John Quincy Adams pet alligator
John Quincy Adams pet alligator,Honestly, I think that if you're going to be president, you're going to need a pet to help you get through the four years of living hell that await you. Now, don't get me wrong--I admire every single one of our forty-three (well, forty-two different men, since Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms) presidents, if only for having the guts to take on such a demanding and often thankless job. (Or maybe they were all just crazy?) But it's certainly a job I'd never want.
I have to wonder if John Quincy Adams really wanted the job, either. I suspect that if he had abandoned his duty to his country, he would have written angsty poetry, an earlier version of Edgar Allan Poe. But no, he was an Adams. And an Adams, by thunder, lived to serve his country.
JQA was amazingly intelligent and had spent his entire life from the tender age of ten being schooled to be a prominent figure in public life, just like his dear daddy, John Adams. Before he was president he had been ambassador to many different foreign countries, US Senator, and secretary of state. He never could have won the presidency in this day and age because he was, by his own admission, "a man of reserved, cold, austere, and forbidding manners". He had none of the charisma that propels politicions of today. If he believed in a cause, he pursued it, not worrying about whose feelings he hurt along the way. Heck, he didn't even win the popular OR electoral vote in the 1824 presidential election.
Oh, and he had a pet alligator too.
Did I mention that?
Yeah, John Quincy Adams receieved an alligator as a gift from the Marquis de Lafayette. A surly pet for a surly president, I suppose. He kept it in the East Room of the White House, and enjoyed watching government officials flee in terror the first time they walked in the room.
I wish I could find out more about the alligator, but the sites that mention it are only interested in the fact that JQA had the alligator, and don't mention when he had to give it up and if he donated it to a zoo or even what the alligator's name was. This site gives us a little information (and I like the name Jacques for an alligator), but it's surely mostly fictional--I mean, what kind of alligator plays cards? The alligators I've known only know how to play Candyland.
And don't even get me started on Candyland.