The New England Connection: Isaac Lyon & John Quincy Adams

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

Isaac S. Lyon, Esqr. Parsippany, Morris County, New Jersey Washington 21, March 1831 Sir, In compliance with the request contained in your letter of the 15th inst. I take pleasure in enclosing herewith a pamphlet copy of the Address, delivered by me in this City on the 4th of July 1821, and of which I request your acceptance. I am respectfully your fellow Citizen and Servant, J.Q. Adams

Handwritten letter from President John Quincy Adams to Isaac Lyon, 1831. Source: University Archives and Special Collections

Located in the Isaac Lyon collection (MSS 068) holds a correspondence written by a prominent American politician in 1831. Who? It was John Quincy Adams, son of former President John Adams. He served as a U.S. Senator (1803-1808), Secretary of State (1817-1825), President of the United States (1825-1829), and House Representative (1831-1848) (Bemis, 2012).

There is little information over the receiver of Adams’ letter, Isaac Lyon. According to the New Jersey Historical Society (2005), Isaac Lyon was a blacksmith in Morris County, New Jersey. Lyon requested a copy of Adams’ address during his tenure as Secretary of State in July 4, 1821 in Parsippany, located in northern New Jersey. Letter correspondence has improved immensely along with the ability to “speak” with others through social media.

J.Q. Adams: from the original painting by Chappel in the possession of the publishers. Johnson, Fry, and Company. Publishers, New York.

John Quincy Adams Sketch, n.d. Source: University Archives and Special Collections


Bemis, S. F. (2012, October 22). John Quincy Adams. Retrieved April 25, 2017, from

New Jersey Historical Society. (2005). Guide to the Phineas Horton (fl. 1809-1835), Merchant Record Books 1802-1852. Retrieved April 25, 2017, from

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