Main Characters

I. JOHN ADAMS (1735-1826) and ABIGAIL SMITH ADAMS (1744-1818)

1764 John marries Abigail Smith/1767 First son, John Quincy, born/ 1770 Defends British troops in "The Boston Massacre" trials/ 1774 Elected to the Continental Congress/1775 Proposes George Washington as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army/1776 Appointed President of the Board of War and Ordnance. Appointed with Jefferson, Franklin, Sherman, Livingston to draft the Declaration of Independence/ 1777 Elected Joint Commissioner to France/1779 Drafts Constitution of Massachusetts/1782 Obtains recognition and first loan to U.S. from Netherlands/1783 Signs Peace Treaty with Great Britain/1785 First American Minister to Great Britain/1789 First VicePresident/1797 Second President/1800 First occupant of the White House/1826 Dies on 50th Anniversary of Declaration of Independence.

II. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS (1767-1848) and LOUISA ADAMS (1775-1852)

1778 John Quincy travels with his father to Europe/1781 Secretary and interpreter to first U.S. Representative to Russia/1794 Minister to the Netherlands/ 1797 Marries Louisa Catherine Johnson in England. Minister to Prussia/ 1802 Elected to Massachusetts State Senate/1803 Elected to U.S. Senate/1807 Third son, Charles Francis, born/1809 Minister to Russia/ 1814 Heads U.S. delegation at Ghent negotiating peace treaty with Great Britain/ 1815 Minister to Great Britain/1817 Secretary of State to President James Monroe/ 1825 Elected sixth President by the House of Representatives/1830 Elected to House of Representatives/1835 Becomes Chairman of Committee to administer Smithson bequest/1836 Begins long struggle for right of popular petition on slavery and the slave trade/1841 Successfully defends before the Supreme Court captive Africans who seized schooner Amistad/1846 Votes against declaration of war with Mexico/1848 Dies in Speaker's Room after collapse in House of Representatives.


1809 Charles Francis travels with parents to St. Petersburg/1829 Marries Abigail Brooks, daughter of Peter Brooks, one of the richest men in Boston/1840 elected to Massachusetts Legislature and actively opposes slavery/1848 nominated as Vice-President by "Free Soil" Party and becomes a representative of the "Conscience Whigs" -- the "Lords of the Loom" who oppose the "Lords of the Lash"/1858 elected as a Republican to House of Representatives/1860 supports Seward's candidacy but campaigned for Lincoln after his nomination/1861 appointed Minister to Great Britain during Civil War and negotiates in London with Foreign Minister John Russell/1872 and 1876 declines to be considered for Presidential nomination/ 1873 elected president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences/ children include the 3 youngest that he took to London: Mary, Henry, Brooks, leaving the older son Charles II in America.

IV. 4th Generation:

  • John Quincy Adams II (1833-1894)

    1861 John II marries Fanny Crowninshield. Appointed to staff of Governor Andrew of Massachusetts/1867 Candidate for the first of five times for governorship of Massachusetts/1868 Speaks at Columbia, S.C. denouncing the Radical Republican regime/

  • Charles Francis Adams II (1835-1915)

    1861 Charles commissioned in Union Army/1865 Leads regiment of Negro troops. Marries Mary Ogden/1872 Chairman Massachusetts Railroad Commission/ 1878 Chairman of government directors of Union Pacific Railroad/1884 President of Union Pacific/1892 Publishes Three Episodes of Massachusetts History

  • Henry Adams (1838-1918)

    1860-61 Henry serves as his father's secretary in Washington and London/ 1868 In Washington as journalist/1870 Professor of History at Harvard/1872 Marries Marian Hooper/1891 Completes publication of nine volume History of the United States/1904 Publishes Mont-SaintMichel and Chartres/1906 Publishes The Education of Henry Adams/

  • Brooks Adams (1848-1927)

    1861 Brooks accompanies his parents to London/1871 Serves as his father's secretary at Geneva Conference/1887 Publishes Emancipation of Massachusetts/1889 Marries Evelyn Davis/1895 Publishes The Law of Civilization and Decay/