Adams, Louisa

Adams, Louisa (Catherine b. Johnson)

(1775–1852) First Lady; born in London, England (mother of Charles Francis Adams, grandmother of Henry Adams). Daughter of a Maryland merchant and English mother, she met the young John Quincy Adams in London in 1795 when her father was the first U.S. consul; they were married in 1797. Renowned for her beauty, and accustomed to a more elegant life than were the Adams clan, she stayed by her husband as he pursued his career of public service in Europe and Washington but she often suffered from both physical illness and mental depression. In 1840 she began a memoir, The Adventures of a Nobody, but her many letters provide the most revealing glimpse of her world.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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