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Adams, Charles Francis, 1807-1886

Statesman; born in Boston, Mass., Aug. 18, 1807;

Charles Francis Adams.

son of John Quincy Adams; was graduated at Harvard College in 1825. He accompanied his father to St. Petersburg and England, where he passed much of his childhood until the return of his family to America in 1817. Mr. Adams studied law in the office of Daniel Webster, and was admitted to the bar in 1828, but never practised it as a vocation. In 1829 he married a daughter of Peter C. Brooks, of Boston. For five years he was a member of the legislature of Massachusetts. Having left the Whig Party, he was a candidate of the free-soil party (q. v.) in 1848 for the Vice-Presidency of the United States. Mr. Van Buren being the candidate for the Presidency. They were defeated. In 1850-56 Mr. Adams published the Life and works of John Adams (his grandfather), in 10 volumes. In 1859 he was elected to Congress from the district which his father long represented. He was then a Republican in politics. In March, 1861, he was appointed minister to Great Britain, where he managed his diplomatic [21] duties with much skill during one of the most trying times in our history — that of the Civil War. He remained as American minister in London until 1868, when, in un>February, he resigned. In 1872 Mr. Adams was first a Liberal Republican, and then a Democrat, in politics. His labors in the field of literature were various. From 1845 to 1848 he edited a daily newspaper in Boston, and was long either a regular or an occasional contributor to the North American review. His principal task was the preparation of the Life and works of John Adams, and a Life of John Adams, in 2 volumes. He also issued the Life and works of John Quincy Adams, in 12 volumes. He died in Boston, Nov. 21, 1886. When the spirit of secession was rampant in Congress late in December, 1860, he tried to soothe the passions of the Southern politicians by offering in the House Committee of Thirty-three a resolution, “That it is expedient to propose an amendment to the Constitution, to the effect that no future amendments of it in regard to slavery shall be made unless proposed by a slave State and ratified by all the States.” It was passed by only three dissenting voices in the committee.

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