Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

John Quincy Adams

This individual is not a direct affiliate of the Berkley Center.

John Quincy Adams was the sixth president of the United States from 1825 to 1829. As the son of John Adams, he was also a Congregationalist, and he benefited throughout his career from the social standing of the Unitarian church in the Northeast. Adams was a strict defender of religious freedom. During his lifetime the Congregationalist church would fragment, largely over the unitarian-trinitarian debate. Adams took great interest in these theological debates, and his personal writings reveal a life-long struggle with the question of Jesus' divinity. He opposed slavery and wrote that ministers who justified slavery based on biblical arguments "might just as well call our extermination of the Indians an obedience to Divine commands."

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