John Quincy Adams regarding Adams' esteem for the Wadsworths, Boston, 1809

Contributed by Maine Historical Society


On June 27, 1809, President James Madison (1751-1836) appointed John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) plenipotentiary (ambassador) to Russia. Adams soon received several suggestions for secretaries to accompany him to Saint Petersburg, as well as letters from men seeking such a position. Adams’ diary indicates that John Wadsworth (1781-1860) of Portland, a Harvard graduate, likewise offered his services, but, as Adams explained to Wadsworth on July 11, 1809, he had already made his selections before Wadsworth wrote to him on July 8.

Although he had to decline the request, John Quincy Adams acknowledged Wadsworth’s worthiness for the post and his esteem for Wadsworth’s brother, Henry, and father, Peleg Wadsworth (1748-1829), a former congressman and Revolutionary War officer. Lt. Henry Wadsworth (1785-1804) served under Commodore Edward Preble (1761-1807) during the First Barbary War and was killed when the U.S.S. Intrepid exploded in the harbor at Tripoli.

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About This Item

  • Title: John Quincy Adams regarding Adams' esteem for the Wadsworths, Boston, 1809
  • Creator: Adams, John Quincy
  • Creation Date: 1809-07-11
  • Subject Date: 1809-07-11
  • Town: Boston, Portland
  • County: Cumberland, Suffolk
  • State: MA, ME
  • Media: Ink on paper
  • Local Code: Coll. 1606, Box 1/8
  • Collection: Wadsworth-Longfellow family papers
  • Object Type: Text

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Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

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