DIARIES
Cover: Diary and Autobiographical Writings of Louisa Catherine Adams, Volumes 1 and 2: 1778–1849, from Harvard University PressCover: Diary and Autobiographical Writings of Louisa Catherine Adams, Volumes 1 and 2 in HARDCOVER

Diary and Autobiographical Writings of Louisa Catherine Adams, Volumes 1 and 2

1778–1849

The Adams saga takes a stride through the first half of the nineteenth century, as Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams chronicles her life with John Quincy Adams. Born in London in 1775 to a Maryland merchant and his English wife, Louisa recalls her childhood and education in England and France and her courtship with John Quincy, then U.S. minister to the Netherlands. Married in 1797, Louisa accompanied her husband on his postings to Berlin, St. Petersburg, and London. Her memoirs of Prussia and Russia vividly portray the republican couple in the courts of Europe.

Louisa came to America in 1801 and would share John Quincy’s career as U.S. senator, secretary of state, president, and congressman. Except for his presidency, her diaries for these years have been preserved, and they reveal a reluctant but increasingly canny political wife. Lamentations about loss, including the deaths of three of four children, abound. But here, too, are views of Napoleonic Europe and American sectional disputes, with witty sketches of heroes and scoundrels. John Quincy emerges in a fullness seldom seen—ambitious and exacting, yet passionate, generous, and gallant. Louisa's diaries conclude with her reckoning of an eventful life, which came to a close in 1852.

From Our Blog

Jacket: The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America, by Khalil Gibran Muhammad, from Harvard University Press

“Predictive Policing” and Racial Profiling

While technology used in policing has improved, it hasn’t progressed, says Khalil Gibran Muhammad, if racial biases are built into those new technologies. This excerpt from his book, The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America, shows that for the reform called for by the current protests against systemic racism and racially-biased policing to be fulfilled, the police—especially those at the top—will need to change their pre-programmed views on race and the way they see the Black citizens they are supposed to “serve and protect.”