Posts Tagged ‘Presidents’

One More Day – Remember to Vote

November 5, 2012

*     *     *

*     *     *

*     *     *

*     *     *

*     *     *

*     *     *

*      *     *

*     *     *

*     *      *

*     *     *

*     *     *

*     *     *

*     *     *

*     *     *

*     *     *

*     *     *

*     *     *

*     *     *

*     *     *

*     *     *

*     *     *

*     *     *

*     *     *

*     *     *

Antietam: ‘By heaven! it was a goodly sight to see – For one who had no friend or brother there.’

September 17, 2012

Image from: (Google book link)

Title: The Secret Service, the Field, the Dungeon, and the Escape
Author: Albert Deane Richardson
Publisher    American Pub. Co., 1865

Incidents of Antietam.

We take the following incidents of the battle of Antietam from “The Field, The Dungeon and the Escape,” by A.D. Richardson.

My confrere and myself were within a few yards of Gen. Hooker. It was a very hot place. We could not distinguish the ‘ping’ of the individual bullets, but their combined and mingled hum was like the din of a great Lowell factory. Solid shot and shell came shrieking through the air, but over our heads, as we were on the extreme front.

Hooker – common-place before — the moment he heard the guns, loomed up into gigantic stature. His eye gleamed with the grand anger of battle. He seemed to know exactly what to do, to feel that he was master of the situation, and to impress every one else with the fact. Turning to one of his staff, and pointing to a spot near us, he said:

“Go and tell Capt. ____ to bring his battery and plant it there, at once.”

The lieutenant rode away. After giving one or two further orders with great clearness rapidity and precision, Hooker’s eye again turned to that mass of rebel infantry in the woods, and he said to another officer with great emphasis:

“Go and tell Capt. ____ to bring his battery here instantly!”

Sending more messages to the various divisions and batteries, only a single member of the staff remained.

Once more scanning the woods with his eagle eye, Hooker directed the aid:

“Go, and tell Capt. ____ to bring the batter y without one second’s delay. Why, my God, how he can pour it into their infantry.”

By this time seven of the body-guard had fallen from their saddles. Our horses plunged wildly. A shell plowed the ground under my rearing steed, and another exploded near Mr. Smalley, throwing great clouds of dust over both of us. Hooker leaped his white horse over a low fence into an adjacent orchard, whither we gladly followed. Though we did not move more than thirty yards, it took us comparatively out of range.

The desired battery, stimulated by three successive messages, came up with smoking horses, at a full run, was unlimbered in the twinkling of an eye, and began to pour shots into the enemy, who were also suffering severely from our infantry charges. IT was not many seconds before they began to waver. — Through the rifting smoke we could see their line sway to and fro; then it broke like a thaw in a great river. Hooker rose up in his saddle, and, in a voice of suppressed thunder, exclaimed:

“There they go, . . . . . . . Forward!”

Our whole line moved on. It was now nearly dark. Having shared the experience of ‘Fighting Joe Hooker’ quite long enough, I turned toward the rear. Fresh troops were pressing forward, and stragglers were ranged in long lines behind rocks and trees.

Riding slowly along a grassy slope, as I supposed quite out of range, my meditations were disturbed by a cannon ball, whose rush of air fanned my face, and made my horse shrink and read almost upright. The next moment came another behind me, and by the great blaze of a fire of rails, which the soldiers had built, I saw it ricochet down the slope like a foot ball, and pass right through a column of our troops in blue who were marched steadily forward. The gap which it made was immediately closed up.

Men with litters were grouping through the darkness, bearing the wounded to the ambulances.

At nine o’clock I wandered to a farm-house, occupied by some of our pickets. We dared not light candles as it was within range of the enemy. The family had left. I tied my horse to an apple tree and lay down upon the parlor floor, with my saddle for a pillow. At intervals during the night we heard the popping of musketry, and at the first glimpse of dawn the picket officer shook me by the arm.

“My friend,” said he, “you had better go away as soon as you can; this place is getting rather hot for civilians.”

I rode around through the field, for shot and shell were already screaming up the narrow lane.

Thus commenced the long, hotly-contested battle of Antietam. Our line was three miles in length, with Hooker on the right, Burnside on the left, and a great gap in the centre, occupied only by artillery; while Fitz John Porter with the fine corps was held in reserve. From dawn until nearly dark the two great armies wrestled like athletes, straining every muscle, losing here, gaining there, and at many points fighting the same ground over and over again. It was a fierce, sturdy, indecisive conflict.

Five thousand spectators viewed the struggle from a hill comparatively out of range. — Not more than three persons were struck there during the day, McClellan and his staff occupied another ridge half a mile in the rear.

‘By heaven! it was a goodly sight to see
For one who had no friend or brother there.’

No one who looked upon that wonderful panorama can describe or forget it. Every hill and valley, every corn field, grove and cluster of trees was fiercely fought for.

The artillery was unceasing; we could often count more than sixty guns to the minute. It was like the patter of rain drops in an April shower. On the great field were riderless horses and scattering men, clouds of dirt from solid shot and expending shells, long, dark, lines of infantry swaying to and fro, with columns of smoke rising from their muskets, red flashes and white puffs from the batteries — with the sun shining brightly on all this scene of tumult, and beyond it, upon the dark, rich woods, and the clear, blue mountains south of the Potomac.”

