Things That I Love About America: The Congressional Career of John Quincy Adams

A few years ago, I checked out from the library the book “Mr. Adams’s Last Crusade: John Quincy Adams’s Extraordinary Post-Presidential Life in Congress” by Joseph Wheelan. I had just watched Steven Spielberg’s movie “Amistad” and I wanted to get to know more about Adams.

In 1828, John Quincy Adams had just been voted out of office after a rather unsuccessful one term as President of the U.S. John Quincy was the son of extraordinary parents, John and Abigail Adams, and he had already accomplished much in his life. He had hoped to retire but the people in his home town pressured him to run for Congress and he won a seat in 1830.

Adams was a far better Congressman than he was a President. During his 17 years in the House of Representatives, Adams became one of the leading opponents of slavery in Congress. He led a long fight against the “Gag” rule, a rule set up by Southern representatives to table any petitions about the abolition of slavery and prevented any discussion of the slavery issue within Congress. Adams was against the annexation of Texas and the Mexican American War because of how they would extended slavery into new territories. In one speech, Adams said that in case of civil war, the President could emancipate the slaves as a military necessity. Abraham Lincoln eventually used this rationale to free the slaves through his Emancipation Proclamation.

Because of his fame as an opponent of slavery, John Quincy Adams was asked to speak in the Supreme Court for the case of United States v. The Amistad. Adams went before the Supreme Court on behalf of African slaves who had revolted and seized the Spanish ship Amistad. His argument succeeded; the Court ruled in favor of the Africans, who were declared free and returned to their homes.

During his time in Congress, John Quincy Adams served as chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs, where he spoke out against the removal of Eastern Indian tribes by the Jackson administration. He also spoke out for the right of women to petition for political causes.

John Quincy Adams became one of the best representatives we ever had in Congress due to his fight for human rights.

About angelolopez

I’ve wanted to be an artist all my life. Since I was a child I’ve drawn on any scrap of paper I could get a hold of. When I went to San Jose State University, I became more exposed to the works of the great fine artists and illustrators. My college paintings were heavily influenced by the humorous illustrations of Peter De Seve, an illustrator for the New Yorker magazine. I also fell under the spell of the great muralists of the 1930s, especially Thomas Hart Benton and Diego Rivera. I graduated with a degree in Illustration. Angelo Lopez has had illustrations published in Tikkun Magazine, the Palo Alto Daily News and Z Magazine. From April 2008 to May 2011, Angelo's cartoons were regularly published in the Tri-City Voice, a weekly newspaper that covers the Fremont, Hayward, Milpitas, Neward, Sunol and Union City areas in California. He did a political webcomic starring his cartoon character Jasper for the progressive blogsite Everyday Citizen. Since December 2011, Angelo does a regular weekly political cartoon for the Philippine News Today, a Filipino American newspaper based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Angelo is a member of the Sunnyvale Art Club, and the Northern California chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. During the 1990s, he was a member of the part-timer workers SEIU unit in the city of Sunnyvale. Angelo won the 2013, 2015 and 2016 and 2018 Sigma Delta Chi award for editorial cartooning for newspapers with a circulation under 100,000. He has also won the 2016 RFK Book and Journalism Award for Editorial Cartoons. Angelo won first prize for the Best of the West contest in 2016 and third prize in 2017. Angelo is married to Lisa Reeber. They enjoy taking walks, watching movies and hanging out with their nieces.
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