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John Quincy Adams in Russia, A Brief Timeline
12 September 2007
John Quincy Adams in Russia, A Brief Timeline

John Quincy Adams, at about the time he went to Russia the first time.

 John Quincy Adams, at about the age he was appointed Minister to Russia.
 John Quincy Adams at about the time he served as Secretary of State.

Memorial Statue to John Quincy Adams to be built in Moscow.John Quincy Adams in Russia, A Brief Timeline
Establishing Diplomatic and Commercial Relations

The friendship that Adams established with Czar Alexander I and the blossoming of mutually beneficial relations between Russia and America are often referred to as some of the most striking achievement of Adams, who himself is regarded as one of America's greatest diplomats ever.

1781  – Only fourteen years old, but already a brilliant linguist, Adams accompanied Francis Dana as a private secretary and French (then the official language of the Russian court) interpreter. The envoy sought Russian recognition for an independent American state. The delegation, however, was never received by Catherine the Great, who likely saw maintaining relations with Britain as a wiser diplomatic move as the American Revolutionary War was still in progress.

1809 – Adams, his wife Louisa and their young son move to St. Petersburg, Russia after Adams is appointed Minister to Russia under then president James Monroe.

1811 – Louisa gives birth to a baby daughter in St. Petersburg. The infant died about a year later due to an unknown disease.

1812, June – The War of 1812 begins as America declares war on Britain on June 18. On June 24th, Napoleon invaded Russia beginning what is still known in Russia as the Patriotic War. Adams would be a diligent reporter on the invasion for America.

1812, September – Tsar Alexander I offers to mediate discussions to end the war between America and Britain. President Madison later approved the measure, but England declined to negotiate.

1814 – Adams leaves Russia for Ghent, Belgium, to negotiate the Treaty of Ghent to end the war of 1812. After the treaty was signed, Adams was appointed Minister to Great Britain and moved to London.

1824 – Adams returns to St. Petersburg, this time as Secretary of State under President James Monroe. The purpose of the trip was to negotiate the Russo-American Treaty of 1824, in which Russia ceded its claims to the land south of the 54°40'N parallel to the US. Britain's claims, of course, to the land between that parallel and the 49th parallel would win out over America's. Russia originally claimed the pacific coast from Alaska to what is now northern California.

Recomended Reading: Russia and the American Revolution, Russo-American Relations since the 1700's 
                                     Massachusetts Historical Society Web Site

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This resource was developed for USRCCNE by chamber member The School of Russian and Asian Studies, specialists providing free resources for the study of subjects related to Russia and the FSU.

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