Michael Tsichlis

St. Louis
About the Speaker

Dr. Mike Tsichlis was born and raised in the City of St. Louis. He received his Ph.D. in public policy analysis and administration from Saint Louis University, where he also taught political science and joined the university development staff. While continuing his career in higher education and nonprofit institutional advancement, he pursued a path as a researcher and writer. He has published numerous articles on history and current issues in newspapers, journals, magazines, and online. He is completing two book manuscripts as well as an annotated edition of excerpts from the speeches and writings of John Quincy Adams.

"A Title Page to a Great Tragic Volume": John Quincy Adams on the Missouri Compromise

For nearly two years prior to Missouri statehood in August 1821, political officials in Washington were riven over the status of enslaved persons in Missouri as well as territories and future states. One was Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, a lifetime foe of slavery. While as a member of the executive branch he was unable to participate in legislative debates, as an observer Adams committed his views and interactions with others during the conflict to his meticulously detailed diary and correspondence with political leaders. In these revealing first-person accounts, Adams lays bare his concerns and fears regarding the outcome of “the Missouri question” and what it meant not only for people living in Missouri but also, in a very prescient way, the destiny of the entire country.

This presentation is based almost entirely on the observations and opinions of Adams and those with whom he wrote about and maintained correspondence. It also lends insight into his larger legacy as a statesman and the actions he later took to combat the institution of slavery and its proponents, whom he called “the slavocracy.”

This presentation reveals the harsh reality surrounding Missouri's birth as it celebrates its bicentennial.