Louisa Catherine Johnson was born 12 February 1775 in London, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom to Joshua Johnson (1744-1802) and Catherine Nuth (1751-1811) and died 15 May 1852 Washington, D.C., United States of unspecified causes. She married John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) 26 July 1797 in London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom.


Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams , wife of John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), was First Lady of the United States from 1825 to 1829. The daughter of the American Consul in London, she is the only First Lady born outside of the United States.

Early Life

Born Louisa Catherine Johnson on February 12, 1775, in London, she was the daughter of Catherine Nuth Johnson (an Englishwoman) and Joshua Johnson (an American merchant), whose brother Thomas Johnson later served as Governor of Maryland and United States Supreme Court Justice. Joshua Johnson was originally from Maryland. She had six sisters: Ann, Caroline, Harriet, Catherine, Elizabeth, and Adelaide, and a brother, Thomas. She grew up in London and Nantes, France, where the family took refuge during the American Revolution.

Marriage and Family

She met John Quincy Adams at her father's house in Cooper's Row, near Tower Hill, London. Her father had been appointed as United States consul general in 1790, and Adams first visited him in November 1795. Adams at first showed interest in her older sister but soon settled on Louisa. Adams, aged 30, married Louisa, aged 22, on July 26, 1797, at the parish church of All Hallows-by-the-Tower, Tower Hill. Adams's father, John Adams, then President of the United States, overcame his initial objections to his son marrying a person born in another country and eventually welcomed his daughter-in-law into the family, although they did not meet for several years.

Her parents left Europe in 1797 and went to the U.S. When her father was forced into bankruptcy, President John Adams appointed him as U.S. Director of Stamps. Her father died in Frederick, Maryland, in 1802 of severe fever and some mental problems, leaving little provision for his family. Her mother died in September 1811, in her mid-fifties and is buried in Rock Creek Cemetery.


Offspring of John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) and Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams
Name Birth Death Joined with
George Washington Adams (1801-1829) 13 April 1801 Berlin, Germany (Berlin, Prussia) 30 April 1829 Long Island Sound, United States Eliza Dolph (1810-1908)
John Adams (1803-1834) 4 July 1803 Washington, D.C., United States 23 October 1834 Washington, D.C., United States Mary Catherine Hellen (1806-1870)
Charles Francis Adams (1807-1886) 18 August 1807 Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States 21 November 1886 Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States Abigail Brown Brooks (1808-1889)
Louisa Catherine Adams (1811-1812) 12 August 1811 Saint Petersburg, Russia 15 September 1812 Saint Petersburg, Russia


Offspring of Joshua Johnson (1744-1802) and Catherine Nuth (1751-1811)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Mary Johnson (1772-1845)
Nancy Johnson (1773-1810) 1773 Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts 30 December 1810 Washington, United States Walter Hellen (1769-1818)
Louisa Catherine Johnson (1775-1852) 12 February 1775 London, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom 15 May 1852 Washington, D.C., United States John Quincy Adams (1767-1848)
Carolina Virginia Johnson (1776-1862)
Mary Ann Johnson (1777-)
Thomas Baker Johnson (1779-1843)
Eliza JD Johnson (1781-1818)
Harriet Johnson (1781-1850)
Adalaide Johnson (1787-1877)
Catherine Maria Johnson (1788-1869)


Footnotes (including sources)

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