New

Dolly Payne Todd Madison - History

Dolly Payne Todd Madison - History


We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

Dolly Madison became a world-famous hostess while First Lady from 1809-1817. With an unusual facility for names and faces, Dolly Madison charmed everyone. She set the standards that other American women tried to follow, particularly in the realm of fashion. Costly Parisian gowns, elaborate feathered turbans, snuff, and rouge became her trademarks.

Dolly Payne Todd was a twenty-six year old widow with two children when she met Madison, who was forty-three. (Her first husband had died of yellow fever after only three years of marriage). Although Dolly and James seemed an unlikely match, he soon became her second husband.

Dolly Madison's formidable social skills were a huge asset during the War of 1812 when she gave innumerable parties to keep up morale. But she is credited with an even more significant achievement. Immediately before the invading British burned the White House, Dolly saved the original draft of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, along with Stuart's portrait of George Washington.


Dolly Payne Todd Madison - History

Biography: For half a century she was the most important woman in the social circles of America. To this day she remains one of the best known and best loved ladies of the White House--though often referred to, mistakenly, as Dorothy or Dorothea.

She always called herself Dolley, and by that name the New Garden Monthly Meeting of the Society of Friends, in Piedmont, North Carolina, recorded her birth to John and Mary Coles Payne, settlers from Virginia. In 1769 John Payne took his family back to his home colony, and in 1783 he moved them to Philadelphia, city of the Quakers. Dolley grew up in the strict discipline of the Society, but nothing muted her happy personality and her warm heart.

John Todd, Jr., a lawyer, exchanged marriage vows with Dolley in 1790. Just three years later he died in a yellow-fever epidemic, leaving his wife with a small son.

By this time Philadelphia had become the capital city. With her charm and her laughing blue eyes, fair skin, and black curls, the young widow attracted distinguished attention. Before long Dolley was reporting to her best friend that "the great little Madison has asked. to see me this evening."

Although Representative James Madison of Virginia was 17 years her senior, and Episcopalian in background, they were married in September 1794. The marriage, though childless, was notably happy "our hearts understand each other," she assured him. He could even be patient with Dolley's son, Payne, who mishandled his own affairs--and, eventually, mismanaged Madison's estate.

Discarding the somber Quaker dress after her second marriage, Dolley chose the finest of fashions. Margaret Bayard Smith, chronicler of early Washington social life, wrote: "She looked a Queen. It would be absolutely impossible for any one to behave with more perfect propriety than she did."

Blessed with a desire to please and a willingness to be pleased, Dolley made her home the center of society when Madison began, in 1801, his eight years as Jefferson's Secretary of State. She assisted at the White House when the President asked her help in receiving ladies, and presided at the first inaugural ball in Washington when her husband became Chief Executive in 1809.

Dolley's social graces made her famous. Her political acumen, prized by her husband, is less renowned, though her gracious tact smoothed many a quarrel. Hostile statesmen, difficult envoys from Spain or Tunisia, warrior chiefs from the west, flustered youngsters--she always welcomed everyone. Forced to flee from the White House by a British army during the War of 1812, she returned to find the mansion in ruins. Undaunted by temporary quarters, she entertained as skillfully as ever.

At their plantation Montpelier in Virginia, the Madisons lived in pleasant retirement until he died in 1836. She returned to the capital in the autumn of 1837, and friends found tactful ways to supplement her diminished income. She remained in Washington until her death in 1849, honored and loved by all. The delightful personality of this unusual woman is a cherished part of her country's history.


Contents

The first girl in her family, Dolley Payne was born on May 20, 1768, in the Quaker settlement of "New Garden" within Guilford County (present-day Greensboro), North Carolina , to Mary Coles and John Payne, Jr., both Virginians who had moved to North Carolina in 1765. [4] Mary Coles, a Quaker, had married John Payne, a non-Quaker, in 1761. Three years later, he applied and was admitted to the Quaker Monthly Meeting in Hanover County, Virginia, where Coles' parents lived. He became a fervent follower and they reared their children in the Quaker faith.

In 1769, the Paynes had returned to Virginia [4] and young Dolley grew up at her parents' plantation in rural eastern Virginia and became deeply attached to her mother's family. Eventually, she had three sisters (Lucy, Anna, and Mary) and four brothers (Walter, William Temple, Isaac, and John). [ citation needed ]

In 1783, following the American Revolutionary War, John Payne emancipated his slaves, [4] as did numerous slaveholders in the Upper South. [5] Some, like Payne, were Quakers, who had long encouraged manumission others were inspired by revolutionary ideals. From 1782 to 1810, the proportion of free blacks to the total black population in Virginia increased from less than one percent to 7.2 percent, and more than 30,000 blacks were free. [5]

When Dolley was 15, Payne moved his family to Philadelphia, where he went into business as a starch merchant, but the business had failed by 1791. This was seen as a "weakness" at his Quaker meetings, for which he was expelled. [6] He died in October 1792 and Mary Payne initially made ends meet by opening a boardinghouse, but the next year she took her two youngest children, Mary and John, and moved to western Virginia to live with her daughter Lucy and her new husband, George Steptoe Washington, a nephew of George Washington. [ citation needed ]

Marriage and family Edit

In January 1790, Dolley Payne married John Todd, a Quaker lawyer in Philadelphia. They quickly had two sons, John Payne (called Payne) and William Temple (born July 4, 1793 [7] ). After Mary Payne left Philadelphia in 1793, Dolley's sister Anna Payne moved in with them to help with the children.

