Found 1,978 Resources containing: John Adams
Plate No. 22023
Subject: John Quincy Adams, Presidential Issue
Color: red orange
United States, 2008
Obverse Image: Front facing portrait of John Quincy Adams.
Obverse Text: JOHN QUINCY ADAMS / 6TH PRESIDENT / 1825-1829
Reverse Image: Statue of Liberty.
Reverse Text: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / $1 / E PLURIBUS UNUM / IN GOD WE TRUST / 2008 / D
John Adams’s house in The Hague became the United States’ first-ever embassy on this day in 1782.
That’s when the Netherlands recognized the United States of America as a distinct country, rather than a British colony–it was one of the first countries to do so, and the first to host an American embassy. Adams, then an envoy from the United States, was received by the States General in the Hague to present his credentials, which is the traditional way for an ambassador to show up. After operating out of his house, he moved in May to the first diplomatic building ever owned by the United States, the Hôtel des Etats Unis.
According to the John Adams Institute, during his time in the Netherlands he “actively sought contact with the social and economic elite, befriending bankers, politicians and other influential persons who could support the fledgling republic in its war of independence.” Later that year, Adams signed the Treaty of Amity and Commerce with the Netherlands, which he had first been instructed to negotiate in 1780.
That treaty was part of another important reason for his trip to the Netherlands: money. “In the latter years of the eighteenth century The Netherlands was still the money market of Europe,” according to the University of Groningen. Adams was there to negotiate a treaty that could secure trade with this wealthy prospective partner, but also with the short-term aim of securing a loan of a lot of money. Official recognition made both of these things possible, and Adams was able–after gaining official recognition from the state–to secure a loan of five million guilder.
The John Adams Institute, which is located in the Netherlands and is an arm of the United States Embassy there, bears his name as a lasting reminder of his presence in those early days. The United States and the Netherlands have connections going back as far as New Amsterdam, the embassy website notes. That Dutch colony eventually became New York.
Adams and went on to become the second American president in 1797. His time in the Netherlands was dramatized as part of the HBO mini-series about his life.
In 1982, the bicentennial of Adams’s recognition as ambassador, President Ronald Reagan declared that April 19, going forward, would be recognized as Dutch-American Friendship Day.
Although America hasn’t had a female president—yet—the history of presidents’ spouses is a fascinating one.
The First Ladies’ stories include: a woman who held the office at the age of 20, several who buried husbands killed while in office and one who ran the White House in a time of war. It also includes Abigail Adams, known to her husband as “Portia,” and John Adams, the second President and first Vice President of the United States.
The Adamses wrote to one another constantly when apart, sometimes multiple times per day. On this day in 1777, for instance, the couple exchanged a total of five letters, though for obvious reasons (the slow speed of travel in the 18th century for one), the letters weren't direct responses to each other. John was with the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, while Abigail, was overseeing their farm in Braintree, Massachusetts.
“It gives me great pleasure to find that you have received so many Letters from me, altho I know they contain nothing of importance,” John wrote in one of his three March 7 letters. He lamented the fact that he couldn’t write openly to her of important matters, but said he would “go on trifling.”
Her two letters written February 8 had just reached him by the hands of George Washington, he wrote, who had carried them from the Susquehannah River. “I long to be at Home, at the Opening Spring,” he concluded, “but this is not my Felicity—I am tenderly anxious for your health and for the Welfare of the whole House.”
One letter John received contained Abigail’s assessment of the political situation near their home and some domestic news. “I feel as if you were gone to a foreign Country,” she wrote. “Philadelphia seem’d close by but now I hardly know how to reconcile my self to the Thought that you are 500 miles distant.”
These letters, like all of the 1,160 examples of their correspondence preserved in archives today, provide valuable historical evidence about the founding of America. But they also provide a snapshot of a marriage of equals in a time when women were unable to vote or directly participate in public life, according to History.com. Their remarkable correspondence “covered topics ranging from politics and military strategy to household economy and family health,” the website reads.
Their correspondence began when John first went to Philadelphia in 1774, according to The National First Ladies’ Library. “The letters reflect not only Abigail Adams’ reactive advice to the political contentions and questions that John posed to her, but also her own observant reporting of New England newspapers’ and citizens’ response to legislation and news events of the American Revolution,” the library notes.
When John Adams took office in 1797, Abigail expressed her concerns about what the role of First Lady would do to her as well as their correspondence, which continued throughout the four years he spent in office. “My pen runs riot,” she wrote in one letter. “I forget that it must grow cautious and prudent. I fear I shall make a dull business when such restrictions are laid upon it.”
During his presidency, however, she became known for writing public letters in support of her husband's policies, the library notes. She was also the first president's wife to reside in the White House, for eight months, during which she infamously hung laundry to dry in the East Room, which was still undergoing construction.
Samuel Adams played a critical role in Revolutionary politics, inciting opposition among his fellow Bostonians to the Sugar Act (1764), the Stamp Act (1765), and the Townshend Acts (1767). He also played a leading role in the legendary Boston Tea Party (1773). With his cousin John Adams and James Bowdoin, Adams co-authored the Massachusetts Constitution (1780), which appears here; it became a model for the American Constitution. In the background is Boston’s Faneuil Hall, the site of many stirring speeches by Adams. A member of the Continental Congress (1774–81), Adams signed the Declaration of Independence. He served as governor of Massachusetts from 1794 to 1797, the year in which George Graham produced this celebratory print, based on a 1795 painting by John Johnston. The painting was lost to fire only a few years later, further enhancing the importance of this lifetime depiction of Adams.