“If slavery be the destined sword of the hand of the destroying angel which is to sever the ties of this Union, the same sword will cut in sunder the bonds of slavery itself. A dissolution of the Union for the cause of slavery would be followed by a servile war in the slave-holding States, combined with a war between the two severed portions of the Union. It seems to me that its result might be the extirpation of slavery from this whole continent; and, calamitous and desolating as this course of events in its progress must be, so glorious would be its final issue, that, as God shall judge me, I dare not say that it is not to be desired.”
Written four decades before the Civil War, in Adams' diary. Source:http://haysvillelibrary.wordpress.com/2009/01/17/john-quincy-adams-on-the-civil-war/
Harvard College, trained as a lawyer.
Minister to the Netherlands at 26.
Elected to U.S. Senate at 35.
Minister to Russia at 41.
Secretary of State under Monroe: engineered incredible diplomatic triumphs. Authored the Monroe doctrine.
Elected President of the United States at 58. Is a terrible (principled) politician, and is soundly thrashed by Andrew Jackson in the subsequent election of 1828.
Elected to the House by the Plymouth (MA) district at 63. He served in this capacity for the remainder of his life (til age 81)
In the House, Adams fought ceaselessly against the "Gag rule" -- achieving its repeal after 8 years, and argued pro bono before the supreme court on behalf of the spanish slaves in the Amistad case -- he won too.
Adams knew both the founding fathers and Abraham Lincoln. Adams is the only president to serve in the House after his presidency. We owe a lot to Mr. Adams.