The Herald and Torch Light (Hagerstown, Maryland) Aug 16, 1865

Seventy five years ago Corp. Basil Lemley, left, 94, fought with the Union army, and Capt. Robert E. Miles, center, 98 was on the side of the Confederacy in the bloody Civil war battle of Antietam. The two ex-soldiers put aside their one-time enmity and sealed their friendship with a handshake above, with President Roosevelt, right, when he visited the battlefield near Sharpsburg, Maryland on Constitution day.

Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) Sep 18, 1937

Image from Mr Lincoln & Friends – Ozias M. Hatch

After the battle of Antietam, when McClellan’s army lay unaccountably idle, Lincoln, with his friend, O.M. Hatch of Illinois, went to the front. They stood on a hill from which they could view the vast camp, and Lincoln said:

Lincoln — Hatch, Hatch, what is all this?

Hatch — Why, that is the Army of the Potomac.

Lincoln — No, Hatch, no. That is General McClellan’s bodyguard.

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) Jul 31, 1952

Pish, George!

February 22, 2012

George Washington, whose birth we mark by closing up all day,
Was quite a well-known citizen, or so the schoolbooks say.
In all his sixty-seven years he never told a lie,
But George, you know, had never tried to take a hill on high

For Georgie dated back so far
He’d never owned a motor car.

George Washington could not be led into prevarication,
And so, of course, they chose him for the Father of His Nation.
Although he chopped the cherry tree he soon confessed his crime,
For lying was considered wrong, way back in Georgie’s time.

But in that gasless, quaint, old-style age
They never bragged about their mileage.

George Washington bu seldom swore; he rarely used an oath;
He might say “Tut” or even “Pish,” but never, never both.
That brief vocabulary now would hardly take him far,
But Washington was never asked to start a frozen car.

He cried “Git up!” when he would go;
To stop, he merely muttered “Whoa!”

George Washington was fearless, too, on dry land or afloat;
His famous picture proves it, for he stood up in the boat.
He crossed the Delaware that night! Was that just for the ride?
Ah, no, my children, George desired to reach the other side.

No foe could make our hero stop;
He’d never met a traffic cop.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Feb 18, 1923

John Quincy Adams – Patriot, Poet, Statesman, and Sage

February 20, 2012

[From the Baltimore Patriot.]

Wonderful man! whose mighty mind
Not even age itself can blight;
He is an honor to mankind,
And to the world a shining light;
His voice is heard in freedom’s halls,
As oft ’twas heard in olden time,
Echoing along the lofty walls,
In tones of eloquence sublime.

Patriot and poet, statesman, sage,
The friend of freedom and our race;
His fame shall live thro’ every age,
And millions yet unborn shall trace
The record of his bright renown,
And of his brilliant deeds sublime,
Which shall to mighty men go down
Upon the future tide of time.

To Ireland’s hero he the lyre
Has swept and sung of other days,
While listening ears poetic fire,
Perceivedin all his lofty lays;
The thunders of his touching tongue,
From which corruption shrinks in fear,
Thro’ freedom’s temple oft have rung,
When listening Senates’ lean’d to hear.

Had he in ancient Greece appeared,
Immortal would have been his name;
Statues to him would have been reared,
And by the golden pen of fame,
His glory on the mighty scroll,
High in her temple would be placed;
Almost on marble would his soul,
By Grecian gratitude be traced.


The Ohio Repository (Canton, Ohio) Jul 8, 1847


The October Number of the “Democratic Review,” published at Washington, contains some very interesting “glances at Congress,” in which several of the most prominent members are described in a graphic and somewhat impartial manner. The following sketch of that extraordinary man, JOHN Q. ADAMS, will be read with much interest:
Cum. Pres.

“Our attention is now attracted to a ray of light that glitters on the appex of a balk and noble head located on the left of the House, in the neighborhood of the speaker’s chair. It proceeds from that wonderful man who in his person combines the agitator, poet, philosopher, statesman, critic and orator — John Quincy Adams. There he sits, hour after hour, day after day, with untiring patience, never absent from his seat, never voting for an adjournment of the House, his ear ever on the alert always prepared to go at once into the profoundest questions of state or the minutest points or order. We look at him and mark his cold and fearless eye, his stern and abstracted gaze, and conjure up phantoms of other scenes. We look upon a more than king, who has filled every department of honor in his native land, still at his post; he who was the president of millions, now the representative of forty odd thousand, quarrelling about trifles or advocating high principles; to day growling and sneering at the House, with an abolition petition in his trembling hand, and anon lording it over the passions, and lashing the members into the wildest state of enthusiasm by his indignant and emphatic eloquence. Alone unspoken to, unconsulted with others, he sits apart, wrapped in his reveries, or probably he is writing, his almost perpetual employment. He looks enfeebled, but yet he is never tired; worn out, but ever ready for the combat; melancholy, but let a witty thing fall from any member that hazards an arrow at him — the eagle is not swifter in its flight than Mr. Adams; with his agitated finger quivering in sarcastic gesticulation, he seizes upon his foe, and, amid the amazement of the House, rarely fails to take signal vengeance. His stores of knowledge on every subject, garnered up through the course of his extraordinary life, in the well arraigned store house of a memory which is said never to have permitted a single fact to escape it, give him a great advantage over all comers in encounters of this kind. He is a wonderful eccentric genius. He belongs to no party, nor does any party belong to him. He is original, of very peculiar ideas, and perfectly fearless and independent in expressing and maintaining them. His manner of speaking is peculiar; he rises abruptly, his face reddens, and in a moment, throwing himself into the attitude of  a veteran gladiator, he prepares for the attack; then he becomes full of gesticulation, his body sways to and fro self command seems lost, his head is bent forward in his earnestness till it sometimes touches the desk; his voice frequently breaks, but he pursues his subject through all its bearings — nothing daunts him — the House may ring with cries of order — order! unmoved, contemptuous he stands amid the tempest, and like an oak that knows its gnarled and knotted strength, stretches his arm forth and defies the blast.

