Below is my colorization of the 1843 daguerreotype photo of our 6th president, John Quincy Adams.
This picture surfaced in 2017 after having been lost to history. According to the New York Times, this is the oldest known photo of a president.
I’ve tried to recreate what this daguerreotype might look like today if it had been taken in color over a century ago. Century-old colors would not be bright and vibrant as today’s color photos. I enlarged this colorization, encased it in an antique frame and have it hanging in my home.
John Quincy is perhaps my favorite president, though most of his accomplishments were after his presidency, particularly against slavery. Adams once reportedly stated, “The four most miserable years of my life were my four years in the presidency.” As a congressman, Adams said that he took delight in the fact that southerners would forever remember him as “the acutest, the astutest, the archest enemy of southern slavery that ever existed”.
It has been suggested that John Quincy Adams had the highest I.Q. of any U.S. president. Dean Simonton, a professor of psychology at UC Davis, estimated his I.Q. score at 165. Adams spoke and wrote seven languages by the age of ten. Adams also became a leading force for the promotion of science. As president, he had proposed a national observatory, which did not win much support. Adams became Congress’s primary supporter of the future Smithsonian Institution.
JQA may have been one of our few truly “born again” presidents. He translated a copy of the greek new testament to English.
John Quincy Adams said,
“The Sermon on the Mount commands me to lay up for myself treasures, not upon earth, but in Heaven. My hopes of a future life are all founded upon the Gospel of Christ.”
“Whenever vanity and gaiety, a love of pomp and dress, furniture, equipage, buildings, great company, expensive diversions, and elegant entertainments get the better of the principles and judgments of men and women, there is no knowing where they will stop, nor into what evils, natural, moral, or political, they will lead us.’
“In what light soever we regard the Bible, whether with reference to revelation, to history, or to morality, it is an invaluable and inexhaustible mine of knowledge and virtue.”
“So great is my veneration for the Bible, that the earlier my children begin to read it the more confident will be my hopes that they will prove useful citizens to their country and respectable members of society.”
“I speak as a man of the world to men of the world; and I say to you, Search the Scriptures! The Bible is the book of all others, to be read at all ages, and in all conditions of human life; not to be read once or twice or thrice through, and then laid aside, but to be read in small portions of one or two chapters every day, and never to be intermitted, unless by some overruling necessity.”
“No book in the world deserves to be so unceasingly studied, and so profoundly meditated upon as the Bible.”
“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”