingered till the 24th, having been speechless all the while.

Watertown Chronicle (Watertown, Wisconsin) Mar 8, 1848

Adams John Q death

From the Ohio State Journal.

THE ABSQUATULATION.

TUNE — The Cow died on. [see note below]

Trouble in Columbus,
Locos raising Ned,
Kicking up a rumpus —
Squally times ahead!
Rushing like a hurricane,
Madly they convene.
Room at the ‘American,’
In Number 18.

Senate Hall deserted,
Fifteen Locos fly;
Nineteen Whigs diverted,
Never say die;
Speaker Goddard, frowning
With majestic mien,
Sendeth Sergeant Downing
To Number 18.

Sergeant, with his warrant,
Thought the Devil’s to pay,
Bold as a Knight Errant
Wends his winding way.
Crowding through spectators
Tickled at the scene,
For absquatulators
In Number 18.

Rats abroad when roaming,
Watching — every one —
When ratcatchers ‘re coming
To the hole will run —
So the “fifteen” scatter;
Scampering are seen —
Said Kelsey “what’s the matter
In Number 18?”

Sergeant Downing, rapping,
Tapping at the door,
Didn’t catch them napping,
But upon the floor —
Some were tossing coppers,
Some looked quite serene.
Some were telling whoppers,
In Number 18.

Olds, the master spirit,
Spoke — ‘he had the floor’ —
“Sergeant Downing, hear it:
Never, nevermore.
With the Whigs up yonder
“Patriots” will be seen,
But we’ll give ’em thunder
From Number 18!

“Fiery persecution —
On our shoulders broad
Stands the Constitution:
Heavens! what a load!”
Doctor raised his spectacles,
Spectacles of green —
Down a tear trickles,
In Number 18!

“Ask the Speaker Goddard,
Never at a loss,
How I’m to be foddered
In Pickaway and Ross?
I am independent,
What may intervene,
Lord of the Ascendant
In Number 18.

“If from here I’m driven,
What shall I go at? —
I’m only fit for Heaven,
And hardly fit for that!
Sergeant Downing, travel!”
Said he, quite serene,
“We’ll raise the very Devil
In number 18!”

Downing took the message,
As he came away;
Blocking up the passage
People in dismay,
Gathering around him,
Wish the news to glean —
Asking if he found ’em
In Number 18.

Barbers with their razors,
Doctors with their bills,
Landlords, and, O scizzors!
Washwomen with ?ills;
All the nooks and corners
Emptying were seen —
“Shouldn’t crowd the mourners”
In Number 18.

Fallen in with misery
Upon evil times —
Can’t get in the Treasury,
Can’t get at the dimes!
Treasury doors are fasten’d,
Treasurer Bliss is keen;
Sorely — sorely chastened,
Is Number 18.

Calm as summer morning
Warrant was returned;
Senators, discerning,
Quietly adjourned; —
Smothering a dry laugh,
Many Whigs were seen —
“Couldn’t come the Giraffe”
In Number 18.

Good old Father Cronise,
Unsophisticated,
Wishing he in nowise
Had absquatulated,
By himself stood musing —
Thought ’twas rather green
Domes he should be losing;
For Number 18.

Close behind him — startled,
Sergeant-at-Arms, there,
O if the old man “tortled,”
Jumping like a deer.
Lightning-like retreated,
A blue streak is seen,
Cronise evaporated,
From Number 18.

Down the street dashing,
Hair wildly streaming.
Through the mud splashing,
Children all screaming —
Barking dogs — all sizes,
Accompanying seen.
The flight of Cronise’s
From Number 18.

Locos no concession
Meeting as a boon,
Yielded at discretion
Saturday at noon;
Spitefully as pet Bears,
Suffering from spleen,
“Such a getting down stairs”
From Number 18.

Jonah in a bad snap,
Swallowed UP a whale;
Rats in a steel trap,
Certainly should squeal;
Locos, though disgusted,
Once again convene —
Guess the TIN PAK “busted”
In Number 18.

