John Quincy Adams II
John Quincy Adams II (1833-1894).jpg
Adams as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
Member of the
Massachusetts House of Representatives
from the 6th Norfolk district
In office
January 7, 1874 – January 5, 1875
Preceded byJames A. Stetson
Succeeded byWilliam A. Hodges
In office
January 4, 1871 – January 2, 1872
Preceded byEdmund B. Taylor
Succeeded byHenry H. Faxon
In office
January 1, 1868 – January 6, 1869
Preceded byGeorge Gill
Succeeded byHenry Barker
In office
January 3, 1866 – January 1, 1867
Preceded byHenry H. Faxon
Succeeded byGeorge Gill
Personal details
Born(1833-09-22)September 22, 1833
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
DiedAugust 14, 1894(1894-08-14) (aged 60)
Quincy, Massachusetts, U.S.
Resting placeMount Wollaston Cemetery, Quincy, Massachusetts
Political partyRepublican (before 1867)
Democratic (1867–94)
Frances Cadwallader Crowninshield
(m. 1861)
RelationsJohn Adams Morgan (great-grandson)
Henry Brooks Adams (brother)
Parent(s)Charles Francis Adams
Abigail Brown Brooks
Alma materHarvard University
Military service
Allegiance United States of America (Union)
Branch/serviceMassachusetts Militia
Years of service1861–1865
Union Army colonel rank insignia.png
UnitStaff of Governor John Albion Andrew
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War

John Quincy Adams II (September 22, 1833 – August 14, 1894) was an American politician who represented Quincy in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1866 to 1867, 1868 to 1869, 1871 to 1872, and from 1874 to 1875.

Adams served as a colonel in the Union Army during the American Civil War under Governor John Albion Andrew of Massachusetts. Later in life, he left the Republican Party in 1867 for the Democratic Party.

Early life

John Quincy Adams II was born on September 22, 1833, in Boston, Massachusetts, the second of seven children born to Charles Francis Adams[1] and Abigail Brown Brooks.[2][3][4]

He was the paternal grandson of the 6th United States president, John Quincy Adams (his namesake), and the great-grandson of the 2nd president, John Adams. His maternal grandfather was shipping magnate Peter Chardon Brooks (1767–1849).[5]

He graduated from Harvard University in 1853, studied law, and two years later was admitted to the Suffolk County bar,[6] and practiced in Boston. He followed his profession for a short time, then, becoming interested in agriculture, he established an experimental model farm of five hundred acres near Quincy, Massachusetts.[6]


During the Civil War he served as an aide-de-camp on the staff of Governor John Albion Andrew, first as a lieutenant colonel, and later as a colonel.[7] During the war his duties included visiting Massachusetts units in the field and providing the governor status reports on their condition. In 1862, he made inspection visits to several Massachusetts units operating in North Carolina.[8]

Adams served in several local offices in Quincy, including town meeting moderator, school board chairman and judge of the local court. He was elected to the Massachusetts state legislature[6] as a Republican, but soon switched to the Democratic Party because of his dissatisfaction with Republican Reconstruction policies.[9] In addition to serving in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1865, 1867, 1870 and 1873, he was the unsuccessful Democratic nominee for Governor of Massachusetts[6] in every year from 1867 to 1871. (Governors served one year terms until 1918.)

Adams received one vote for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States at the 1868 Democratic National Convention.[10] In 1872, the faction of Democrats that refused to support Horace Greeley, the fusion candidate of Democrats and the Liberal Republican Party, nominated Charles O'Conor for president and Adams for vice president on the "Straight-Out Democratic" ticket.[6] They declined, but their names remained on the ballot in some states.[11][12][13]

In 1873, he was the unsuccessful nominee for lieutenant governor.[14] After losing an election for lieutenant governor in 1876, Adams refused most further involvement in politics, though he was considered by Grover Cleveland for a cabinet position in 1893.[15] In 1877, he was made a member of the Harvard Corporation.[16]

Personal life

A portrait of Fanny Crowninshield by Samuel Worcester Rowse.
A portrait of Fanny Crowninshield by Samuel Worcester Rowse.
Illustration accompanying Adams's biography in 1913's Lamb's Biographical Dictionary of the United States, Volume 1
Illustration accompanying Adams's biography in 1913's Lamb's Biographical Dictionary of the United States, Volume 1

In 1861, Adams married Frances "Fanny" Cadwalader Crowninshield (1839–1911),[17] daughter of George Crowninshield (1812–1857) and Harriet Sears Crowninshield (1809–1873) of the politically powerful Crowninshield family. Fanny was the granddaughter of former United States Secretary of the Navy under presidents Madison and Monroe, Benjamin Williams Crowninshield.[18][19] Their children were:

Adams died at age 60 in Wollaston, Massachusetts on August 14, 1894.[6] He was buried at Mount Wollaston Cemetery in Quincy.[25] His widow died in 1911, and left an estate worth $1,200,000 to their three surviving children.[26]


