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Louisa Adams

by John T. Marck

First Lady: 1825 to 1829

Wife of President John Quincy Adams

Born: February 12, 1775 Died: May 14, 1852

Louisa Catherine Johnson was born in London, England to middle class English parents. Her father, from Maryland, had settled in England as a commercial agent for the American colonials, and had married a London girl, Catherine Nuth. Her parents, just after Louisa was born, moved from London to France because of the American rebellion. After peace was restored, Johnson moved his family back to London. In 1794, John Quincy Adams met and became engaged to Louisa. The next two-years John Quincy spent in Holland, delaying their wedding. Finally, on July 26, 1797, at All Hallows Church in London, Louisa married John Quincy, the son of the then President of the United States. Financial disaster plagued Louisa's father about the same time as the wedding of his daughter, so to help, President Adams appointed her father to the position of Director of Stamps.

Louisa accompanied her husband on most of his travels, and tried her best to deal with uncomfortable conditions as well as unfamiliar places. Their first child, George Washington Adams was born in Germany, their next two boys in Boston, and their last child, a daughter, who was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, and who died in infancy.

When her husband was Secretary of State, Louisa enjoyed Washington life very much. She was the queen of the social life during these eight years. She once gave a party for Andrew Jackson to celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans which was talked about for years. Upon her husband's election to the Presidency, her years at the White House were less than pleasant, as she was ill most of the time. Two years after her husband's Presidency was over, they returned to Washington, as John Quincy was then a member of Congress. It was here that they lived quietly in their private home. Louisa outlived two of her sons and her husband, dying on May 14, 1852.

Copyright 1990-2022 by John T. Marck. All Rights Reserved. This article and their accompanying pictures, photographs, and line art, may not be resold, reprinted, or redistributed for compensation of any kind without prior written permission from the author. From The First Ladies of the United States by John T. Marck.