Olds, the great concocter
Wouldn’t yet come in,
Whigs had the Doctor
Where Caleb had the hen;
The Doctor he is eloquent,
The Doctor isn’t green,
But the Dr. saw the Elephant
In Number 18.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Feb 29, 1848

NOTE: In regards to the tune: “the tune the old cow died of” being merely a proverbial or slang way of expressing “the music is insufferably bad.” P. P.

Posted by Jim Dixon on the Mudrat Cafe website.

Adams John Q

This first biography was written the year before he died.

BIOGRAPHY.

Sketches of the Public Men of the United States.

BY ERASTUS BROOKS.

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.

IT would be more difficult to tell when John Quincy Adams was not in public life, and more difficult to state the honors he has not enjoyed from his countrymen, than those which he has. No child was ever blessed with a nobler father, or a purer mother, than John Quincy Adams. The father was one of the foremost and bravest spirits of the revolution, and the mother has all the heroism and intelligence of the worthiest women of her age and time. She was the daughter of the Rev. William Smith, of Weymouth, and one of the two sisters, both of whom were remarkable and exemplary women, the one marrying the Hon. Richard Cranch, of Quincy, father of the present Chief Justice Cranch of Washington, and the other the Rev. Mr. Shaw, one of the old and honorable Congregational Ministers of New England. Of the father I need not speak, and of the mother I will only add, that those who will read her published letters to husband, son and niece, pronounce the author of the truths and wisdom therein embodied, worthy of the highest eulogium language can bestow. Nor shall I attempt — for time and space would fail me — to enumerate more than the most public events in the career of Ex-President Adams.

Mr. A. is fast verging on four score years, having been born on the 11th of July, 1767. Nearly 60 years of this time, in one way or another, he has been in public life, and has filled the highest offices, — and almost all grades of office, — known either to our National or State Governments. He was cradled almost in the Revolution, and lived thro’ it, of necessity, not only an active spectator, but sometimes a participator, — and that not in an humble way, — in some of its most important events. Ten years after he was born, and in the midst of the Revolution, he accompanied his father to Europe. It was John Quincy Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Arthur Lee, as is known, who composed the Commission at Versailles. —

John Q. Adams was absent but eighteen months, and during this time improved himself in the study of French and Latin, and other branches of learning. Old John Adams landed in Boston, in August ’79, in the very density of the darkness of the Revolution. He was not permitted to remain longer than three months at home, the scene for the greatest service being then upon the European side of the Atlantic as a negotiator with powers friendly to the United States, and with those like France, who were hostile to England. Again the son accompanied the father to Europe and at a time, too, when the ocean was almost dotted with English ships in search of every thing American, or friendly to the independent colonies which could be found. It was during the voyage that old John Adams was placed in charge of the Commodore Tucker, one of the thunderbolts of old ocean, and every bit as brave as Paul Jones, or any of the fabled heroes of the sea.

The little vessel of the Commodore had many a hair-breadth escape from capture, but the master was determined never to yield without a struggle, no matter what force might attack him. At one time real danger was at hand, and the life of Adams was deemed as precious as the great mission he had in charge. Tucker insisted, therefore, that Adams should, as the Ambassador of the country keep out of harm’s way. The minister tried but in vain, to obey orders, for no sooner was there real danger at hand, than he was foremost in the fight, and so impatient of restraint, as to mingle with the humble sailors, in defence of the ship. Adams, however, arrived safely out, and Holland for a time became the scene of his labors.

He was a beggar at the footstool of thrones and principalities, for means to carry on the war of his country with England, and among kings, noblemen and aristocratic bankers, for it was not easy then to obtain the ‘sinews of war,’ at home or abroad. Ours was a young nation in the New world, and the most powerful nation in the Old denounced us as traitors and rebels. But against all odds, our fathers faithfully struggled, patiently endured, and in the end gloriously triumphed. It was in such a school as this that John Quincy Adams was taught, and with a mother to guide him who loved to instil into his mind those principles of religious and civil liberty, higher than which no nation or body of men ever aimed to obtain. He was surrounded too, often by the great and good men of the Revolution.

