Around the time her husband was defeated by Thomas Jefferson in the 1800 election, the Adams learned of the death of their second son Charles, which was related to his alcoholism. With great sadness, the Adams soon moved to the country’s new capitol, Washington, ., where they became the first residents of the White House. Abigail Adams wrote many letters to family around this time, shedding light on the early days of the new capital and complaining about the unfinished state of their new home. A few months later, after John Adams left office in 1801, they returned to their family farm.
Relieved at the return of her son John Quincy Adams from his diplomatic missions in Europe, Abigail Adams had an initially strained relationship with his English-born wife, Louisa Catherine Johnson. She did not live to see her son become President, which occurred six years after her death. When once approached for permission to publish some of her political letters, Abigail Adams refused, considering it improper for a woman's private correspondence to be publicly divulged. However, one of her grandsons arranged for the publication of some of her famous letters in 1848, becoming the first published book pertaining to a First Lady.