Louisa Johnson Adams
- George Washington Adams (1801-1829), John Adams, II (1803-1834), Charles Francis Adams (1807-1886), Louisa Catherine Adams (1811-1812)
From the National First Ladies Library
She and Adams bought the former home of James and Dolley Madison on the city’s then-fashionable F Street of rowhouses and she had it enlarged with the specific purpose of constant and large entertainments, again to give a sense of national prominence to her husband. Her most famous effort was a January 8, 1824 ball honoring General Andrew Jackson on the 10th anniversary of his successful defeat of the British at the Battle of New Orleans. It was the Adams’ camp’s recognition that he and Jackson were the leading contenders in the presidential election ten months later. Jackson and Louisa Adams spent most of the party on each other’s arms as hostess and her guest, and the general was as solicitous of her as she was of him. It was also an unsubtle (and unsuccessful) attempt by John Quincy and Louisa Adams to manipulate Jackson into either throwing his support to Adams or considering running as his vice presidential candidate. About one thousand guests attended and the Washington Republican newspaper even memorialized the event in seven stanzas the morning before the ball actually took place. Louisa Adams continued to canvas for her husband using the social parlor as Dolley Madison had done.
Focus while in the White House
The politics of the campaign for his election to the White House left her in a deep depression. In addition, she was not in good health. She continued to her weekly drawing room entertainment, but preferred quiet evenings. Their relationship suffered while they were in the White House. John Quincy Adams is said to have made a back room deal to be named President. She was quite disappointed in his decision to make this deal. During this time she became interested in women’s rights and equality. She was not treated well by the press, and was the first First Lady to be attacked by the press. She is also the first First Lady who responded by writing articles to defend herself.