Alton Observer (Alton, Illinois) Jan 4, 1838


The Hon. John Quincy Adams concluded his argument before the United States Supreme Court, in the Amistad case, with the following touching reminiscence:

May it please your Honor: On the 7th of February, 1804, now more than thirty-seven years past, my name was entered, and yet stands recorded on both the rolls, as one of the attorneys and counselors of this Court. Five years later, in February and March, 1809, I appeared for the last time before this Court, in defense of the cause of justice, and of important rights, in which many of my fellow citizens had property to a large amount at stake. Very shortly afterwards, I was called to the discharge of other duties; first in distant lands, and in later years, within our own country, but in different departments of her Government. —

Little did I imagine that I should ever be required to claim the right of appearing in the capacity of an officer of this Court. Yet such has been the dictate of my destiny; and I appear again to plead the cause of justice, and now of liberty and life, in behalf of many of my fellow-men, before that same Court, which, in a former age, I had addressed in support of rights of property. I stand again, I trust for the last time, before the same Court, “hic castus artemque repeno.” I stand before the same Court, but not before the same judges, nor aided by the same associates, nor resisted by the same opponents. As I cast my eyes along those seats of honor and of public trust, now occupied by you, they seek in vain for one of those honored and honorable persons whose indulgence listened then to to my voice. Marshall, Cushing, Case, Washington, Johnson, Livingston, Todd: where are they? Where is that eloquent statesman and learned lawyer who was my associate counsel in the management of that cause — Robert Goodloe Harper? Where is that brilliant luminary, so long the pride of Maryland and of the American bar, then my opposing counsel — Luther Martin? Where is the excellent clerk of that day, whose name has been inscribed on the shores of Africa, as a monument of his abhorrence to the African slave trade — Elias B. Caldwell? Where is the marshal? Where are the criers of the Court? Alas! where is one of the very judges of the Court, arbiters of life or death, before whom I commenced this anxious argument? Gone! — gone from a world of sin and sorrow, I trust — to that blest abode, “where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest.” And it is my ardent wish, and fervent prayer, that each and every one of you, may go to this final account with as little of earthly frailty to answer for, as those illustrious dead; and that you may every one, after the close of a long and virtuous career in this world, be received at the portals of the next with the approving sentence: Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”

Alton Telegraph And Democratic Review (Alton, Illinois) Mar 17, 1848


The anecdotes of he ‘old man eloquent,’ would fill a volume. One of the most touching, and eminently illustrative of the devotedness which his domestic virtues called forth from those in his service, was recently narrated to us in substance as follows:

‘A few years ago, as John Quincy Adams was riding to the capitol, his horses became unmanageable and overturned his coach, dashing the driver, and Irishman, who had long been in Mr. Adams’ employ, with great violence against a post or the corner of a building. He was taken up for dead, and carried to an apartment in the capitol, under the room in which Mr. Adams breathed his last, followed by many persons among them Mr. Adams himself. After some time the injured man was restored to consciousness, and, apparently regardless of his own sufferings, turning his eyes anxiously around, his first words were — ‘Is Mr. Adams safe?’ Mr. Adams replied that he was unhurt. The poor fellow exclaimed, ‘Then I am content,’ and relapsed into an unconscious state. The venerable statesman was deeply moved at his evidence of affectionate regard for his welfare, and tears flowed down his cheeks. The wounded and suffering man was taken to the Patriot’s house, but did not survive until morning. Mr. Adams was engaged to speak in some important cause before the Supreme Court of the United States on that day — it is believed in the Amistad case; but his feelings were such that he went to he Court, and stating the circumstances that had occurred, solicited, as a personal favor, the postponement of the case until the next day, which was accordingly granted. The tokens of mourning were placed on Mr. Adams’ door, as if one of his own family had deceased; and the funeral took place from his house, and under his personal superintendence. Truly has it been said of the illustrious sage, ‘that he concentrated affection at home.’

Salem (Mass.) Register.

American Freeman (Prairieville, Wisconsin) Apr 5, 1848


In July, 1822, a plan for an independent newspaper was proposed to John Quincy Adams by some members of Congress, and the necessity of such a paper was urged upon him with great earnestness. He replied:

“An independent newspaper is very necessary to make truth known to the people; but an editor really independent must have a heart of oak, nerves of iron, and a soul of adamant to carry it through. His first attempt will bring a hornet’s nest about his head; and, if they do not sting him to death or to blindness, he will have to pursue his march with them continually swarming over him, and be beset on all sides with obloquy and slander.”

The Berkshire County Eagle (Pittsfield, Massachusetts) Jan 26, 1860

When John Quincy Adams was elected to the House of Representatives he found that he was the owner of some shares in the United States Bank. Before taking his seat he sold his shares, on the ground that, as a representative of the people, he should not have an interest in any matter that might come before the House for legislation.

What a blessed thing it would be if our members to-day were to be governed by the same sense of honor.

