HistoryWired About the Program Help Comments Smithsonian Institution
back
John Quincy Adams, Sixth President, 1825-1829

The son of John Adams, the illustrious patriot and second President of the United States, John Quincy Adams had been an outstanding diplomat, member of the U.S. Congress, and secretary of state before becoming president. However, his election in 1824 was mired in controversy. In that contest, no candidate received a majority of either the popular or electoral votes, and the race was decided by the House of Representatives. The House, led by Speaker Henry Clay, chose Adams, even though Andrew Jackson had received the most votes. When Adams in turn selected Clay as his Secretary of State, Jackson supporters decried the "Corrupt Bargain."

 

 


"Little Know Ye Who’s Comin," John Q. Adams campaign song

"Little Know Ye Who’s Comin" from the recording entitled Presidential Campaign Songs 1789-1996, Folkways 45051, provided courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. © 1999. Used by permission.

Words: from Cincinnati Gazette, July 30, 1928, adapted by Oscar Brand; Melody: "Highland Muster Roll;" arranged by Oscar Brand/TRO-Hollis Music, Inc., BMI

John Quincy Adams fought against slavery and campaigned for arts and education. He was responsible for the establishment of the Smithsonian Institution. His campaign song parodied "The Highland Muster Roll," the list of clans in Scotland marching to fight the British.

Partial lyrics:
"Little know ye who’s comin
Little know ye who’s comin
Little know ye who’s comin
If John Quincy not be comin
Fire’s comin, swords are comin
Pistols, guns and knives are comin
Famine’s comin, famine's comin
If John Quincy not be comin…"

 


 

Related Images

Full-length image of cane
Enlarge
Full-length image of cane
John Quincy Adams (1767-1848)
Enlarge
John Quincy Adams (1767-1848)


Start HistoryWired | About the Program | Help | Comments

Smithsonian Institution | Terms of Use | Privacy