“You observe my travels; You are aware of all my ways.” Psalm 139:3 (HCSB)
John Quincy Adams, sixth president of the United States, was a brilliant, well-traveled, and cantankerous man who still fascinates historians. Here are two bits of trivia you probably don’t know about him.
Adams was the first president to be interviewed by a woman reporter–but you wouldn’t believe the circumstances. Every morning in the summer, Adams walked from the White House to the Potomac and stripped naked for swimming. Journalist Anne Royall, whose requests to interview Adams had been refused, allegedly went to the river and gathered up Adam’s clothes while he swam, and she sat on them until she had her interview with the president, who was standing helplessly chest deep in the water.
The other interesting detail about John Quincy Adams is that he was a hymnist. One of his best hymns is based on Psalm 139, titles “O Lord, Thy All-discerning Eyes.” It says, in part:
O Lord, Thy All-discerning eyes
My inmost purpose see;
My deeds, my words, my thoughts, arise
Alike disclosed to Thee:
My sitting down, my rising up,
Broad noon, and deepest night,
My path, my pillow, and my cup,
Are open to Thy sight.
Robert J. Morgan, All To Jesus, Day 126