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Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian, by Steven Lubar and Kathleen M. Kendrick
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Ivory cane given to John Quincy Adams in 1844Ivory cane given to John Quincy Adams in 1844

After serving as the sixth U.S. president, from 1825 to 1829, Adams won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he challenged a rule forbidding antislavery groups from presenting petitions to Congress. In gratitude, abolitionists presented Adams with this cane, the top of which is inscribed "Right of Petition Triumphant." The cane was exhibited at the Patent Office until 1883, when it came to the Smithsonian.

See also: African American History, Political Protest, Presidential Memorabilia

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