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Quiz about Little Known First Ladies Louisa Adams
Quiz about Little Known First Ladies Louisa Adams

Little Known First Ladies: Louisa Adams Quiz


Louisa Adams was a First Lady like no other. How much do you know about the life of John Quincy Adams' wife?

A multiple-choice quiz by Joepetz. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
Joepetz
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
401,587
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
209
- -
Question 1 of 10
1. Louisa Johnson was the first First Lady to be born outside of the United States. But was she born an American citizen?


Question 2 of 10
2. In 1778, Louisa and her family moved to which French city to seek refuge during the American Revolution? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. Who disapproved of John Quincy's engagement to Louisa in 1796? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. As John Quincy's wife, Louisa traveled frequently around the world with him as he served in various diplomatic positions. Which of the following places did she absolutely hate? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Louisa and John had four children together. How many of them did Louisa outlive? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Louisa's marriage became strained somewhat just as Adams gained the presidency in the Election of 1824. What did John do that caused this? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Louisa was a very reclusive First Lady. She often failed to attend the events she planned and hosted. However, on rare occasions, Louisa would do what for her guests? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. What was the "Metropolitan Kaleidoscope"? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. As Louisa and John were preparing to leave the White House after he lost re-election, what item caused Louisa a scandal? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. Toward the end of her life, Louisa took up the cause fighting for what? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Louisa Johnson was the first First Lady to be born outside of the United States. But was she born an American citizen?

Answer: Yes

Louisa Johnson was born in London in 1775. Her father Joshua Johnson belonged to a prominent American political family. Joshua had been in London working as merchant and was originally from Maryland. As the daughter of an American, Louisa was born an American citizen.

Not much at all is known about her mother Catherine. For many years, her mother's identity was a complete mystery. Catherine and Joshua did not marry until Louisa was about ten years old. Henry Adams, Louisa's great-grandson and a noted genealogist could uncover almost nothing about her.
2. In 1778, Louisa and her family moved to which French city to seek refuge during the American Revolution?

Answer: Nantes

The Johnsons were living in London at the time the American Revolution broke out. Tensions were high and they were forced to relocate to Nantes in 1778. Many of Louisa's paternal relatives sided with the American colonists and her father decided it was safer to move to France, an ally of the colonies.

In her writings, Louisa wrote that she primarily identified as French because Nantes was were she spent most of her formative years. It was in France where she first met her future husband John Quincy Adams when he was twelve and she was five. John Adams Sr. was Envoy at France during this time and his family frequently met with those of prominent Americans abroad.
3. Who disapproved of John Quincy's engagement to Louisa in 1796?

Answer: His mother, Abigail

Louisa and John reunited in London and met frequently at society events and parties. John was attracted to Louisa's outspokenness and her sensitivity toward other people. John's mother, First Lady Abigail Adams, disapproved of the engagement. 1796, the year of the engagement, was an election year and John Sr. was running for president. The engagement caused a minor scandal that a candidate's son had become engaged to a foreign woman. Abigail also repeatedly told her son that marrying a foreign woman would negatively impact any future political ambitions he had.

Louisa and her mother-in-law would have their differences but the two did get along. John Sr. always cherished Louisa and the two of them got along splendidly.
4. As John Quincy's wife, Louisa traveled frequently around the world with him as he served in various diplomatic positions. Which of the following places did she absolutely hate?

Answer: Massachusetts

Louisa, who had spent most of her life abroad, found life settled in her husband's home state of Massachusetts boring. Louisa was used to excitement and social events and much preferred to be abroad than within the United States. Louisa suffered from fainting spells and frequent migraines that seemed to occur more frequently in Massachusetts.

In Europe, Louisa got along well members of various royal families. However, John proved to be an insufficient husband. While he once admired her openness to discuss issues typically reserved for men, John no longer wished Louisa to be so outspoken now that he was in positions of power. Furthermore, he rarely provided her with enough money to entertain properly like a diplomat's wife was expected to.
5. Louisa and John had four children together. How many of them did Louisa outlive?

