. Resentful of the slanderous attacks which Russell Jarvis had published in the Daily Telegraph,
reviving the canard that JQA as minister to Russia had “pimped” the person of Martha
Godfrey, the Adams nursemaid, to the lust of Alexander I, JA2 was indignant when the
newspaperman appeared at a White House reception and announced publicly to visiting
Massachusetts minister Caleb Stetson “that if Jarvis had the feelings of a gentleman
he would not show himself here.” Shortly thereafter, when JA2, in his capacity as
secretary to the President, was carrying messages to Congress, Jarvis assaulted him
in the rotunda of the Capitol, “pulling his nose, and slapping one side of his face.”
See JQA, Memoirs
, 7:508; Report on the Assault by Russell Jarvis, House Report No. 260,
20 Cong., 1 sess. (16 May 1828); LCA “To my Children,” 1 May 1828, Adams Papers
; Samuel F. Bemis, “The Scuffle in the Rotunda,” MHS, Procs.
, 71 (1953–1957): 156–166.