These, the companions of his father, were his great moral exemplars. He was favored beyond this with the companionship of some of the most distinguished men of the Old World. John Adams, even at this time, when his son was not 18 years of age, in one of his letters, spoke of him with the affection and respect of a true father, in these words: “The strict and inviolate regard you have ever paid to truth, gives me pleasing hope that you will not swerve from her dictates, but add justice, fortitude, and every manly virtue, which can adorn a good citizen, do honor to your country, and render your parents supremely happy, and particularly your affectionate mother.”

Young Adams soon visited many parts of Europe. He was put to school alternately at Paris, Amsterdam and Leyten, and afterward accompanied Francis Dana, in 1781, to St. Petersburgh, where he acted as the private secretary of our Minister.

He returned home, after visiting Northern Europe, Germany in part, Holland, France and England. It was his good fortune to be with his father at the signing of the treaty of Peace in Paris, 1783.  At London he was favored, as a listener to the eloquence of Burke, Sheridan, Fox, Pitt, a galaxy of names that no one English Parliament before or since, has ever exhibited. All these men at this time were in the zenith of their powers. Pitt stood at the head of the British Ministry, with his three great rivals arrayed against him. This was before young Adams was 20 years of age. Indeed soon after he was 18, he entered Harvard College, far advanced in his studies, and in 1787 graduated and turned his attention at once and with great assiduity to the law, a profession on which at one time he thought he should have to depend for the means of support. He studied vigorously under Theophilus Parson — once a distinguished Chief Justice in Massachusetts. He became at this time apparently ambitious of fame, and distinguished himself particularly with his pen, in his opposition to some popular essays from the famous Thomas Paine.

Later in life he was the public defender of Washington, for the course pursued by the father of his country toward the then singular minister of France, the famous Genet. His first honors came from the hands of the first President, and under all administrations, since then, he has held conspicuous positions derived from the people, the State, or from the Federal government. — Washington sent him to the Netherlands under the recommendation of Thomas Jefferson — who afterwards also gave him a distinguished post abroad.

The conflict with the father would not allow Mr. Jefferson to be alienated from the son. Mr. Adams, therefore went hither and thither at the call of his government, & was ever ready to go where he could do the most good. Now at the Court of Holland, and again at the Court of St. James; to day hurrying off to Berlin, and to-morrow to Portugal; this year an important negociator with Prussia, the next serving in the Legislature of his State, the third a Senator in Congress, the 4th a Professor of Oratory and Rhetoric in his old Alma Mater, and soon after again, flying upon the wings of the wind for distant Russia, as the Minister Plenipotentiary of his government.

It was Mr. Adams who incited the emperor of Russia to mediate as a friendly power for the restoration of peace between the governments of England and the United States. It was he too who was one of the Commissioners (with Clay and Gallatin) to negotiate the treaty of peace which was signed at Ghent, in Dec. 1814. His father, in his presence, had signed the first treaty of peace at Paris, and it was his good fortune to sign the second treaty himself at Ghent. Honors still followed him. Mr. Madison appointed him Ambassador to England, which office he held, until Mr. Monroe, at the commencement of his administration, called him home, not to retirement, but to be his Secretary of State — an office which all will admit be filled with the most marked ability. Still his course was onward and upward, and when Mr. Monroe served out his two terms, Mr. Adams became his successor in the Presidential office, receiving the votes of 13 states, which was then the requisite number in the house of Representatives, as one of the 3 competitors who had failed to be elected by the people.

