I have no opinion on George Washington Adams but below is a portion of an article that appeared in the Guideposts, July 1994, by Thomas Fleming
In Boston, an obedient George had opened a law office and gotten himself elected to the Massachusetts legislature. But he was defeated for reelection, and few clients sought his legal services. He sank into debt and squalor. Worse, he had an affair with a servant. The union produced an Illegitimate child- a fall from grace that he managed to conceal from his parents.
George too was the target of presidential wrath; letter after letter reproached him for his debts and his slothful habits. In 1828 John Quincy’s temper worsened when Andrew Jackson defeated his bid for reelection with crushing majorities in almost every state outside New England.
In Boston, younger brother Charles joined George, obediently pursuing a legal career, although he too had little inclination toward one. Visiting his brother, he was shocked at the disorder and filth in his furnished room. "My brother George lives like a pig," he confided to his diary.
Gradually Charles became alarmed by George’s squalid life-style. He suspected something was seriously wrong and urged his parents to invite George to Washington for a change of scene. The Adamses had rented a house in the capital because Louisa refused to spend a winter in frigid Massachusetts if she could avoid it.
To George his parents’ invitation was a summons to judgment. He dreaded the thought of confessing his failures and sins. As he prepared for the journey, he grew more and more irrational. He heard birds speaking to him and awoke in the night convinced that someone was breaking into his room.
Boarding a steamboat in Providence, George began hearing a voice in the pounding engines saying, "Let it be, let it be." At 3:00 AM. he rushed to the bridge to tell the captain he wanted to be put ashore immediately because the other passengers were conspiring against him. The captain scoffed and George blundered out on the open deck. A few minutes later a passenger shouted that there was a man overboard. In the darkness and confusion, all they found was George’s hat and cloak.
The stunning news reached John Quincy and Louisa Adams two days later. For the first time in decades they reached out to each other with out rancor and resentment. They asked God to help them bear their grief—and he responded by restoring their love.