Answer: Three

Louisa outlived three of her four children. The first Adams child to die was their newborn daughter Louisa Catherine. Louisa was born in 1811 in Russia and died the following year. Her mother blamed the harsh Russian weather and lack of adequate care for her passing.

Her two oldest sons, George Washington Adams and John Adams II, both passed away as young men. George was an alcoholic who is believed to have committed suicide by jumping off a ship and drowning. John, who served as his father's private secretary when he was First Son, also became an alcoholic and died. Louisa's only child to outlive her was her son Charles Francis Adams who also became a politician and diplomat.
6. Louisa's marriage became strained somewhat just as Adams gained the presidency in the Election of 1824. What did John do that caused this?

Answer: He made a corrupt bargain with Henry Clay

The Election of 1824 is one of the most infamous in U.S. history. No one achieved a majority of the electoral votes and the election was thrown to the House of Representatives. In a three way race between John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson (who won the popular vote) and William Crawford, Henry Clay (who had finished fourth) threw his support to John Quincy Adams in exchange for being named Secretary of State.

This was called the Corrupt Bargain and Adams was elected president. Louisa was horrified that her husband had struck such a deal and was disappointed in him.

She was further dismayed when the backroom deals kept occurring well into his presidency. She no longer saw her husband as a dignified statesman like his father was.
7. Louisa was a very reclusive First Lady. She often failed to attend the events she planned and hosted. However, on rare occasions, Louisa would do what for her guests?

Answer: Play music

Louisa was very knowledgeable in music and played several instruments, unusual for a lady of status at the time. At the end of formal dinners, should would infrequently play the harp for her guests. Despite once loving such events, Louisa rarely attended the parties she planned.

She was depressed because of her failing marriage, the deaths of her sons and missing her old lifestyle. She did attend the wedding of her son in the White House, which was the first and only time a presidential son has ever married in the White House and attended to the Marquis de Lafayette when he visited the White House.
8. What was the "Metropolitan Kaleidoscope"?

Answer: A play Louisa wrote

Louisa took solace in writing poetry and plays. One of her plays was called "The Metropolitan Kaleidoscope" which was a very obvious parody of her marriage. The main character was Lady Sharpley, a wife who is stifled from speaking out by her overbearing husband and becomes depressed and feels useless.

In addition to writing and music, Louisa also raised her own silkworms and used the silk to sew.
9. As Louisa and John were preparing to leave the White House after he lost re-election, what item caused Louisa a scandal?

Answer: A pool table

The president had purchased a pool table for his own enjoyment with his own money. However after losing the election, Adams decided to leave the pool table at the White House. He sought government funds for reimbursement because the pool table was now government property. Andrew Jackson, Adams' successor, maintained the pool table was actually Louisa's and she used it as part of a gambling den. Adams and Jackson had a horrible relationship stemming from the Election of 1824 and Jackson frequently hurled personal attacks against Adams and his family. Rumors spread that the Adamses were living like European royalty and operating sleazy gambling dens out of the White House. Louisa defended herself by publishing an op ed in newspapers, something a prominent woman rarely if ever did in those days.
10. Toward the end of her life, Louisa took up the cause fighting for what?

Answer: Abolition of slavery

After his presidency ended, Adams was elected to the House of Representatives during a time when slavery was the hot button issue. Both husband and wife were abolitionists and Louisa assisted John in different ways to fight for the end of slavery. The issue of slavery was of personal interest to Louisa because she found the plight slaves very similar to the plight of women who were discouraged from speaking out on issues and who also did not have equal rights to white men in America.

Louisa did not get along at all well with her husband's successor Andrew Jackson but she did with Jackson's successors. One exception to that was Zachary Taylor whom Louisa hated because, in her view, Taylor was proslavery. When Louisa died in 1852, both Houses of Congressed closed for mourning, the first woman to receive such an honor.
Source: Author Joepetz

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor stedman before going online.
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