The Robinson Library

The Robinson Library >> John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams: Early Life

John Quincy Adams was born in Braintree (now Quincy), Massachusetts, on July 11, 1767, the second child and oldest son of John and Abigail Smith Adams. His father was very active in the American independence movement, and was frequently absent for long periods of time. leaving much of the raising and early education of the children to their mother. He watched the Battle of Bunker Hill with his mother from the top of one of the Braintree hills, and regularly saw soldiers passing through his hometown.

The home in which John Quincy Adams still stands at its original location and is now part of Adams National Historical Park.
John Quincy Adams Birthplace

When the Continental Congress sent John Adams to Europe in 1778, he was accompanied by eleven-year-old John Quincy, who received his first formal schooling at the Passy Academy outside of Paris, France. The Adamses remained in France for a little over a year and then returned home for about three months. They were joined by younger son Charles when they returned to Paris in February 1780. During this stint the two sons attended the University of Leiden in the Netherlands; Charles asked to be sent home after about a year and a half. In 1781, Francis Dana, the newly appointed U.S. emissary to St. Petersburg, asked that John Quincy accompany him as translator and personal secretary. A year later, John Quincy traveled alone for five months from St. Petersburg, Russia, to The Hague, Netherlands, to rejoin his father. When he returned to America in 1785, Adams enrolled in Harvard College as an advanced student, and completed his studies in two years.


Adams National Historical Park
Miller Center of Public Affairs

See Also

John Adams
Abigail Smith Adams
Battle of Bunker Hill

Questions or comments about this page?

The Robinson Library >> John Quincy Adams

This page was last updated on December 03, 2018.