John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams was born in what is now called Quincy, in 1767, in a house owned by his father John Adams, who was the second president of the USA.
Built in 1663, the house, at 141 Franklin Street, is the second oldest presidential house still standing, after his father’s birthplace house, located next door.
John Quincy Adams spent most of his childhood here, until his family moved to Europe for a few years in 1783.
Upon returning, the family moved into Peacefield, a farm a mile north, which was expanded considerably over their tenure.
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In 1803, having graduated from college and now practicing law, John Quincy Adams purchased his birthplace, 141 Franklin Street, and his father’s birthplace next door, from his father. He lived there until 1807, when he moved to Boston.
He spent much of his life abroad or in Washington DC, visiting his parents at Peacefield, and eventually using Peacefield as his summer home.
After he moved out of the old birthplace houses in 1807, they were rented out for decades, and even went vacant for years. The surrounding acreage was sold off as lots.
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In 1896, still owned by descendants, the birthplace houses were adopted by historical organizations, and were preserved. Restorations included raising the houses two feet to be level with new roads. They were donated to the National Park Service in 1979.
Peacefield continued to be owned and occupied by Adams’ descendants, who maintained the expansive gardens and land until 1927. In 1946, the National Park Service took over the property from the Adams Memorial Society.
After serving his single term as President, John Quincy Adams stayed active in state politics until 1848, when he died at the age of 81.
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His tomb is next to his father’s, in the church in Quincy, across the street from the Adams National Historic Park Visitor Center.
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