US Presidential First Lady. She was the wife of John Quincy Adams, who was the 6th US President. One of 8 children, her father was an American merchant and her mother was from England. She was raised in London, England and Nantes, France where her family had taken refuge during the American Revolutionary War. In 1794 she met John Quincy Adams in London, where her father had been appointed US consul general and they were married three years later, and she accompanied him to Berlin after he was appointed the US Minister to Prussia. During their marriage she was frequently ill, plagued by migraine headaches and frequent fainting spells. In 1809 she travelled to St. Petersburg to join her husband, who was serving as the first US Minister to Russia. In 1817 she moved with her family to Washington DC as her husband was appointed to the position of Secretary of State by US President James Monroe. When her husband was elected as the US President in 1825, she became dismayed by the bitter politics of the election and coupled with bouts of deep depression, she soon became reclusive. While living in the White House during her husband's four-year term, she wrote many essays and poems concerning anti-slavery and pro-women views and translated a number of major books from French to English. Along with Dolly Madison, the wife of the 4th US President James Madison, she helped to raise funds for the future construction of the Washington Monument. Later, the untimely deaths of her two oldest sons (George in 1829 from an apparent suicide and John in 1834 from alcoholism) added to her depression. After the death of her husband in 1848 at the US Capital Building, where he had served as a Massachusetts congressman for 17 years, she remained in Washington DC until her death from a heart attack at the age of 77.
Bio by: William Bjornstad