Since then the career of Mr. Adams has been too familiar to need comment at my hands. There are various opinions, too, as to the propriety of his course, and the justice of his sentiments. Desiring not to discuss party or sectional questions in these sketches, I prefer to leave the subject of this sketch just where it is, only adding that Mr. Adams was elected to Congress in 1831, that he has been a member ever since, and that he will in all probability die at his post, and with the harness on his back. Most heartily do I believe him to be governed by the patriotism and the highest sense of honor. — Those who differ from him — and there are few men who have not widely differed from him at times, — are bound to concede this. — To praise his vast amount of intelligence, whether the result of his observation or study, or whether appertaining to political historical or biblical knowledge, would be “the wasteful and ridiculous excess of gilding refined gold.” The life of such a man is one of the most incidents that illustrate our nations history, and as such it ought to be cherished as a precious legacy by the American people.

Ohio Repository, The (Canton, Ohio) Jun 24, 1847

JQAdams2

Image from Image from http://angam.ang.univie.ac.at

From the New York Tribune.

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS

Another, and almost the only link which binds the political history of our country’s present to the past era of her first existence as a nation, has been broken by the death of this venerable statesman. It is as if that great time, with the great men to whom it gave birth, and who have now taken their revered places in the world’s history, were removed farther from us, with the departure of one in whom they still lived and spoke. It is the fate of no common life, to contain within the span of its earthly rising and setting, such experience as his embraced; — the growth of a feeble colony, into one of the mightiest empires of all time — the spectacle of a total revolution in the world’s politics, science and philosophy — the birth and development of a wonderful age. Yet such a life was his, whose loss we deplore — for whom the nation will sorrow, as one man — whose memory will become a part of our childrens’ heritage, and whose labors will stand as a pillar, upholding the majesty of human Freedom.

John Quincy Adams was born at Braintree (afterward Quincy) Mass. on the 11th of July, 1767. He received his name from his great-grandfather, John Quincy, who, in the early part of the century, was honored with many civil distinctions from the Governor of the Providence, and who died a few hours after the birth of the boy who took his name. His childhood was passed during the stormy times of the Revolution; and even as a child he participated in some of its most memorable occurrences. — When John Adams was appointed Joint Commissioner to France in 1777, with Franklin and Lee, John Quincy accompanied him, though at this time but eleven years of age. He spent eighteen months in Paris, at school, and returned to America with his father in 1779. During this visit he enjoyed the instructions of Franklin, who conceived a strong attachment for his young countryman.

In three months after their arrival, John Adams was again dispatched by Congress to Europe, and set sail, with his son, in a French frigate for Brest. They has a perilous passage, for the ocean was at that time thronged with British fleets, and their capture was only avoided by the daring and courage of the commander. The frigate was driven by violent storms into the port of Ferrol, in Spain, whence they traveled by land to Paris. They went soon after to Holland, where he studied for some time at Amsterdam and at the celebrated University of Leyden.

In July, 1781, Francis Dana, (father of Richard H. Dana, the poet,) who had accompanied John Adams as Secretary of Legation, was appointed Minister to Russia, and took with him young John Quincy, then but fourteen years of age, as his Private Secretary. After a year’s residence in St. Petersburg, he left Mr. Dana, and in the Fall of 1782 and the following Winter traveled alone thro’ Sweeden, Denmark and Hamburg to Holland, where he arrived in April. His father was then in Paris, but visiting the Hague in July, he took his son with him on his return. The treaty of peace was signed in September, and from that time till May, 1785, he resided with his father in England and France, having intercourse with the most distinguished society of those countries. In London he was introduced upon the floor of Parliament, and heard some of the finest efforts of Pitt, Burke, Fox and Sheridan. His acquaintance with Jefferson, who was then Minister to France, dates from this period, and he was afterward strongly recommended to the notice of Washington by that great statesman.

When his father was appointed Minister to the Court of St. James, in 1785, as he was desirous of completing his education in his native country, he obtained permission to return. He entered an advanced class in Harvard University, and graduated at the end of two years. — Making choice of the law for his profession, he studied in the office of the celebrated Theoplilus Parsons, at Newburyport, and afterwards established himself in Boston, where he remained four years, satisfying himself with extending his knowledge of the principles of law, and writing occasional political essays.

