Washington: Printed by Gales and Seaton, 1835. 94pp. Contemporary red straight-grained morocco, ruled in gilt; neatly rebacked with original spine laid down. Leaf tipped in preceding titlepage with presentation inscription from the author ("Gideon Hard from John Quincy Adams") and further inscriptions by several later owners passing along the book. Very minor foxing and soiling. A good copy. Item #WRCAM45669C
Adams' speech honors the memory of Revolutionary War hero Marquis de Lafayette. This copy is inscribed by Adams to Gideon Hard, is in a presentation binding of the sort favored by the Adams family for decades, and is printed on thick paper.
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. Gideon Hard (1797- 1885) was a lawyer and politician from New York State. He served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1833 to 1837, and was thus one of Adams' fellow Congressmen. He later held several New York State political offices.
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.