1808 United States Senate election in Massachusetts

1808 United States Senate election in Massachusetts
← 1803 June 2, 1808 1808 (special) →

462 Members of the Massachusetts General Court
232 votes needed to win
  3x4.svg John Quincy Adams, by John Singleton Copley.jpg
Nominee James Lloyd John Quincy Adams
Party Federalist Federalist
Electoral vote 248 213
Percentage 53.68% 46.10%

Senator before election

John Quincy Adams

Elected Senator

James Lloyd

The 1808 United States Senate election in Massachusetts was held on June 2, 1808.

This unusually early election was called after incumbent Federalist John Quincy Adams broke with his party over the Embargo Act of 1807. The Federalist legislature elected State Senator James Lloyd, Jr. to the term beginning in March 1809.


John Quincy Adams, son of former Federalist President John Adams, was elected Senator by the Massachusetts legislature as a Federalist in 1803.

However, Adams supported President Thomas Jefferson's foreign policy during the Napoleonic Wars, including the Louisiana Purchase and Embargo Act of 1807. Adams was the lone Federalist in Congress to vote for the Non-importation Act of 1806.[1] In response to Adams's continued distance from Federalist orthodoxy, the Federalist legislature in Massachusetts held this early election for the United States Senate term beginning in March 1809.


June 1808 Senate election[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Federalist James Lloyd, Jr. 248 53.68%
Federalist John Quincy Adams 213 46.10%
Federalist Laban Wheaton 1 0.22%
Total votes 462 100.00%


Adams resigned immediately following his defeat, triggering a special election for the remainder of his term on June 9. Lloyd won the special election as well.

Adams soon formally joined the Democratic-Republicans and was appointed Minister to Russia by President James Madison. Adams would go on to serve as Secretary of State in the Cabinet of James Monroe and was elected President of the United States in 1824.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Thompson 1991, pp. 165–181
  2. ^ "Massachusetts 1808 U.S. Senate". Tufts Digital Collations and Archives. A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns 1787–1825. Tufts University. Retrieved February 3, 2018., citing The Pittsfield Sun (Pittsfield, MA). June 11, 1808.