Uncovering America's Heritage... Coin by Coin
2008 John Quincy Adams Presidential $1 Coin
This coin honors the first President who was the son of another President, and that's John Quincy Adams. You can read some of his life story on his own Presidential $1 Coin page, but I'd like to tell you even more about him.
Adams was a Harvard-educated lawyer and served in several federal positions before being elected president. Adams was also one of America's great Secretaries of State.
When he ran for the presidency, there were different groups within the Democratic-Republican party, and each one put forth its own candidate. By the vote of the people, Adams fell second behind Andrew Jackson. But none of the four candidates had a majority of the Electoral College votes, so the election was decided by the House of Representatives, as the Constitution allows in such a case.
As President, Adams immediately suggested some grand programs, like building a network of highways and canals, developing public lands, and strengthening the arts and sciences by building an observatory, setting up a national university, and funding scientific expeditions. But some people thought his plans went beyond his authority under the Constitution.
In the following election (1828), the vote went to Andrew Jackson. Adams then returned to Massachusetts to enjoy his farm and his books. But in 1830, the Plymouth district elected him to the House of Representatives, where he served as a strong leader until the end of his life 18 years later.
An example of his leadership was his stand against slavery. The House had a rule that no bills against slavery would be discussed there. Adams fought this "gag rule" as unconstitutional for eight years before the rule was finally repealed.
In 1848, John Quincy Adams suffered a stroke in the House of Representatives and died there, in the Speaker's room, two days later. Adams was buried with his family in Massachusetts.