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The Boston Awakening

8. John Quincy Adams: America's Evangelist President (1767-1848)

By Jay Rogers
Published April 10, 2008

John Quincy Adams was born in Braintree, now Quincy, Massachusetts, the son of John Adams. He served one term as President. His inaugural address closed with these words: “Knowing that ‘except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain,’ with fervent supplications for His favor, to His overruling providence I commit, with humble, but fearless confidence, my own fate, and the future destinies of my country.”

Known as a great orator, he was a popular speaker in many places. When it was feared that Christian influence was waning in New England, he prepared a lecture on Truth. The premise was: “A man to be a Christian must believe in God, in the Bible, in the Divinity of the Savior’s mission, and in a future state of rewards and punishments.” Adams also wrote a series on “The Bible and its Teachings,” in which he stated, “I have myself for many years made it a practice to read through the Bible once every year. My custom is, to read four or five chapters every morning, immediately after rising form my bed. It employs about an hour of my time, and seems to me the most suitable manner of beginning the day.”

John Quincy Adams was the only President to have ever been elected to serve as a congressman after his term as President. In being nominated for this position, he said, “Not in my opinion would an ex-President of the United States be degraded by serving as a selectman of his town, if elevated thereto by the people.”

During his time of service as a Representative from Massachusetts he presented petitions for the abolition of slavery to Congress. On another occasion, he presented a petition against the annexation of Texas as a slave state, which was signed by several women. When these women were rebuked for turning from their domestic duties, Adams countered, “Are women to have no opinions or actions on subjects relating to the general welfare? Where did the gentleman get this principle? Did the gentleman never hear of Deborah, to whom the children of Israel came up for judgment? Has he forgotten the deed of Jael, who slew the enemy of her country? Has he forgotten Esther, who by her petition saved her people and her country?”

John Quincy Adams died in the Speaker’s room in Washington, while serving as Representative. His last words were: “This is the last of earth. I am content.”

See also:

America’s Christian Rulers: John Quincy Adams

The Education of John Quincy Adams


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