On this day in 1825 it occurred that the U.S. president was elected not by the people, but by the House of Representatives.
Namely, the Twelfth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states that, in the case of there being no candidate with enough electoral votes, the President is to be elected by the House of Representatives. Since no candidate won a majority of electoral votes on the elections on this day in 1824, John Quincy Adams was elected President at the Congress. It is interesting to note that he had the support of only 30.9% of the voters.
President John Quincy Adams is also interesting because he was the son of an earlier U.S. president – John Adams (Washington’s successor). John Quincy Adams started participating in politics already in his youth. At the age of around 11 he went to Paris with his father, where the latter was a U.S. delegate.
At the age of 14 John Quincy Adams went to St. Petersburg, the capital of the Russian Empire, as an assistant of U.S. diplomat Francis Dane. Thus the young Adams spent over three years (1780 – 1783) in the Russian Capital. The Russian empress at that time was the famous Catherine the Great.
Around 15 years later, U.S. president James Madison appointed Adams the first true U.S. ambassador to Russia. Thus Adams spent another four-and-a-half years or so in Russia, precisely at the time the country was invaded by Napoleon’s forces. Adams became president only around 10 years after returning from Russia.