Lesson Plans Adams, Louisa


Adams, Louisa
The People's Wishes: Opinion Polling in the United States
In the history of the United States, the first election to be hotly contested was the election of 1824 between John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. There were also two other candidates involved in the election but it came down to Adams and Jackson who had very different views of how the government should be run. It was during this election that the first opinion polls were taken. Newspapers often augmented their election coverage by interviewing voters as they left the polling place. These impromptu interviews were called "straw polls," and the first one recorded in the U.S. took place in 1824. By the turn of the century they were common in both local and national newspapers and magazines. We live in a nation in which the beliefs of the people are important not only in daily life but also in the role and actions of the government. Our nation is based on two major principals one being the idea of democracy or rule by the people and the other is capitalism or the idea that the country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit. In order to be successful in both the political and economic arenas of our American life the general wants and needs of the people must be understood. Opinion polls provide this information for the people who need it. 
Skill: Elementary School     Category: Law, Politics and Govt

Adams, Louisa
History of the Harp
Louisa Adams was the only first lady born out of the United States. She was born in London in 1775 to an English mother, but her father was American who had served as United States consul in England. As the wife of a diplomat, she lived throughout Europe in such places as Berlin and Russia. She was an accomplished musician who composed music and played both the harp and piano. She often played music to entertain guests during various receptions at the White House. Her harp and music stand now reside at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.
Skill: Elementary School     Category: Education, Arts, Letters and Ideas

Adams, Louisa
Great Cities of the World: London
Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams, wife of the sixth President of the United States, John Quincy Adams, is the only First Lady to be born outside of the U.S. She was the daughter of Joshua Johnson, a diplomat and businessman who spent a large period of his life in England. Her mother, Catherine Nuth Johnson, was born in London. Louisa’s father moved to England from Maryland in 1771. London, the capital of England, is a very old city with a lot of history and some very famous landmarks and attractions.
Skill: Elementary School     Category: First Ladies' Lives

Adams, Louisa
Making Silk from Silk Worms
The period of time Louisa Adams spent in the Whitehouse as the first lady was among the most unpleasant periods of her life. The house was drafty, cold and uncomfortable and she felt isolated from the rest of the city. She in fact spent a tremendous amount of time alone in her room. One of the things she did to occupy her time was to spin silk. Mrs. Adams kept silkworms on the property that fed on the mulberry bushes on the Whitehouse grounds. Creating silk from these worms was a hobby that took her mind off the problems of her husband’s troubled presidency.
Skill: Elementary School     Category: Economics, Discovery and Daily Life

Adams, Louisa
America's Diplomat: The Secretary of State
John Quincy Adams was the son of the Second President John Adams. He seemed destined for a life in public office from an early age. He spent a large portion of his life in Europe on diplomatic assignments from several United States presidents. He was married to his wife Louisa, a British born citizen, in 1797 in England. She proved a wonderful asset in the couple’s diplomatic life because of her European upbringing. John Quincy Adams was appointed to the office of Secretary of State under President James Monroe. He became one of the United States’ most effective Secretaries of State by arranging with England for the joint occupation of the Oregon country, obtaining from Spain the cession of the Floridas, and formulating with the President the Monroe Doctrine.
Skill: Middle School     Category: Law, Politics and Govt

Adams, Louisa
Global Learning: Russia, Land of the Tsars
In 1807, John Quincy Adams was offered the post of Minister to Russia by President James Madison. Without even consulting his wife, Louisa, Mr. Adams accepted the assignment and at least part of the Adams family moved to St. Petersburg, Russia. The Tsar at this time was Alexander I. Louisa did not remember her time in St. Petersburg fondly because she was separated from her two oldest sons who remained in Massachusetts with her mother-in-law, Abigail Adams. She did prove to be a diplomatic asset to her husband. Because of her European upbringing and her love of dance she became a favorite at the court of Tsar Alexander I.
Skill: Middle School     Category: First Ladies' Lives

Adams, Louisa
Who Owns the Rosetta Stone?
Louisa Adams was, by the standards of the 19th century, a very well educated woman, interested in a great many things that most women avoided as belonging to the world of men. As the wife of a diplomat, she was also knowledgeable about military matters, and always interested in the affairs of France, where she spent a great deal of time prior to her marriage to John Quincy Adams. It is therefore likely that when French soldiers engaged in Napoleon’s campaign in Egypt found the Rosetta Stone, she would have known about it. The discovery of the Rosetta stone fostered new interest in the western world in the ancient cultures of Egypt.  The hieroglyphics were deciphered in 1822 and unlocked the meaning of many pieces of ancient writing. 
Skill: Middle School     Category: Economics, Discovery and Daily Life

Adams, Louisa
Freedom of Religion: Anne Hutchinson and the Antinomian Controversy
The United First Parish Church of Quincy, Massachusetts is one of the oldest churches in the Unites States. Its origin predates 1639 when its establishment made it possible for the Town of Braintree to incorporate in 1640. This church was originally founded by Puritan Congregationalists but became Unitarian around the year 1750.  Both President John Adams and his Son President John Quincy Adams and their wives Abigail and Louisa Adams were lifelong members of this congregation. In fact they are all buried in a crypt within the church. Other prominent members of this congregation were John Hancock president of the Second Continental Congress and first signer of the Declaration of Independence, as well as John Wheelwright and his sister-in-law Anne Hutchinson both of who were banished 1637 because of having been pronounced guilty of sedition and contempt in a dispute known as the Antinomian Controversy.         Most Americans look back historically at the Puritans as a group that left England to came to America for religious freedom, when in fact this group was perhaps even more oppressive to religious dissenters than the Church of England had ever been to them. Anne Hutchinson and the Antinomian Controversy is an example of how this disagreement in religious philosophy within the Puritan community led to a trial, conviction, excommunication, and banishment from Massachusetts of Hutchinson. Her family and followers left and contributed to the establishment of the colony of Rhode Island. The irony here is that a congregation that produced such champions of freedom as John Adams and John Hancock that both played a great role in creating government that would separate church and state, excommunicated and banished a woman because her religious views were different from those that ruled.
Skill: Middle School     Category: Religion, Social Issues and Reform

Adams, Louisa
In Sickness and in Health
Any study of the past will tell you that the 18th and 19th centuries were often “hazardous to your health.”  This is particularly true of children, who often didn’t live past the age of five, but it was more generally true of everyone—those who caught contagious diseases, those who were injured in accidents or in war, and those who developed illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension, which today can often be chronic rather than fatal diseases. Indeed, Louisa Adams’s only daughter (she and John Quincy had four children) died in infancy.
Skill: High School/College     Category: Science, Medicine, Inventions and tech

Adams, Louisa
Freedom of Religion: The Episcopal Church in America: Breaking New Ground
Louisa Adams was raised in the Catholic Church in France and the Anglican Church in England.  She was baptized into the Episcopal Church in America in 1837.  The Episcopal Church in the United States has a long history, dating from 1607. It is also the operating organization (the cathedral is non-demoninational) of the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. The Episcopal Church  made history in 2006  with the election of the Most Rev.  Katharine Jefferts Schori as the 26th Presiding Bishop, the first woman in the 500-year history of the church to be so honored.
Skill: High School/College     Category: Religion, Social Issues and Reform

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