Allen County Democrat (Lima, Ohio) Mar 16, 1876

Image from Ancient Faces

The late Charles Francis Adams believed in himself as well as in his ancestors. Introduced to speak at a political meeting as the grandson of President John Adams, and the son of John Quincy Adams, he at once said: “The fact of my ancestry has been referred to several times during the evening. I am proud of my father and grandfather, but I wish it distinctly understood that I appear before you as myself, and not as the son and grandson of any man.”

He then went on and made one of the most powerful speeches of the day. The moral is obvious. Every tub has its own bottom. Every American it his own ancestor.

Bangor Daily Whig and Courier (Bangor, Maine) Dec 15, 1886

Didn’t Inspire Him.

When Lafayette visited Virginia he was entertained with other eminent guests by President Monroe at Oak Hill. Leesburg, too, the historic town nine miles from Monroe’s country seat, accorded him honors on that occasion, and at a dinner at that town John Quincy Adams delivered a famous toast to the surviving patriots of the Revolution, who, he said, were like the sibylline leaves — the fewer they became the more precious they were.

On the return to Oak Hill another of Monroe’s guests said to Mr. Adams:

“Excuse the impertinence, but would you not tell me what inspired the beautiful sentiment of your toast today?”

“Why,” replied Mr. Adams, “it was suggested this morning by the picture of the sibyl that hangs in the hall of the Oak Hill mansion.”

“How strange!” remarked the less brilliant guest. “I have looked at that picture many times during the past years, and that thought never occurred to me.”

Adams County News (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Jun 25, 1910


Previously Posted:

The Life and Death of John Quincy Adams

Songs for Henry Clay

October 19, 2011

Image from Elektratig blog

The Workingmen’s Song.

Times won’t be right its plain to see,
Till Tyler runs his race,
But then we’ll have a better man
To put into his place;
For now we’ll rouse with might and main,
And work, and work, away;
We’ll work, and work, and work, and work,
And put in HENRY CLAY,


For now we’ll rouse with might and main,
And work, and work away;
We’ll work, and work, and work, and work,
and put in HENRY CLAY.

The Farmers want good times again
To sell their wheat and pork,
And so to put in HENRY CLAY,
They’re going right to work;
They’ll plough, and sow, and reap, and mow,
And thresh, and thresh away;
They’ll thresh, and thresh, and thresh, and thresh,
And vote for HENRY CLAY,
They’ll plough and sow, etc., etc.

The Laboring Men they want more work
And higher wages too,
And so they’ll go for HENRY CLAY,
With better times in view;
They’ll saw, and chop, and grub, and dig,
And shovel, and shovel away;
And shovel, and shovel, and shovel, and shovel,
And vote for HENRY CLAY,
They’ll saw, and chop, etc., etc.

The Weavers too will go to work,
They’ll make us all the Cloth we want,
If they can have fair play;
They’ll reel, and spool, and warp, and wind,
And weave, and weave away;
They’ll weave, and weave, and weave, and weave,
And vote for HENRY CLAY,
They’ll reel and spool, etc., etc.

We want no Clothing Ready made,
From England or from France;
We’ve Tailors here who know their trade,
They ought to have a chance;
They’ll cut, and baste, and hem, and press,
And stitch, and stitch away;
They’ll stitch, and stitch, and stitch, and stitch,
And vote for HENRY CLAY,
They’ll cut and baste, etc., etc.

The Coopers know  when Farmers thrive,
Their trade is always best,
And so they’ll go with one accord
For Harry of the West.
They’ll dress, and raise, and truss, and hoop,
And hoop, and hoop away;
They’ll hoop, and hoop, and hoop, and hoop,
And vote for HENRY CLAY,
They’ll dress, and raise, etc., etc.

The Hatters do not want to see
Their kettles standing dry,
And so they’ll go for HENRY CLAY,
And then the Fur will fly,
They’ll nap, and block, and color, and bind,
And finish, and finish away;
They’ll finish, and finish, and finish, and finish,
And vote for HENRY CLAY,
They’ll nap and block, etc., etc.

Shoemakers too, with a right good will,
Will join the working throng,
And what they do for HENRY CLAY,
They’ll do both neat and strong;
They’ll cut, and crimp, and last, and stitch,
And peg and ball away —
They’ll ball, and ball, and ball, and ball,
And vote for HENRY CLAY,
They’ll cut and crimp, etc., etc.

The Blacksmiths too ‘ll roll up their sleeves,
Their sledges they wilt swing,
And at the name of HENRY CLAY,
They’ll make their anvils ring,
They’ll blow, and strike, and forge, and weld,
And hammer, and hammer away;
They’ll hammer, & hammer, & hammer & hammer,
And vote for HENRY CLAY,
They’ll blow, and strike, etc., etc.

The Tanners too will lend a hand,
When skinning time begins;
They are a hardy noble band,
And live by tanning skins;
They’ll bait the Softs, and break the Hards,
And flesh and curry away;
They’ll curry, and curry, and curry, and curry,
And vote for HENRY CLAY,
They’ll bait the softs, etc., etc.

The Potters too are all for CLAY,
For ’tis in CLAY they work;
And all they want is ready pay,
To buy their bread and pork;
They’ll glaze their pots and fire their kilns,
And burn, and burn away —
They’ll burn, and burn, and burn, and burn,
To vote for HENRY CLAY.

