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John Quincy Adams lost his presidential reelection bid in 1828, but his political retirement lasted about as long as an Asian elephant’s gestation period. In November of 1830, the Plymouth District chose Adams as its Congressional representative, and he proudly accepted the honor. Here are John Quincy Adams’ credentials to serve as a member of the House of Representatives:

I suppose he took this document with him to Washington to prove his election wasn’t a hoax. (The 22nd Congress, 1st Session didn’t actually convene until December 1831, even though its members were elected thirteen months before.) “Levi Lincoln” isn’t Levi Lincoln, Sr., Jefferson’s Attorney General, but rather the elder Lincoln’s son. Levi Lincoln, Jr. would later have his own Congressional elections certified and serve in the House with Adams from 1834-1841. Surely by Lincoln’s time Massachusetts had decade-appropriate credentials forms?

Here’s how Adams’ election made him feel:

[A]lthough counteracted by a double opposition, Federalist and Jacksonite, I have received nearly three votes in four, throughout the district. My Election as President of the United States was not half so gratifying to my inmost Soul. No election or appointment conferred upon me ever gave me so much pleasure.

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