John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State Personally Owned Newspapers, 1820

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We sold this item at auction for $1,000
 in September, 2023.

An extremely scarce collection of 60+ issues of “The American” newspaper which were used by 6th U.S. President John Quincy Adams during his tenure as Secretary of State.

Two copies show a handwritten note at the top, “John Q. Adams Esq”, while most of the other papers have “Hon. Sec of State” written to the top left of the paper.

In 1820, John Quincy Adams was actively involved in his role as Secretary of State, contributing to various diplomatic and political initiatives that were significant for the United States during that period.

“The American” Newspaper, Published in New York

“The American” was a newspaper published in New York during the early 19th century, specifically from 1820 to 1821.

This semiweekly publication had a relatively short but notable existence, spanning from its first volume, number one, on March 11, 1820, to its last volume, number 2,158, on September 12, 1821.

As a semiweekly newspaper, “The American” would have been issued twice a week, providing regular updates and coverage of news and events during its operational period.

Newspapers during this time played a crucial role in disseminating information, reflecting the cultural and political landscape of the era. They covered a range of topics, including local and international news, politics, culture, and commerce. The semiweekly format would have allowed “The American” to keep its readership informed with more frequency than weekly publications.

While the lifespan of “The American” was relatively short, newspapers of this era contributed to the development of American journalism, serving as important sources of information and shaping public discourse during a formative period in the nation’s history.

John Quincy Adams 1820 Activities

The Missouri Compromise

One of the notable events of Adams’ political career in 1820 was the Missouri Compromise.

Adams played a behind-the-scenes role in brokering this agreement, which aimed to maintain a balance between slave and free states in the expanding United States. The compromise admitted Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state, preserving a delicate equilibrium in the Senate between slave and free states.

Diplomacy and Foreign Relations

Secretary of State Adams remained deeply involved in diplomatic efforts, representing U.S. interests on the global stage. His focus on international relations was a constant throughout his tenure as Secretary of State. Newspapers such as “The American” would have helped Adams have a better understanding of events around the nation and the rest of the world.

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