The Carpenters, a noble band,
Will then have work to do —
New Barns and Houses through the land,
They’ll raise both strong and new —
They’ll line and score, and scribe and bore,
And brace and build away —
And build, and build, and build, and build,
And vote for HENRY CLAY,
They’ll line and score, etc., etc.

And thus we’ll work, and thus we’ll sing,
Till Tyler’s race is run;
And then we’ll have to fill his place,
Kentucky’s favorite son;
For now we’ll rouse with might and main,
And work, and work away;
We’ll work, and work, and work, and work,
And put in HENRY CLAY,
For now we’ll rouse, etc., etc.

The Ohio Repository (Canton, Ohio) Mar 7, 1844

For the Ohio Repository.

Our Harry Is Coming.
Air — “The Campbels are Coming.

Our Harry is coming, oh Matty beware!
Our Harry is coming, oh Locos take care!
Our Harry is coming, the gallant and free,
He’s coming, he’s coming, oh Matty beware!

Columbia’s shout of ecstacy,
The glorious shouts ring far and free;
Thundering abroad — sublime if rude,
A Nation’s noble gratitude,
Our Harry is coming, &c.

He comes — but in pacific pride;
No battle-band begirts his side,
No hoarse war-drum booms on the wind —
But all is peace and love combined,
Our Harry is coming, &c.

He comes the sacred oath to swear,
Then seated in that awful chair;
Higher than throne, — like Washington —
The laurels on his brow he’s won,
Our Harry is coming, &c.

Our Country’s sav’d — new honors lent,
When CLAY, the People’s President,
Will then to right the helm of state,
And the Republic renovate.
Our Harry is coming, &c.

Canton, March, 1844.   AMELLS.

The Ohio Repository (Canton, Ohio) Mar 14, 1844

The Mill Boy of the Slashes.
Tune — ‘Washing Day,’ or ‘Lucy Long.’

Cheer up, my lads, we’re on the way,
Press onward for the prize;
For at the name of HENRY CLAY,
What glorious hopes arise.

Then hast the day, then clear the way,
As on our hero dashes;
Away! Away! for HARRY CLAY,
“The Mill Boy of the Slashes.”

From East to West — from North to South,
The mails bring cheering news;
The Softs are all down in the mouth;
The Hards have got the blues.

Then haste the day, etc.

Look out, my boys, the Locos know
That truth with  us is found;
and yet with lies they try to show,
That they are gaining ground;

Then hast the day, etc.

Our foes with wonder and with shame,
Now on their forces call;
Then spread abroad our leader’s fame,
Let cliques and cabals fall.

Then haste the day, etc.

The nation’s hope is on him set;
His name’s on every tongue;
Around the land in councils met,
His noble deeds are sung.

Then haste the day, etc.

These stubborn Lokies feel the rod;
Van Buren’s in a fright,
And poor Hard money crawfish To?,
Had rather run than fight.

Then haste the day, etc.

The Ohio Repository (Canton, Ohio) Apr 11, 1844

Ex-Speaker Polk of Tennessee.
TUNE — Dandy Jim of Caroline

Come listen Whigs and Locos all,
Your kind attention here I call,
And mark the burthen of the glee,
Ex-Speaker Polk of Tennessee —
But hark! the People rising say,
He’s not the man to conquer Clay,
This is the substance of their rhyme,
“Clay first, Clay last, Clay all the time.”

Polk’s choice occasioned some surprise,
Good Democrats rolled up their eyes,
Our Candidate, pary, who is he?
Why James *R. Polk of Tennessee —
But hark! &c.

But soon their vast excitement o’er,
They see, what ne’er was seen before,
The best selection that could be,
Ex-Speaker Polk of Tennessee —
But hark! &c.

And then commences nous verrons
To make enthusiasm strong,
Uphold; ye Loco clique, says he,
Ex-Speaker Polk of Tennessee —
But hark! &c.

Fall down before a better man
Than even little Matty Van,
Buchanan too must bow the knee
To Ex-Speaker Polk of Tennessee —
But hark! &c.

Now, not content with this display,
They steal John Tyler’s protege,
Annexing Texas, as you see,
To James K. Polk of Tennessee —
But hark! &c.

Though now a Champion of Free Trade,
Once pon a time a vote you made,
To tax our coffee and our tea,
Ex-Speaker Polk of Tennessee —
But hark! &c.

When last you took the field with Jones,
You heard the People’s angry tones,
A more indignant note you’ll hear,
Before November’s ides appear —
For hark! the People rising say,
Their highest hope is Harry Clay,
This is the substance of their rhyme,
“Clay first, Clay last, Clay all the time.”


*So was the name blazoned on the Loco Foco banners when first announced.

Bangor Daily Whig and Courier (Bangor, Maine) Jun 20, 1844

Something Rich — Truth by Accident.

Locofocoism does not seem to florish well in poetry, as the muses have been so long engaged in the worthy and truthful cause of the patriotic Whigs, that when compelled to do service for Locofocoism will indirectly sift in the truth. —

We were greatly amused last evening in looking over a song in the Democrat, that will be generally circulated this morning. We hope our friends will secure a copy as a poetical and political curiosity. It is decidedly rich, and we think the editor of the Democrat must have had no little grass in his boots to have admitted the truth telling little witch!

Here is the song and the reader will please read the italicised letters first.

For the Democrat.

TUNE. — Old Rosin the Bow.

Come all ye young Hickories rally!
Let’s shoulder to shoulder unite,
Against the coon forces we’ll sally,
Young Hickory” leads in the fight.


