John Quincy Adams a founding father?

I do  not think that John Quincy Adams was a founding father in the same sense that his  father was. However, I do think he was involved in the  early days of our government working with many of the founding fathers.

Michele Bachmann got into another history-related tussle on ABC’s “Good  Morning America” today, standing by a statement she made praising the founding  fathers for having “worked tirelessly to end slavery.”

ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked Bachmann to defend that comment, given the  fact that the U.S. founders helped enshrine slavery in the Constitution and  allowed it to continue as an institution until the Civil War.

Bachmann responded by pointing to the career of John Quincy  Adams, the abolitionist president who was not yet 9 years old when the  Declaration of Independence was signed.

“If you look at one of our founding fathers, John Quincy Adams, that’s  absolutely true,” Bachmann said. “He was a very young boy, but he was with his  father, serving essentially as his father’s secretary. He tirelessly worked  throughout his life to make sure that we did, in fact, one day eradicate slavery  from our nation, and I’m so grateful for that work.”

Stephanopoulos responded: “He wasn’t one of the founding fathers. He was a  president, he was a secretary of state. As a member of Congress, you’re right,  he did work to end slavery decades later. But — so you’re standing by this  comment that the founding fathers worked tirelessly to end slavery?”

“Well John Quincy Adams most certainly was part of the Revolutionary War  era,” Bachmann said. “He was a young boy but he was actively involved.”

Aaron Goldstein rightly asserted:

However, what Jeff omits is that during the Stephanopoulos interview, Michele Bachmann identified John Quincy Adams as a Founding Father. The Declaration of Independence was adopted a week shy of his ninth birthday. Now Bachmann is correct in saying that John Quincy Adams was actively involved during the Revolutionary War Era. In fact, he was given his first diplomatic posting in Europe at the tender age of ten. It would have been more accurate for Bachmann to describe John Quincy Adams as a Son of the American Revolution

David Barton in his 4 of July  article commented:

In 1837, when
he was 69 years old, he delivered a Fourth of July speech at Newburyport,
Massachusetts. He began that address with a question: “Why is it, friends and
fellow citizens, that you are here assembled? Why is it that entering on the
62nd year of our national existence you have honored [me] with an invitation to
address you. . . ?”

The answer
was easy: they had asked him to address them because he was old enough to
remember what went on; they wanted an eye-witness to tell them of it! He next
asked them: “Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the world,
your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day [the Fourth of

interesting question: why is it that in America the Fourth of July and Christmas
were our two top holidays? Note his answer: “Is it not that, in the chain of
human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the
birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the
Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first
organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon
earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts
of Christianity?”

According to
John Quincy Adams, Christmas and the Fourth of July were intrinsically
connected. On the Fourth of July, the Founders
simply took the precepts of Christ which came into the world through His birth
(Christmas) and incorporated those principles into civil government.

Have you ever
considered what it meant for those 56 men – an eclectic group of ministers,
business men, teachers, university professors, sailors, captains, farmers – to
sign the Declaration of Independence? This was a contract that began with the
reasons for the separation from Great Britain and closed in the final paragraph
stating “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the
protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our
fortunes, and our sacred honor.”


David Barton in his article “The Founding Fathers on Jesus, Christianity and the Bible,” noted:


My hopes of a future life are all founded upon the Gospel of Christ and I
cannot cavil or quibble away [evade or object to]. . . . the whole tenor of His
conduct by which He sometimes positively asserted and at others countenances
[permits] His disciples in asserting that He was God.7

The hope of a Christian is inseparable from his faith. Whoever believes in
the Divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures must hope that the religion of
Jesus shall prevail throughout the earth. Never since the foundation of the
world have the prospects of mankind been more encouraging to that hope than they
appear to be at the present time. And may the associated distribution of the
Bible proceed and prosper till the Lord shall have made “bare His holy arm in
the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the
salvation of our God” [Isaiah 52:10].8

In the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly
linked with the birthday of the Savior. The Declaration of Independence laid the
cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity.9

John Quincy Adams

Sixth President of the United

The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal as well as a
moral and religious code; it contained many statutes . . . of universal
application-laws essential to the existence of men in society, and most of which
have been enacted by every nation which ever professed any code of laws.

(Source: John Quincy Adams, Letters of John
Quincy Adams, to His Son, on the Bible and Its Teachings
(Auburn: James M.
Alden, 1850), p. 61.)

There are three points of doctrine the belief of which forms the
foundation of all morality. The first is the existence of God; the second is the
immortality of the human soul; and the third is a future state of rewards and
punishments. Suppose it possible for a man to disbelieve either of these three
articles of faith and that man will have no conscience, he will have no other
law than that of the tiger or the shark. The laws of man may bind him in chains
or may put him to death, but they never can make him wise, virtuous, or

(Source: John Quincy Adams, Letters of John
Quincy Adams to His Son on the Bible and Its Teachings
(Auburn: James M.
Alden, 1850), pp. 22-23.)


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