Thursday, February 9, 2017


JFK+50:  Volume 7, No. 2215


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) 192 years ago today, February 9, 1825, the presidential election of 1824 was decided in the United States House of Representatives.  A majority of the votes went to John Quincy Adams* of Massachusetts who would be sworn in as the 6th President of the United States on March 4, 1825.

Mr. Adams, former Secretary of State under James Monroe, had received the second highest number of electoral votes in the fall election with Andrew Jackson receiving the highest but  because no candidate received a majority of the votes,  the 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives the responsibility to select the winner to the House of Representatives.**

Senator Henry Clay*** of Kentucky, who personally detested Jackson,  gave his support to Adams and would become Secretary of State in the Adams administration.  Jackson's supporters called that a "corrupt bargain"  which they claimed had cheated their candidate out of his deserved victory. 

The Election of 1824 was historic for another reason.  It was the first presidential election in which no candidate represented the Federalists.  All five of the original candidates were Democratic-Republicans.  In addition to Adams, Clay and Jackson, other candidates were John C. Calhoun and William H. Crawford.

According to the Miller Center, as President of the United States, "John Quincy Adams was hopelessly weakened in his leadership potential as a result of the Election of 1824."

*John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) was born in Braintree (Quincy) Massachusetts & graduated from Harvard in 1787.  He then studied law, earned a MA in 1790 & was admitted to the bar in 1791.

Before becoming POTUS, JQA served as Minister to the Netherlands, Minister to Prussia, US Senator, Minister to Russia, Envoy to UK,  & Secretary of State.
After leaving the presidency, JQA served in the US House of Representatives from 1831 until his death.

**Andrew Jackson won 43% of the popular vote in the Election of 1824 with John Quincy Adams winning 30%.  Of course, our presidents are not elected by popular vote but by majority vote in the Electoral College.

***Henry Clay, Sr. (1777-1852) was born in Hanover County, VA & graduated from the College of William & Mary.  He was admitted to the bar in 1797.  HC served in the US House of Representatives where he was elected Speaker, was Secretary of State and represented the state of Kentucky in the US Senate.


"John Quincy Adams:  Impact and Legacy," The American President, Miller Center,

"The 1924 Election and the 'Corrupt Bargain'," Politics and the New Nation, U.S. History,

John Quincy Adams
6th United States President
by George Peter Alexander Healy
White House Historical Association