Through his daughter, Abigail, he was the grandfather of George Casper Homans (1910–1989), a sociologist and the founder of behavioral sociology and the Social Exchange Theory.[27][28]

Family tree

See also


  1. ^ Donald, David (26 March 1961). "It Wasn't Easy to be an Adams; A Member of a Great but Unpopular Clan, C.F. Adams Ably Served the Union Cause Charles Francis Adams, 1807–1886. By Martin B. Duberman. Illustrated. 525 pp. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. $7.50. To Be an Adams". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  2. ^ John Quincy Adams: A Life. Harlow G. Unger, p. 270-271.
  3. ^ Whittier, Charles Collyer (1907). Genealogy of the Stimpson family of Charlestown, Mass. The Library of Congress. Boston, Press of D. Clapp & son.
  4. ^ "CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS". The New York Times. 1886-11-22. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-04-22.
  5. ^ Whittier, Charles Collyer (1907). Genealogy of the Stimpson Family of Charlestown, Mass: and allied lines. Press of D. Clapp & Son. p. 52. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Johnson 1906, p. 51
  7. ^ The Letters of William Lloyd Garrison: To Rouse the Slumbering Land, 1868-1979, by William Lloyd Garrison, 1981, page 218
  8. ^ Schouler, William (1868). A History of Massachusetts in the Civil War. Boston, MA: E. P. Dutton. pp. 14, 313 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ Newspaper article, Massachusetts Politics: John Quincy Adams Accepts the Democratic Nomination for Governor, New York Times, October 10, 1867
  10. ^ CNN web page, All The Votes...Really, a list of individuals who received convention votes for president or vice president prior to 1996
  11. ^ Newspaper article, John Quincy Adams; His Acceptance of the Louisville Nomination -- Why Democrats Cannot Support Greeley and Preserve Their Self-Respect, New York Times, September 13, 1872
  12. ^ Editor's Historical Record, Harper's New Monthly magazine, November, 1872
  13. ^ Newspaper editorial, The Presidential Election, Lewiston (Maine), Evening Journal, October 28, 1872
  14. ^ "John Quincy Adams Dead | Was a Lineal Descendant from Two Presidents. | The Son of Charles Francis Adams, the Great Diplomat, He Became a Vigorous Supporter of Lincoln -- After the War Was a Democrat -- Held Various Offices -- In Later Years He Lived in Retirement in the Country". The New York Times. 15 August 1894. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  15. ^ Newspaper article, Cabinet Possibilities: John Quincy Adams and Isidor Straus Talked Of, New York Times, February 7, 1893
  16. ^ Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Adams, John Quincy (2d)" . Encyclopedia Americana.
  17. ^ "Obituary Notes | Mrs. Fanny Crowninshield Adams". The New York Times. 18 May 1911. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  18. ^ Harrison, B. The Family Forest Descendants of Lady Joan Beaufort. Millisecond Publishing Company, Inc. p. 3023. Retrieved 2014-10-04.
  19. ^ Browning, Charles Henry. Americans of Royal Descent: A Collection of Genealogies of American Families Whose Lineage is traced to the Legitimate Issue of Kings. Philadelphia: Porter & Costes, 1891, ed. 2, pp. 68 – 69.
  20. ^ "Obituary Notes | George Caspar Adams" (PDF). The New York Times. 14 July 1900. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  21. ^ "C. F. Adams is Dead; Headed U. S. Navy | Hoover Cabinet Aide, 87, Was Banker, Philanthropist and Civic Leader in Boston | Noted As Yachtsman | While at Helm of Resolute, He Defeated Shamrock IV – Won 3 Cups in Year". The New York Times. 12 June 1954. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
  22. ^ "Arthur Davis | Brother of Navy Ex-Secretary, Kin of Presidents, Was Banker" (PDF). The New York Times. 20 May 1943. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  23. ^ Whitman, Alden (6 February 1974). "Abigail Adams Homans of Presidents' Family Dies; Deft Deflator". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  24. ^ "Homans -- Adams". The New York Times. 11 June 1907. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  25. ^ "Mout Wollaston Cemetery Tour" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2020-10-21. Retrieved 2020-11-05.
  26. ^ "Estate of Mrs. F.C. Adams.; Widow of John Quincy Adams Leaves $1,200,000 to Three Children". The New York Times. 8 June 1911. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  27. ^ Bell, Daniel (1992). "George C. Homans (11 August 1910–29 May 1989)". Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. American Philosophical Society. 136 (4): 586–593.
  28. ^ "George Homans, 78, Sociologist And Harvard Professor Emeritus". The New York Times. 31 May 1989. Retrieved 28 June 2017.


Party political offices Preceded byTheodore H. Sweetser Democratic nominee for Governor of Massachusetts 1867, 1868, 1869, 1870, 1871 Succeeded byFrancis W. Bird