Young Hickory leads in the fight, (Repeat.)
Against the coon forces we’ll rally,
“Young Hickory” leads in the fight.

We’ll raise up our Hickory poles, hearties,
In Honor of Tennessee’s son,
Let us show him that firmly each heart is
Leagued together to use up the coon,


Leagued together to use up the coon, (repeat)
Let us show him that each heart is
Leagued together to use up the coon.

The feds of their strength loud and bragging,
Renewing of ’40 the trash,
In November the coons we’ll be flogging,
Until he shall fly from the lash.


Mark his hide with each blow that you deal him
Place the licks on his carcase with skill,
Hurrah! then, e’en “Huysen” can’t heal him,
Amen, with a hearty good will.

Polk and Dallas inscribed on our banners,
Shall to victory marshal our way;
Be up then — let feds shout hozannas,
Defeated they’ll be with their Clay.


Bangor Daily Whig and Courier (Bangor, Maine) Jun 25, 1844

Image from the National Archives website

From the Whig Standard.


In the times of the Revolution;
While yet the land was young;
Heavy the lot of the hardy few,
But the will was stout and strong,
Of those who fought with Washington;
On their fields of fame they died,
All true men, like you men,
Remember them with pride.

At daybreak at old Trenton,
On Monmouth’s sandy plain,
In the swamp of the Yellow Santeo,
On the waves of old Champlain,
Fought the Whigs of the Resolution,
With hearts unchanging still,
And we men — if free men —
So must we fight — we will!

and some of these remain, boys!
Through all that sturdy storm,
Bent, and worn out, and aged,
But hearts still young and warm;
They should know what are true principles,
These men with locks of gray,
They are few men — but true men —
And they vote with us for Clay.

Honor unto the aged,
The old true-hearted brave!
Theirs be a free and pleasant death,
And a free and quiet grave;
And still we’ll protect the principles
For which they toiled so long,
The Whigs of the Revolution
Who fought when the land was young.

From the Whig Standard.

TUNE — Yankee Doodle.

The Locos met at Baltimore,
To make their nominations,
With tempers sour’d, and feeling sore,
And humbled expectations.
But Locofocos keep it up,
Heed not the Whig’s rejoicing,
Don’t yield the day to HENRY CLAY

They felt that VAN, was not the man,
To lead them on to glory,
And should they pass, to LEWIS CASS,
‘Twould end in the same story.
But Locofocos keep it up, &c., &c.

JOHNSON they knew, would never do,
BUCHANAN’s chance was small, sir,
They fear’d each vote, would but denote,
They’d make no choice at all, sir.
But Locofocos keep it up, &c., &c.

Though this they fear’d, they persevered,
Seven times the vote was taken!
On the eighth, for a joke, they started POLK,
Hoping to save their bacon;
Then Locofocos keep it up, &c., &c.

JOHNSON withdrew, BUCHANAN too,
VAN BUREN flew the track, sir,
All own they’re beat, POLK wins the heat,
Though a fourth rate party hack, sir,
But Locofocos keep it up &c.

The Loco’s now were run aground,
To find another man, as
Weak as POLK, but at last they found
His match in GEORGE M. DALLAS,
Then Locofocos keep it up, &c.

Then for POLK and DALLAS go it strong,
Each Locofoco hearty,
With guns, and drums, and noise, and song,
Let’s cheer our drooping party,
Ye Locofocos keep it up, &c.

We’ve done our best pray be content,
We’ve made a nomination,
And POLK and DALLAS we present
For the people’s acceptation.
Then Locofocos keep it up, &c.

John Jones says TYLER was by law
The “second: nominated,
That POLK, being third, he must ‘withdraw,’
‘Or the party’ll be defeated.’
John Jones and Tyler keep it up, &c.

The people thank you, gentlemen,
But its far from their intentions,
To vote for the third and fourth rate men
You’ve named in your conventions!
For loud and long, like thunder strong,
The people’s voice is rising,
And ’twill be given before High Heaven,

South Port American (South Port, Wisconsin) Jun 29, 1844

From the New York Tribune.


He wears no crown upon that brow which gleams in Freedom’s van,
Where every god has set his seal to show the world a man;
Nor bears he in his trusty hand the warrior’s spear and glaive,
Whose harvests are the falling ranks that burden ruin’s grave.

But prouder than the proudest king, whose million vassals bow,
He wears the wreath a Nation’s hand has twined upon his brow;
And peerless o’er his fallen foes with flaming plume and crest,
He shines among a Nation’s stars the brightest and the best.

His name is not a sculptured thing, where old Renown has reared
Her marble in the wilderness, by smoke of battle seared;
But graven on life-leaping hearts where Freedom’s banners wave,
It gleams to bid the tyrant back, and loose the fettered slave.

His deeds are not of blood and wrong, where ruth, with iron hand,
Has yoked the stormy steeds of War, to desolate the land —
But ever in the hour of need, when Danger’s summons came,
He lent the thunder of his word, the halo of his name!

Around the hearths and altars where his country’s gods are shrined,
His heart has yearned for Freedom’s weal, with Freedom’s toil his mind;
And when from other lands oppressed the captive’s wail has rung,
His soul went forth in Freedom’s strength, with Freedom’s fire his tongue.

Above the altar’s of the Greek, and o’er Bolivia’s fane,
His name, “Deliverer,” is stampt upon the broken chain.
And from those old and glorious isles that gem the AEgean sea,
The sons of Spartans hail in song the Champion of the Free.

