Washington: Printed by Gales and Seaton, 1835. 94pp. Contemporary red straight-grained morocco, ruled in gilt. Extremities lightly rubbed. Internally clean. Fine. In a cloth chemise and red half morocco and cloth slipcase, spine gilt. Item #WRCAM45669B
A presentation copy of Adams' speech honoring the memory of Revolutionary War hero Marquis de Lafayette. This copy is in a presentation binding of red straight-grained morocco, the sort favored by the Adams family for decades, and is printed on thick paper. It is inscribed by John Quincy Adams on a sheet tipped-in before the titlepage, "Moses Mason Jr. / from / John Quincy Adams." Moses Mason, Jr. (1789-1866) was born in Dublin, New Hampshire, and moved with his family to Maine when he was about ten years of age. He studied medicine and practiced it in Maine, and also held a number of local civil service positions. Mason was elected to the United States House of Representatives as a Jacksonian, and served from 1833 to 1837, his two terms overlapping with the Congressional career of Adams.
John Quincy Adams devoted his entire career to government service. The son of President John Adams, he himself served as the sixth president, as a U.S. Senator from 1803 to 1808, as Secretary of State from 1817 to 1825, and in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1831 until his death in the U.S. Capitol in 1848. Adams provides a review of Lafayette's contributions to American independence and his activities in the decades after the Revolutionary War, particularly his involvement in the French Revolution and various French governments which followed. In this brief biography, Adams reflects "upon the life and character of a man whose life was, for nearly threescore years, the history of the civilized world - of a man, of whose character, to say that it is indissolubly identified with the Revolution of our Independence, is little more than to mark the features of his childhood - of a man, the personified image of self-circumscribed liberty." An eight-page appendix records Congressional actions related to the death of Lafayette. SABIN 295. JACKSON, p.208.