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A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Volume 2, part 2: John Quincy Adams by Unknown
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John Quincy Adams, sixth President of the United States, eldest son of
John Adams, second President, was born at Braintree, Mass., July 11,
1767. He enjoyed peculiar and rare advantages for education. In
childhood he was instructed by his mother, a granddaughter of Colonel
John Quincy, and a woman of superior talents. In 1778, when only 11
years old, he accompanied his father to France; attended a school in
Paris, and returned home in August, 1779. Having been taken again to
Europe by his father in 1780, he pursued his studies at the University
of Leyden, where he learned Latin and Greek. In July, 1781, at the age
of 14, he was appointed private secretary to Francis Dana, minister to
Russia. He remained at St. Petersburg until October, 1782, after which
he resumed his studies at The Hague. Was present at the signing of the
definitive treaty of peace in Paris, September 3, 1783. He passed some
months with his father in London, and returned to the United States to
complete his education, entering Harvard College in 1786 and graduating
in 1788. He studied law with the celebrated Theophilus Parsons, of
Newburyport; was admitted to the bar in 1791, and began to practice in
Boston. In 1791 he published in the Boston Centinel, under the signature
of "Publicola," a series of able essays, in which he exposed the
fallacies and vagaries of the French political reformers. These papers
attracted much attention in Europe and the United States. Under the
signature of "Marcellus" he wrote, in 1793, several articles, in which
he argued that the United States should observe strict neutrality in the
war between the French and the British. These writings commended him to
the favor of Washington, and he was appointed minister to Holland in
May, 1794. In July, 1797, he married Louisa Catherine Johnson, a
daughter of Joshua Johnson, of Maryland, who was then American consul at
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