The Oldest Photograph of a U.S. President

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 Remarkable 1843 image of John Quincy Adams

A photograph of John Quincy Adams that he  described as ‘hideous’ is now venerated in history as one of the oldest  surviving photos of a U.S. president.

The photograph, taken during an uneventful  trip to New York in August of 1843, turned up in an antique store in the 1970s  and was bought for 50 cents.

It is now housed in the National Portrait  Gallery under the care of the Smithsonian.

This picture of John Quincy Adams was bought for 50 cents in an antique shop. It was taken in 1843
This picture of John Quincy Adams was bought for 50 cents in an antique shop. It was taken in 1843

Adams was the sixth president of the United  States, serving for four years between 1823 and 1829.

In a diary entry dated Aug. 1, 1843, Adams  described posing for the photograph during a visit to Utica Female Academy in  New York.

After he delivered a short speech, ‘The shaking of some hundred hands then followed and on my way returning to Mr. Johnson’s, I stopped and four daguerreotype likenesses of my head were taken, two of them jointly with the head of Mr. Bacon – all hideous.’

The daguerrotype was the machine that was used to take the photographs of Adams.

Another photograph was taken of Adams at home in Quincy, Massachusetts, around the same time. Less is known about this photograph, except that it was taken by Philip Haas
Another photograph was taken of Adams at home in Quincy,  Massachusetts, around the same time. Less is known about this photograph, except  that it was taken by Philip Haas

 

He was 76 at the time that the photograph was taken.

In addition to snapping some photos while in New York, Adams also called on an 11-year-old child dwarf  nicknamed General Tom Thumb, he wrote.

Another photograph was taken of Adams at home  in Quincy, Massachusetts, around the same time. Less is known about this  photograph, except that it was taken by Philip Haas.

A PORTRAIT,  AN EYE  INJURY AND A DWARF: A PAGE OF A PRESIDENT’S DIARY

Excerpts of John Quincy  Adams’ diary dated August 1, 1843:
At ten o clock the reception  [at Utica Female Academy] took place on a  stage erected in front of the Bleeker House, where Mr. Bacon addressed and  welcomed me in the name of the citizens of Utica. I answered him in a speech of  about half an hour, sufficiently cheered for my hopes or wishes, but of  mortifying inanity to myself.

The shaking of some hundred hands then  followed and on my way returning to Mr. Johnson’s, I stopped and four  daguerreotype likenesses of my head were taken, two of them jointly with the  head of Mr. Bacon — all hideous.

Then a visit to the dwarf C.F. Stratton,  called General Tom Thumb, eleven years old, twenty-five inches high, weighing  fifteen pounds, dressed in military uniform mimicking  Napoleon.
At Little Falls I was  addressed and welcomed by Arphaxad Loomis, an ex-member of the Twenty Sixth  Congress, whom I did not recognize till after I had answered.

…About an hour before we reached  Schenectady, the wind raised by the rapid motion of the car lodged on the ball  of my left eye, beneath the under lid, a small sharp-angled pebble, of the  entrance of which I was not conscious when it happened, but which fretted the  eye to torture, produced considerable inflammation, and made it impossible for  me to look in the face of those whom I was to address. A sumptuous dinner had  been prepared for us at Schenectady.

I was in anguish unutterable. I retired to a  private chamber and washed the eye in cold water without relief. Dr. Duane, who  had observed my suffering, followed me to the chamber, examined the eye,  discovered the offensive pebble, wiped it out with the corner of a towel, and I  was well.

Attribution: Daily Mail

About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).

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