Image courtesy of Library of Congress
John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts thought his 17 years in the House to be the highlight of his lifetime of public service.
On this date, John Quincy Adams
enthusiastically wrote, “I am a member elect of the twenty-second Congress.” The November 1, 1830, election made Adams the first and only former President to be elected to the House of Representatives. Seeking a second term as President in the historic 1828 election, Adams suffered a disheartening loss to former Representative and Senator Andrew Jackson
of Tennessee. Adams handily won election to the House to represent a district encompassing southeastern Massachusetts in the 22nd Congress
(1831–1833). The elder statesman received nearly three-quarters of the vote in the three-way contest. Prior to the election, Adams reflected on his candidacy for the House in his journal, “no person could be degraded by serving the people as a Representative in Congress . . . [Nor] would an ex-President of the United States be degraded by serving as a selectman of his town, if elected thereto by the people.” Adams proudly served in the House of Representatives for nine terms until his death in the Capitol in 1848.