But when, in 1794, the country was aroused and excited by the appeals of the French Minister, Genet, Mr. Adams entered the field with three articles under the signature of “Marcellus,” in which he set forth, what has since been a prominent part of his political creed — the obligation of neutrality concerning the policy or conflicts of other nations. In these letters he anticipated the precise course which was recommended by Washington and agreed to by his cabinet. His reputation for clear judgment and political foresight, thus honorably established, introduced him to the notice of Washington, to whose esteem and confidence he was at once admitted.

At the recommendation of Jefferson, he was appointed Minister to Holland in May, 1794, and from that time until 1801, remained abroad, serving the country in various diplomatic capacities. Immediately before the expiration of Washington’s term he received the appointment of Minister to Portugal, but while on his way to Lisbon, his destination was changed by President Adams to Berlin, where he resided four years. During this period he visited the Riesengebirge, the wild mountain district of Silesia, the haunt of German fairy tradition, which at that time was hardly known to tourists. He was the first American who ascended the Schneekoppe, which is considered the highest mountain in Central Europe, north of the Danube. His letters descriptive of this tour appeared in the Portfolio, published in Philadelphia, but were afterwards published in a volume, which was reprinted in London, and translated into French and German. His position in Europe at this time, enabled him to look upon the great scenes enacted around him, as an unprejudiced spectator, and his calm philosophic mind improved this opportunity of studying a terrible page in Modern History. He supported the character of his country abroad with dignity and honor, and returned divested of party prejudice by his long absence, and glowing with a spirit of hte most pure and single-minded patriotism.

His friends did not allow him to pause in the career which had been marked out for him both by nature and education. He was elected to the Massachusetts Senate in 1802, and in the same year to the Senate of the U. States. In addition to this high distinction, he was appointed Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory in Harvard University, and during the recesses of Congress delivered a series of lectures which were attended by crowded audiences, and afterwards published in two octavo volumes. A course which he delivered on the “Art of Good Speaking,” was exceedingly popular, and his own fine oratorical talents enabled him to do the subject full justice.

His course in the Senate was in harmony with the circumstances of his election. He was unpledged to the support of any particular men or measures, though considered a moderate Federalist, and chosen Senator by a majority of that party. But his long experience of public life and the principles of Government placed him above distinction of party, and his course was independent, and marked by a conscientious adherence to his sense of right and duty. For his course in relation to the Embargo he received the censure of the Massachusetts Legislature, and on this account resigned his seat in 1808.

Immediately after Madison’s accession to the Presidency in 1809, he received the appointment of Minister to Russia, and during his residence of five years in St. Petersburg, he enjoyed the respect and confidence of the Emperor Alexander to a degree seldom bestowed upon the representatives of other nations. It was this esteem which induced the Emperor, after the Peack of 1812, to offer his mediation in the then existing war between the United States and England. Though this was declined by England, it produced an offer on her part of direct negotiation, and John Quincy Adams was placed at the head of the Commissioners who met at Ghent. Singularly enough, he occupied the same situation as his father, thirty years before, and sustained the national honor with equal faithfulness.

In February, 1815, he was appointed Minister to Great Britain, and continued to act in that capacity until Monroe’s accession, in 1817, when he was recalled in order to serve the country in a more exalted and important station — that of Secretary of State, which is only second in responsibility to the Executive office itself. His long absence abroad rendered him better competent to conduct our relations with foreign nations than any statesman our country has ever produced.

During the eight years of his service as Secretary of State, he retained the full confidence of Mr. Monroe, and assisted in the accomplishment of measures which have contributed to our national glory and prosperity. We need only mention the recognition of the independence of the South American Republics, first advocated by Henry Clay, in the House of Representatives, and the successful acquisition of Florida and adjustment of the Spanish claims, to point out the value and importance of his official labors.

When the time of Monroe’s retirement drew near, the claims of Mr. Adams to the high office could not be overlooked. His long and eminent services, firm integrity of principle and lofty patriotism, made him the choice of all intelligent and calm-thinking men. From the popularity of Jackson, Crawford and Clay, each of whom was the candidate of a large party, the electoral colleges were able to make no nomination, and the question devolved on Congress. At the first ballot Mr. Adams received the votes of thirteen States, which constituted a majority. A Committee of the House accordingly waited upon him to notify him of his election, and received an answer of acceptance.

