The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

February 12, 2014

February 12, 1775

Louisa Adams (February 12, 1775 to May 15, 1852), was married to the son of the United States president, John Adams. He had been a Harvard professor and lawyer. She was very pretty and quite delicate and that did not help her adjust to the demanding life necessitated by her husband's diplomatic postings. For instance, en route to St. Petersburg, where John Quincy Adams was to be the first American envoy,  in 1809, the Adams' encountered many who hardly knew where the United States was, or that its officials merited some deference.
Their sea journey from Boston to St. Petersburg was rudely interrupted by both the Danish and the British who were disputing merchant issues.

Louisa, heart-broken over her sons left in Boston,and ill,  suffered also during their transit of the Kattegat Sea, a dangerous marine step to the Baltic Sea, and then St. Petersburg. The weather was difficult and the
 Kattegat which means cat's hole, lived up to its treacherous reputation. Since at least medieval times this body of water between Norway and Denmark has been called Kattegat because the reefs and shallow sea was so treacherous they thought even a cat would be unable to thread its way through the narrow hazards.

They succeeded in reaching St. Petersburg on October 22, 1809, before the Russian winter had frozen all sea access.  It is possible that Louisa and John Adams' arrival was not as dreadful as sailing through the Kattegat, but it was not propitious. Their ship, the Horace, had drifted away one night while they stayed ashore, drifted off miles, with all their trunks, and so they literally arrived at the Russian court with just the worn sets of clothing on their backs.

Her life would continue adventurous, and Louisa would one day be first lady of the United States (1825-1829) and then, her husband still concerned to serve the public good, she was wife of a representative from Massachusetts to the Congress of that country. 

No comments: