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ohn Quincy Adams (JQA) (1767-1848), the sixth president of the United States, was the son of our second president, John Adams, and his wife, Abigail. As a boy, JQA experienced the birth of a new nation, and he watched his father and fellow patriots lay the groundwork that would enable it to grow and prosper. More ordinary matters also occupied the mind of JQA and his famous family, and many of these the modern reader will find remarkably familiar.

At the center of the curriculum (or independent study) unit that follows is a series of primary documents, letters and diary entries selected from JQA’s first two decades. Each of the ten sections—which can be used singly, in any combination, or together as given (see Suggestions for Classroom Use and Suggestions for Independent Study)—includes: Background Information; an Image of the Original Document; a Transcription of the Document (drawn from the appropriate published volume of The Adams Papers) Questions about Content; Questions for Drawing Historical Connections; and Questions for Thought, Discussion, and Writing.
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