Francis Dana, a Boston lawyer, served John Adams as secretary to the peace commission and as chargé d'affaires. John Quincy Adams
accompanied him to St. Petersburg as a companion and private secretary in 1781, when Dana was appointed minister to Russia by the Continental Congress. Adams remained with him for over a year, while Dana tried repeatedly and without success to gain recognition from the court of Catherine the Great. In 1787, when Adams was a student at Harvard and heard that Dana had suffered a stroke, he wrote revealingly: “To me, he has been a second father, and his instructions, though too much neglected at the Time when he gave them, have since been more attended to; and have at least check'd some of my failings, and were calculated to reform them entirely.” After a slow recovery Dana resumed his distinguished career as judge and later Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Years later John Quincy Adams christened his third son Charles Francis in remembrance of his deceased brother Charles and “as a token of honor to my old friend and patron judge Dana.” The pastel portrait of Dana reproduced here is by either James or Ellen Sharples, or both of them, and was painted sometime after 1794 (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates
, 15:204–217; JA, Diary and Autobiography
; JQA, Diary, 10 March 1787
, below; 13 Sept. 1807; Katharine McCook Knox, The Sharples: Their Portraits of George Washington and His Contemporaries ...
, N.Y., repr. 1972, p. 94–95).