During the four years of his administration he preserved the same calm balance of judgment, the same undeviating attachment to principle, which had distinguished his former political life. His course was moderate, dignified, and characterized by great republican simplicity. The financial affairs of the nation were conducted with the strictest integrity; large sums were expended upon internal improvements — more, indeed, was effected in the permanent improvement of the country than during all the administrations of his predecessors; upward of five millions of dollars were appropriated in pensions and private bounties, and yet thirty millions of the national debt had been paid off at the end of his term. The violent and bitter opposition he met with, is well known. The friends of Jackson and Crawford combined in a hostility to the measures of his administration, which rested not until it had produced his defeat at the Presidential election in 1828. The effect of this unprincipled partisan feeling, in its opposition to the high liberal arms of Mr. Adams, was felt in the embarrassments which were brought on the country by his successor. Some later historian, scanning this period with an unprejudiced eye, will do full honor to his acts, and the high principles by which he was governed.

After Jackson’s inauguration he retired to the old homestead at Quincy, where he passed a year or two in the enjoyment of tranquil domestic life, and surrounded with the happiest social relations. But such a man as he could not be spared long from the Councils of the Nation. — In 1830 he was elected to represent the Congressional District in which he resided, and in the following year took his seat in the House of Representatives. Since then he has been elected to nine successive Congressional terms, the duties of which he has faithfully performed; till, after sixty-seven years spent in the service of his country, he has died with his hand to her labors — his last words uttered in her Hall of Council.

His acts in the House of Representatives are part of the knowledge of every American. — They will be cited, in after years, as noble example of that exalted honesty which can sacrifice everything in pursuance of what it believes to be just and true. It was owing to his persevering efforts alone that the disgraceful gag law was removed form the statutes of Congress; and there is scarcely a more thrilling incident in the history of our legislation than the effect of his eloquent reply to the dark menaces of the Southern spirit.

Despite the violent opposition and enmity which his upright and independent career excited, we doubt whether any man has been more universally venerated and beloved. — There is no sublimer instance of popular affection on record, than was exhibited during his visit to the West, a few years ago. The spontaneous expression of love and reverence, which men of all creeds and parties offered to the old man, gave his journey the character of a triumphal march — but a grander march than ever followed the laden chariots of the ancient victors of the world, along the Appian or Flaminian way. It was one of those spectacles of a nation’s gratitude, which rarely occur more than once in an era — an expression of such deep and touching feeling, and such fervent enthusiasm as could have been exhibited by no other people on earth.

His youth, almost his childhood, was consecrated to his country’s service; his long life and wonderful energies have been consumed in building up the fabric of her greatness; and he has drawn his last breath under the shelter of her legislative dome. His nearer relatives will lament his departure, but she will be left, most vacant at his loss — she will be chief mourner beside his grave.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Mar 7, 1848

From the National Intelligencer.

TOUCHING MEMORIAL.

Few of our readers but will read with deep and tender interest the following copy of verses, written by Mr. Adams on the day preceding his fatal attack of illness, and designed to accompany his autograph signature, which had been requested by a female friend.

Written for MISS C.L. EDWARDS, of Massachusetts, on the day preceding his attack.

BY JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.

In days of yore, the poet’s pen
From wing of bird was plundered,
Perhaps of goose, but, now and then,
From Jove’s own Eagle sundered.
But, now, metallic pens disclose
Alone the poet’s numbers;
In iron inspiration glows,
Or with the poet slumbers.

Fair damsel! could my pen impart,
In prose or lofty rhyme,
The pure emotions of my heart,
To speed the flight of time;
What metal from the womb of earth
Could worth intrinsic bear,
To stamp with corresponding worth
The blessings thou shouldst share?

Ohio Repository, The (Canton, Ohio) Mar 8, 1848

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