Louisa Adams, Neglected First Lady

Presidential History Blog

Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams

No one had a better resume for becoming a First Lady than Louisa Catherine Adams.

Louisa: Englishwoman of High Standing

Louisa Catherine Johnson was born in England and well educated in a convent school in Paris. Her American father had relocated to England several years prior to the American Revolution.

Louisa was pretty, with a gift for languages, music and poetry. She played the harp and the harpsichord. She was well trained in the fashionable skills of charm and conversation. In essence, for exactly what she became: the wife and consort of a man of prominence.

JQ in Europe Young John Quincy Adams

At twenty, she met John Quincy Adams, recently appointed Minister to the Netherlands at the start of his illustrious diplomatic career.

During their two year (mostly by correspondence) courtship, Louisa had ample opportunity to sense the cold and critical personality of her intended, and one…

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