Press Room National Portrait Gallery Acquires Earliest Known Photograph of a U.S. President. John Quincy Adams / taken from a daguerreotype by P. Haas ; lith. & publ. by P. Haas Wash. City. Summary Print shows John Quincy Adams, full-length portrait, seated in a chair, facing front, with hands on a book in his lap and legs crossed, and with large book on the floor next to the chair. For Adams, however, the story was emphatically not the photos. It was the trip itself—the memories it evoked, the pain it caused, the joy. We might care about the images of him that emerged from New York, some of the first fully life .