When former President John Quincy Adams visited Rochester on July 27th and 28th, 1843 and toured Mt. Hope Cemetery

When former President John Quincy Adams visited Rochester on July 27th and 28th, 1843 and toured Mt. Hope Cemetery

[No doubt Adams saw Nathaniel Rochester’s grave on his tour of Mt. Hope Cemetery. Between West and Glenn Avenues in the R section, the grave is # 15 in the Mount Hope Cemetery Pocket Guide. Photo: David Kramer 7/28/16]

In keeping with our Presidential visits to Rochester series, on July 27th and July 28th, 1843, former President John Quincy Adams visited Rochester, staying in the Eagle Hotel (now the Powers Building) and touring Mt. Hope Cemetery.


Eagle Tavern around the time of Addams’ visit



The Eagle Hotel (now the Powers Building)

The 6th President, John Quincy Adams had a previous connection to Rochester. According to the Journal of the New York State Historical Association, following a proposal by The Rochester Telegraph, in 1824 a group of Rochestarian’s unofficially placed Adam’s name for the presidential nomination. Fitting that tonight a former New York State Senator, Hillary Rodham Clinton, accepts the Democratic Party’s nomination in Philadelphia.


From the Journal of the New York State Historical Association (1920)

Adams would win the contested election of 1824, despite gaining fewer popular and electoral votes than Andrew Jackson. New York State did not hold a popular election in 1824; Adams received 26 of the 36 electoral votes.  (see King ‘Drew and his new Crew at JCC CenterStage: “Bloody, Bloody, Andrew Jackson )

In the summer of 1843, Adams toured western New York in his role as a Massachusetts Representative to the 28th Congress. Adams is the only President to serve as a Representative after his term in office, while Andrew Johnson was elected as a Tennessee Senator in 1875.

As seen in the excerpt below from Adam’s memoirs, his tour also included Niagara Falls and Canandaigua. In Mount Hope Cemetery, he surely saw the grave sites of Jonathan Child and the Nathaniel Rochester family. Interestingly, Adams mentions Francis Granger of Canandaigua “alighting from the cars.” The cars most probably refers to the Rochester & Auburn Railroad that began service in 1840.

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from from “Memoirs of John Quincy Adams: Comprising Portions of His Diary, Volume 11”

rochester 1853

Rochester 10 years after Addams’ visit. Reproduced in 1973 by HISTORICAL URBAN PLANS, Ithaca, New York from a lithograph in the Cornell University Library. This is number 208 of an edition limited to 500 copies. [Owned by David Kramer]


The Presidential Visits Series in its entirety: James Monroe to Donald Trump

About The Author


Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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