And now, when age in on his heart, and dimness in his eye,
He wanes not with the fitful lights that darken in the sky,
But prouder still in name and fame, with flaming plume and crest,
He shines among a Nation’s stars the brightest and the best!


Huron Reflector ( Norwalk, Ohio) Sep 4, 1849

By the Bullet and the Bowl

October 12, 2011

“By the Bullet and the Bowl.”
From the New York Tribune.

In 1840 the Whig party elected Wm. H. Harrison President. He was inaugurated in 1841, March 4th. One month afterward he died, and his office fell to John Tyler.

How “Tyler too” carried out the principles under which he was chosen, the world too well remembers. He added a new and disgraceful verb to the language — to Tylerize has ever since been synonymous with partisan treachery.

In 1844, through the efforts of the Birney Abolitionists, Henry Clay was defeated — Polk elected, with Dallas for his Vice; Texas was annexed, the area of slavery was extended by nearly 300,000 square miles, and all was lovely.

In 1848, Zachary Taylor, a moderate Whig, and Millard Fillmore, not much of anything, were chosen President and Vice. Taylor did not suit the Southern drivers; he had a stupid way of acting honestly and straightforward — and so, within a brief period, he fell under the malarious vapors of Washington, and died, Fillmore succeeding, and duly Tylerized.

Next we had the Herald’s “poor Pierce,” who has not, to this day ceased from expressing his boundless servility to the slave whips of his southern masters. He was “sound” and served out his term in peace — the water was good.

In 1856, Mr. Buchanan, fully as sound as Pierce, was raised to the Executive chair, and under his administration — as in that of his predecessor — Washington was free from malaria — that is, Democrats; but when the new Republican party began to gain strength, and it was possible that they might become the ruling power of Congress, the water of Washington suddenly grew dangerous, the hotels (particularly the National) became pest houses, and dozens of heretics from the Democratic faith grew sick almost unto death. This singular phenomenon re-appeared from time to time until the great outbreak after the election of Lincoln. Then the wells and springs of the capital came into the care of loyal soldiers, and the water persistently remained healthy. This continued, in spite of the prayers of the faithless, for four years; there was not a “sick” congressman after Davis and his followers left.

But when the struggle of 1864 was over, and the water of the capital flowed clearly, there came a change in the tactics of the poisoners; a single bullet sufficed to restore their hopes. Abraham Lincoln passed away; Andrew Johnson supervened, and — like every other President elevated to the main office, from Aaron Burr to himself — he too, Tylerized, swallowed himself with the dexterity of an East India juggler, and came out from his contortions the branded property of Howell Cobb and his crowd of unregenerated rebels. Urged by the sentiment of a betrayed people, the House of Representatives recently put the recreant Executive on trial.

The trial was over, the hour for voting approached, when we had a return of that bad water, and two or three senators — Republicans, mind you — are prostrated with sudden illness.

What does it mean?

Why does it happen that whenever the current sets against the monster demon of slavery (and never at any other time) we find the air, water, and the whisky of Washington full of poison?

Why does it happen that when some great deed for freedom is on the point of accomplishment (and never on any other occasion), we find Presidents, previously in rugged health, instantaneously sent to their graves, and traitors always on hand to take their places?

Why is it now, just as we should have the vote upon the great question of impeachment, and when — up to the latest moment — it had been universally believed that Johnson would be convicted, why, we ask, do we hear at this critical moment of the dangerous illness of some of the most firm and conspicuous advocates of impeachment?

Is there any thing of chances that can explain these remarkable Ku-klux coincidences?

Alton Daily Telegraph (Alton, Illinois) Jun 3, 1868

Our Martyred President

September 14, 2011


President McKinley Vanquished in the Battle With Death and His Life Goes Out in the Still Watches of the Night, Causing Millions of Hearts to be Chilled With the Sorrow Too Great for Words to Express.


Born in Niles, Ohio, Jan. 29, 1843.

Was educated in the public schools and Allegheny college.

Enlisted as a private in the Twenty-third Ohio in 1861.

Was commissionary sergeant in 1862, second lieutenant in 1862, first lieutenant in 1863, captain in 1864.

Served on staffs of Hayes, Crook and Hancock.

Was made brevet major of volunteers for gallantry in battle by Lincoln in 1865.

After the was studied law and was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1867.

In 1867 settled in Canton, Ohio, and that place has been his home since.

Was member of congress from Ohio from 1876 to 1891.

As chairman of committee on ways and means reported the tariff bill of 1890, known as the McKinley bill.

Elected governor of Ohio in 1891; was re-elected in 1893.

Was delegate-at-large to National Republican convention and member of committee on resolutions in 1884, and supported James G. Blaine.

Was delegate-at-large from Ohio to convention of 1888 and supported John Sherman; was chairman then of committee on resolutions.

Was delegate-at-large to convention of 1892 and was made its chairman. He received 182 votes for president, but refused to allow his name to be considered, he supporting Benjamin Harrison.

Nominated for president at the National Republican convention at St. Louis, June 18, 1896, receiving 661 out of a total of 905 votes.

Was elected president in November, 1896, by a popular plurality of over 600,000 votes.

Was elected president in November, 1900, by a popular plurality of 849,435.

Was stricken down by the hand of an assassin on Sept. 6, 1901.

Died at Buffalo, N.Y., Sept. 14, 1901.

