American Statesmen: Secretaries of State from John Jay to Colin Powell

By Edward S. Mihalkanin | Go to book overview

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS (1767-1848)

Served 1817-1825

Appointed by President James Monroe

Democratic-Republican

Scholars seem to agree that John Quincy Adams was the most accomplished diplomat and statesman in the country's history. Behind his unsurpassed career was a totally unique upbringing and exposure to learning. As the son of John and Abigail Adams, he lived in a universe of high expectations, devotion to duty, Christian faith, and classical virtue. He spent much of his youth abroad in the company of American and European leaders of distinction and renown. Born on July 11, 1767, he was scarcely 10 years old when he accompanied his father on a brief diplomatic mission to Paris. When John Adams returned to Paris as minister plenipotentiary in 1779 to negotiate a peace with England, Abigail insisted that John Quincy again accompany his father. “In all human probability, ” she wrote, “it will do more for your education to go back to France with your father than to prepare for college at Andover.”

John Quincy's next six years comprised a phenomenal learning experience. For six months he studied at Passy, transferred to the Latin School in Amsterdam, and then pursued classical studies at the University of Leyden. Already he had read many classics in history, politics, and philosophy. His father had recommended Thucydides's History of the Peloponnesian War for his enlightenment on war and diplomacy. Adams's apprenticeship in diplomacy began in July 1791 when, at 14, he became private secretary to Francis Dana, the newly appointed U.S. representative to the court of Catherine the Great of Russia. Finding Russian education hopeless, he turned to English and European history. In 1782-1783, having returned to his father's residence at The Hague, Adams embarked on a seven-month trip through Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. Back in Paris, where his father helped to negotiate the Treaty of Paris (1783), he served as his father's private secretary, observed the diplomatic protocol and extravagances at Versailles, discussed science and poli-tics with Franklin and Jefferson, attended Lafayette's weekly dinners, and read the works of France's famed eighteenth-century philosophers. In London, where in 1785 his father became America's first minister to the English court, he spent days

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American Statesmen: Secretaries of State from John Jay to Colin Powell
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Credo vii
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • Introduction xix
  • Dean Acheson (1893-1971) 1
  • John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) 20
  • Madeleine Albright (1937-) 34
  • Robert Bacon (1860-1919) 41
  • James Baker III (1930-) 43
  • Thomas F. Bayard (1828-1898) 51
  • Jeremiah S. Black (1810-1883) 58
  • James G. Blaine (1830-1893) 61
  • William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925) 74
  • James Buchanan (1791-1868) 83
  • James F. Byrnes (1879-1972) 88
  • John C. Calhoun (1782-1850) 98
  • Lewis Cass (1782-1866) 105
  • Warren Christopher (1925-) 116
  • Henry Clay (1777-1852) 123
  • John M. Clayton (1796-1856) 135
  • Bainbridge Colby (1869-1950) 141
  • William R. Day (1849-1923) 149
  • John Foster Dulles (1888-1959) 163
  • Lawrence S. Eagleburger (1930-) 179
  • William M. Evarts (1818-1901) 182
  • Edward Everett (1794-1865) 188
  • Hamilton Fish (1808-1893) 191
  • John Forsyth (1780-1841) 200
  • John W. Foster (1836-1917) 213
  • Frederick T. Frelinghuysen (1817-1885) 220
  • Walter Q. Gresham (1832-1895) 226
  • Alexander M. Haig, Jr. (1924-) 234
  • John Hay (1838-1905) Served 1898-1905 238
  • Christian Herter (1895-1966) 247
  • Charles Evans Hughes (1862-1948) 254
  • Cordell Hull (1871-1955) 263
  • John Jay (1745-1829) 273
  • Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) 279
  • Frank B. Kellogg (1856-1937) 293
  • Henry Kissinger (1923-) 299
  • Philander C. Knox (1853-1921) 307
  • Robert Lansing (1864-1928) 314
  • Hugh S. Legaré (1797-1843) 325
  • Edward Livingston (1764-1836) 328
  • James Madison (1751-1836) 334
  • William L. Marcy (1786-1857) 348
  • George C. Marshall (1880-1959) 351
  • Bibliographical Essay 363
  • John Marshall (1755-1835) 364
  • Louis Mclane (1786-1857) 368
  • James Monroe (1758-1831) 373
  • Edmund S. Muskie (1914-1996) 389
  • Richard Olney (1835-1917) 393
  • Timothy Pickering (1745-1829) 400
  • Colin Powell (1937-) 406
  • Edmund Randolph (1753-1813) 416
  • William P. Rogers (1913-2001) 421
  • Elihu Root (1845-1937) 430
  • Dean Rusk (1909-1994) 443
  • William H. Seward (1801-1872) 450
  • John Sherman (1823-1900) 466
  • George P. Shultz (1920-) 472
  • Robert Smith (1757-1842) 478
  • Edward R. Stettinius, Jr. (1900-1949) 484
  • Henry L. Stimson (1867-1950) 491
  • Abel P. Upshur (1790-1844) 498
  • Martin Van Buren (1782-1862) 504
  • Bibliographical Essay 511
  • Cyrus Vance (1917-2002) 512
  • Elihu B. Washburne (1816-1887) 521
  • Daniel Webster (1782-1852) 523
  • List of Contributors 535
  • Quick Reference Chronology of Secretaries of State 537
  • Index 541
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