FIRST EDITION OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS' ORATION ON LAFAYETTE, 1835, PRESENTATION COPY INSCRIBED BY ADAMS
ADAMS, John Quincy. Oration on the Life and Character of Gilbert Motier de Lafayette. Washington: Gales and Seaton, 1835. Slim octavo, original full green morocco gilt rebacked with original spine laid down. $16,500.
First edition of Adams' stirring Oration honoring Lafayette following his death at the age of 78, delivered by Adams before Congress on December 31, 1834, inscribed on tipped-in leaf (as always), "Nathaniel P. Tallmadge from John Quincy Adams." Recipient Tallmadge was a U.S. Senator. In the original presentation morocco-gilt binding.
John Quincy Adams, America's sixth president and secretary of state under Monroe, was a longtime friend of General Lafayette, having spent time at his estate near Paris while Adams was engaged in diplomatic duties. Later, as Monroe's secretary of state and shortly before his election to the presidency, Adams arranged to bring Lafayette to America in mid-1824 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the American Revolution. Following his triumphant national tour, Lafayette stayed with President Adams in the White House before departing for France in the fall of 1825. At Lafayette's death in 1834, Adams, then in the House of Representatives, delivered this Oration to commemorate Lafayette who, in Adams' words, "devoted himself, his life, his fortune, his hereditary honors, his towering ambition, his splendid hopes—all to the cause of liberty… He became one of the most effective champions of our Independence." Recipient Nathaniel Potter Tallmadge (1795-1864) was an important American lawyer and politician who served as U.S. Senator from New York and Governor of the Wisconsin Territory. Sabin 295. Cronin & Wise 157. Ink stamp of the California Society Sons of the Revolution on the title page and endpapers; shelf number on spine. Penciled notations on inscribed presentation leaf.
Interior clean, binding expertly restored. Most desirable in the original morocco-gilt presentation binding.