Touching Scenes in Sick Room Where a Noble Life Was Fleeting.

Buffalo, N.Y., Sept. 13. — Before 6 o’clock this morning it was clear that President McKinley was dying, and preparations were made for the last sad farewell from those nearest and dearest to him. Oxygen had been ministered steadily, but it had little effect in keeping back the approach of death.

Touching Incidents

The president came out of one period of unconsciousness only to relapse into another. During this period occurred a series of events profoundly touching in character. Downstairs, with strained and tear-stained faces, the members of the cabinet were grouped anxious-waiting.

Last Greeting to Dying Chief

They knew the end was near and that the time had come when they must see him for the last time. About 6 o’clock, one by one they ascended the stairway — Secretary Root, Secretary Hitchcock and Attorney-General Knox. Secretary Wilson was there, but he held back, not wishing to see the president in the last agony. There was only a momentary stay of the cabinet officers at the threshold of the death chamber and then they withdrew, the tears streaming down their faces and words of intense grief choking their throats.

Last Parting With Beloved Wife

After they left, the physicians rallied him, and the president asked almost immediately that his wife be brought to him. The doctors fell back into the shadow of the room as Mrs. McKinley came through the doorway. The strong face of the dying man lighted up with a faint smile as their hands were clasped. She sat beside him, and held his hand. Despite her physical weakness, she bore up bravely under the ordeal.

President’s Last Words

The president in his last period of consciousness, which ended at 7:40, chanted the words of the hymn “Nearer My God, to Thee,” and his last audible conscious words as taken down by Dr. Mann at the bedside were: “Good bye, all; good bye. It is God’s way. His will be done.”

Ready to Meet Death

Then his mind began to wander and soon he completely lost consciousness. His life was prolonged for hours by the administration of oxygen and the president finally expressed the desire to be allowed to die. At 8:30 the administration of oxygen ceased, the pulse grew fainter and fainter; he was sinking gradually like a child into the eternal slumber. At 10 o’clock the pulse was no longer to be felt in the extremities and they grew cold.

They Await the End

Below stairs a grief-stricken gathering waited sadly for the end. Those in the house were Secretaries Hitchcock, Wilson and Root, Attorney-General Knox, Senators Fairbanks, Hanna and Burrows, Judge Day, Colonel Herrick, Abner McKinley and wife, Dr. and Mrs. Baer, Mrs. Barber, Mrs. Duncan, the president’s sister; Mrs. Mary Barber, Mrs. McWilliams, Mrs. McKinley’s cousin; the physicians, including Doctors McBurney, John G. Milburn, John N. Scatcherd, Harry Hamlin, Secretary Cortelyou, and a numbers of others.

Nearing Eternity

At 9:37, Secretary Cortelyou sent out the formal notification that the president was dying, but the president lingered on, his pulse growing fainter and fainter.

Sorrow Pierces Every Heart

There was no need for official bulletins after this. Those who came from the house told the same story — the president was dying, and the end might come at any time. Dr. Mann said at 11 o’clock that the president was still alive, and would probably live some time. Thus the minutes lengthened into hours, and midnight came with the president still battling against death. Secretaries Root and Wilson came from the house about midnight and paced up and down the sidewalk. All that Secretary Root said was that the “end has not come yet.”

Early Report of Death

Shortly after midnight the president’s breathing was barely perceptible. It was recognized that nothing remained but the last struggle.
The arrival of the coroner gave rise to the rumor of death. The coroner said he had been ordered by the district attorney to go there as soon as possible after the announcement of death. He had seen the announcement in a local paper and had accepted it as true.

President Consoles Wife

The president was practically unconscious during the time, but powerful heart stimulants, including oxygen, were employed to restore him to consciousness for the final parting with his wife. He asked for her and she sat at his side and held his hand. He consoled her and bade her good bye. She went through the heart-trying scene the same bravery and fortitude which she has borne the grief of the tragedy which ended his life.

Cause of Death Undetermined

The immediate cause of the president’s death is undetermined. The physicians disagree, and it will possibly require an autopsy to fix the exact cause. The president’s remains will be taken to Washington, and there will be held a state funeral.

Vice President Roosevelt, who will now succeed to the presidency, may take the oath of office whenever he happens to hear the news. The cabinet will resign in a body, and President Roosevelt will have an opportunity of forming a new cabinet if he so desires.

Davenport Daily Republican (Davenport, Iowa) Sep 14, 1901

The Newark Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Sep 16, 1901

Happy 100th Birthday, Mr. President!

February 6, 2011

The Daily Review (Hayward, California)  – Nov 9, 1966

The Sweet Taste of Victory – brings a smile to the face!

The Daily Review – Nov 9, 1966

The Republican Romp —

Long Beach Independent – Jan 5, 1966

Ronald Reagan stars in “Death Valley Days” —

Mark Russell

Reagan sure has Ford’s people running scared, and they seem to be bent on self-defeat. Their prevailing spirit is: “Let’s lose one for the Gipper!”

Tucson Daily Citizen – Dec 8, 1975

Video Tribute to be shown before the Super Bowl


More Ronald Reagan:

Ronald Reagan to the Rescue

Presidents’ Day Feature: Ronald Reagan

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.


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,
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.


Sketches of the Public Men of the United States.



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


Image from Image from

From the New York Tribune.


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.


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.


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


You can follow John Quincy Adams on twitter! JQAdams_MHS

More info at the Massachusetts Historical Society