Tags: Presidential History | john quincy adams | wife | louisa adams | causes

Louisa Adams: The Causes That Defined President John Quincy Adams' First Lady

By    |   Thursday, 21 May 2015 11:01 AM

Louisa Adams, wife of sixth U.S. President John Quincy Adams, is credited with more than being the only first lady born outside of the U.S. Louisa worked to advance her husband’s career while quietly encouraging policy towards women’s rights and abolition, as was typical for women of her time.

Throughout her husband’s political career and eventual presidency, Louisa acted as his informal campaign manager, helping to keep up his morale in the stressful political arena of the young country. Louisa’s high class English upbringing qualified her to discuss foreign affairs and politics with her husband’s contemporaries, allowing her to aid him and his campaign socially.

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According to the Miller Center, Louisa became known and liked within Washington society by hosting large social gatherings and elaborate balls in which she and her husband gained favor from the prominent political actors of the era. Despite numerous health issues, depression, and marital issues during John Quincy’s presidency, Louisa still maintained regular drawing rooms and parlor nights where she entertained her husband's contemporaries for the sake of his political advancement.

Louisa demonstrated her intense loyalty to her husband when she overcame her own health problems, including nine miscarriages, in order to again act as his campaign manager when he ran for re-election in 1828.

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Also as a result of having to overcome her personal ailments to aid her husband, Louisa saw women’s rights and abolition in a different light than many of her time. She encouraged her husband to pursue a more pro-social mindsight by fostering relationships with abolitionist leaders. As a result, John Quincy became more tolerant and accepting of female political engagement.

While she was first lady, Louisa wrote a play titled “Suspicion, or Persecuted Innocence” to highlight the strengths of women. This, combined with her other less political works and compositions, helped her win respect in Washington.

Louisa’s funeral in 1852 was the first time in which Congress adjourned in mourning of a woman.

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Louisa Adams, wife of sixth U.S. President John Quincy Adams, is credited with more than being the only first lady born outside of the U.S. Louisa worked to advance her husband's career while quietly encouraging policy towards women's rights and abolition.
john quincy adams, wife, louisa adams, causes
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2015-01-21
Thursday, 21 May 2015 11:01 AM
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