Monday, July 09, 2007

John Quincy Adams, Pimp!

Michael Holt reports a Nineteenth Century campaign slur that's got to run a close second to the alleged perversion of Martin Van Buren that I mentioned the other day:
[In the presidential campaign of 1828, Jackson supporters] disseminated propaganda . . . reminding voters that [Jackson] had been the victim of a corrupt and cynical bargain, pillorying the supposed misdeeds of the Adams administration, and lacerating the president himself as an effete intellectual snob who spoke Latin and quoted Voltaire; as a papist or an antipapist, depending upon the audience; and even as a former pimp for the czar of Russia.

John Quincy Adams was born in 1767 and served as an assistant to Francis Dana in St. Petersburg in 1781-82 -- he was fourteen years of age at the time!

All I can say is, Wow!

It's worth noting that in 1781-82, the "Czar" of Russia was Catherine the Great, and she was then over 50 years of age (born 1729). Maybe John Quincy brought her a horse!


I overlooked the fact that JQA served as Ambassador to Russia between 1809 and 1814. The tsar he supposedly pimped for was Alexander I. See this follow-up post for more details.

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