John Adams’ Mother: Susanna Boylston

Susanna Boylston Adams Hall was the mother of John Adams, the second president of the United States, and the grandmother of John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States. She was born to a prominent American family on the 5th of March 1708 in Brookline, Massachusetts Bay. Her father was Peter Boylston, and her mother was Anne White Boylston.

Susanna Boylston came from a very respected family in New England. She was a cousin of Ward Nicholas Boylston, a wealthy supporter of Harvard College. Her uncle was Zabdiel Boylston, the first American physician who undertook the first surgical procedure.

At the age of 26, Susannah married John Adams, Sr. Susannah is rarely mentioned in her relatives’ letters, so not much is known about Susannah compared to other members of the illustrious Adams family. Furthermore, there is no known writing of hers that is in existence. It is said that other people read to her, which may indicate that she was illiterate. However, John Adams wrote in his memoirs that his parents both liked reading, and as a result, he was taught to read at a young age. This means that Susanna may have been able to read.

Aside from John Adams, Susanna gave birth to two more children: Peter Boylston Adams, who was a militia captain and a farmer, and Elihu Adams, who served as a company commander during the American Revolution.

Susannah married again five years after the death of her husband, to Lt. John Hall. Unfortunately, Lt. Hall was not able to get along well with Susannah’s adult children.

On the 17th of April, 1797, when her son was already president, Susannah died in Massachusetts. She was 89 years old.