Louisa Catherine Johnson

Louisa Catherine Johnson

The daughter of an American merchant and an English mother, Louisa was born in 1775 at the family home in what is today Cooper’s Row near Tower Hill.

Image © The National First Ladies' Library

Louisa’s parents, as well as other observers over the years, noted her unusual sensitivity towards others with an intensity in her quest for answers on existence. She also had brilliant musical and literary skills. These traits stood out more because Louisa had an openness that was uncommon among young women of her era.

In 1795, whilst attending one of the many lavish parties held at the Johnson home on Cooper›s Row, the young American diplomat John Quincy Adams was attracted to her because of her unusual qualities.

Louisa married John Quincy Adams in July 1797 at All Hallows by The Tower and he later became the sixth President of the United States, serving from 1825 to 1829.

Up until the election of Donald Trump, Louisa had been the only foreign born wife of a US President. Melania Trump became the second as she was born in Slovenia.