Louisa Adams did not step foot ~ above American soil before her 26th birthday—the same period as the second foreign-born very first lady, Melania Trump, as soon as she involved the united States almost 200 year later.

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When man Quincy Adams fell for the woman that would come to be his wife, his mommy worried around the result it could have on his political dreams, while the future bride’s American ex-pat dad worried that Yankees made bad husbands. Louisa Catherine Johnson, together she to be then known, to be young, charming and also a wonderful hostess—but she was additionally British-born, to a brothers mother.

Despite the warnings, the two were married in the united Kingdom, and the American files made their place clear—as the Boston elevation Chronicle declared on September 14, 1797, “Young john Adams’ Negotiations have terminated in a marriage Treaty with an English lady…”


As Adams’ mother had actually foreseen, Louisa Adams was forced to spend lot of her husband’s time in office defending not just their union, but also her commitment to the Union. She and also Adams lived abroad for years prior to returning come the United says in 1801, after the birth of her very first son. Louisa Adams did not step foot on American soil before her 26th birthday—the same age as the second foreign-born an initial lady, Melania Trump, when she came to the unified States practically 200 year later.

Louisa Adams was innovative and urbane, and spoke French together though it to be her mother tongue. At first, Adams struggled to readjust to her brand-new home, finding the Adams household home in Massachusetts provincial and also boorish: eventually, however, she prospered to love the united States.

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John Quincy Adams had ambitious political aims, but lacked the charisma many thought was a necessity. Louisa Adams witnessed herself as his “diplomate,” arranging social events and entertaining the females of Washington D.C. In order to raise his social status. She was the leading hostess of the day, hold balls and also Tuesday night soirées to save her husband in the limelight. And despite declare an energetic disinterest in politics, she watched congress debates, read papers assiduously, advised she husband, and also did every little thing she could as part of she “campaigne.”


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Many guest attended the balls organized by Louisa Adams, including Andrew Jackson, checked out in the facility to the ideal of President john Quincy Adams. (Credit: Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)


To one extent, it worked: In 1824, Adams was elected president, however under circumstances many found uncomfortable. Despite being selected through the residence of Representatives, he had lost the popular and electoral vote to Andrew Jackson. But because nobody had received a majority of votes in the electoral college, the residence of Representatives had to choose in between the top two candidates. Adams made a attend to the speak of the House, Henry Clay, in which he promised the congressman Secretary the State if he lugged with that a poll block the southern-Midwestern states. Clay’s coalition secured the White residence for Adams. Louisa Adams did not give of the deal and did no attend she husband’s inauguration in 1825.

For the 4 years of Adams’ presidency, basically every facet of his life was placed under media scrutiny—and his mam was no exception. Louisa Adams was painted in the press as a foreigner and a Tory the aristocratic birth. For the following years, she took particular pains to define herself together “the daughter of an American Republican Merchant.” It to be a difficult political time: America’s fledgling political mechanism lent itself to factionalism. Louisa Adams was horrified as she realized the nation’s voters were swayed not by reasonable reasoning, but by their emotions.


These tensions came to a head once Adams bought an expensive billiard table. He had actually hoped to leaving it at the White home at the finish of his time together president, and also so seek reimbursement to rotate it into government property. The records went wild, claiming his well-heeled mam was using public accumulation to to buy “gambling furniture” to remind herself of the castles that Europe’s “rich and also great.” Rumors swirled the the Adams lived like European royalty, through her at the helm; the her an abilities as a hostess were the product of ostentatious international wealth and also even the the an initial Lady was embroiled in a curious sex scandal including the Russian Czar.