In August 1793, a yellow fever epidemic broke out in Philadelphia, killing 5,019 people in four months. [8] Dolley was hit particularly hard, losing her husband, son William, mother-in-law, and father-in-law. [6]

While undergoing the loss of much of her family, she also had to take care of her surviving son without financial support. While her husband had left her money in his will, the executor, her brother-in-law, withheld the funds and she had to sue him for what she was owed. [6]

Despite Dolley's weakened position after the death of most of her male relatives, she was still considered a beautiful woman and was living in the temporary capital of the United States, Philadelphia. While her mother went to live with another married daughter in 1801, Dolley caught the eye of James Madison, who then represented Virginia in the U.S. House of Representatives. While remarrying would have been crucial for her, as keeping herself and her child on the income that a woman could earn would have been challenging, it is reported that she did seem to genuinely care for James. [6]

Some sources state that Aaron Burr, a longtime friend of Madison's since their student days at the College of New Jersey (now called Princeton University), stayed at a rooming house where Dolley also resided, and it was Aaron's idea to introduce the two. In May 1794, Burr made the formal introduction between the young widow and Madison, who at 43 was a longstanding bachelor 17 years her senior. A brisk courtship followed and, by August, Dolley accepted his marriage proposal. As he was not a Quaker, she was expelled from the Society of Friends for marrying outside her faith, after which Dolley began attending Episcopal services. Despite her Quaker upbringing, there is no evidence that she disapproved of James as a slaveholder. [6] They were married on September 15, 1794, and lived in Philadelphia for the next three years. [9]

In 1797, after eight years in the House of Representatives, James Madison retired from politics. He returned with his family to Montpelier, the Madison family plantation in Orange County, Virginia. There they expanded the house and settled in. When Thomas Jefferson was elected as the third president of the United States in 1800, he asked Madison to serve as his Secretary of State. Madison accepted and moved Dolley, her son Payne, her sister Anna, and their domestic slaves to Washington on F Street. They took a large house, as Dolley believed that entertaining would be important in the new capital. [10]

Dolley worked with the architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe to furnish the White House, the first official residence built for the president of the United States. She sometimes served as widower Jefferson's hostess for official ceremonial functions. [11] Dolley would become a crucial part of the Washington social circle, befriending the wives of numerous diplomats like Sarah Martinez de Yrujo, wife of the ambassador of Spain, and Marie-Angelique Turreau, the wife of the French ambassador. Her charm precipitated a diplomatic crisis, called the Merry Affair, after Jefferson escorted Dolley to the dining room instead of the wife of Anthony Merry, English diplomat to the U.S., in a major faux pas.

In the approach to the 1808 presidential election, with Thomas Jefferson ready to retire, the Democratic-Republican caucus nominated James Madison to succeed him. He was elected President, serving two terms from 1809 to 1817, and Dolley became the official White House hostess. [12] Dolley helped to define the official functions, decorated the Executive Mansion, and welcomed visitors in her drawing room. She was renowned for her social graces and hospitality, and contributed to her husband's popularity as president. She was the only First Lady given an honorary seat on the floor of Congress, and the first American to respond to a telegraph message. [13] In 1812, James was re-elected. This was the year that the War of 1812 began with Great Britain. After sending diplomat and poet Joel Barlow to Europe to discuss the Berlin Decree and the controversial Orders-in-Council, James Madison would deliver his war request to Congress.

Burning of Washington, 1814 Edit

After the United States declared war in 1812 and attempted to invade Canada in 1813, a British force attacked Washington in 1814. As it approached and the White House staff hurriedly prepared to flee, Dolley ordered the Stuart painting, a copy of the Lansdowne portrait, to be saved, as she wrote in a letter to her sister at 3 o'clock in the afternoon of August 23:

Our kind friend Mr. Carroll has come to hasten my departure, and in a very bad humor with me, because I insist on waiting until the large picture of General Washington is secured, and it requires to be unscrewed from the wall. The process was found too tedious for these perilous moments I have ordered the frame to be broken and the canvas taken out . It is done, and the precious portrait placed in the hands of two gentlemen from New York for safe keeping. On handing the canvas to the gentlemen in question, Messrs. Barker and Depeyster, Mr. Sioussat cautioned them against rolling it up, saying that it would destroy the portrait. He was moved to this because Mr. Barker started to roll it up for greater convenience for carrying. [14] [15]

Popular accounts during and after the war years tended to portray Dolley as the one who removed the painting, and she became a national heroine. Early twentieth-century historians noted that Jean Pierre Sioussat had directed the servants, many of whom were slaves, in the crisis, and that house slaves were the ones who actually preserved the painting. [16] [17]

Dolley Madison hurried away in her waiting carriage, along with other families fleeing the city. They went to Georgetown and the next day they crossed over the Potomac into Virginia. [18] When the danger receded after the British left Washington a few days later, she returned to the capital to meet her husband. However, the rampant pillaging and systematic destruction had desolated much of the new city. As Congress began discussions over the construction of a new capital, Dolley and James moved into The Octagon House.

On April 6, 1817, a month after his retirement from the presidency, Dolley and James Madison returned to the Montpelier plantation in Orange County, Virginia. [19]

In 1830, Dolley's son Payne Todd, who had never found a career, went to debtors' prison in Philadelphia and the Madisons sold land in Kentucky and mortgaged half of the Montpelier plantation to pay his debts. [20]

James died at Montpelier on June 28, 1836. Dolley remained at Montpelier for a year. Her niece Anna Payne moved in with her, and Todd came for a lengthy stay. During this time, Dolley organized and copied her husband's papers. Congress authorized $55,000 as payment for editing and publishing seven volumes of the Madison papers, including his unique notes on the 1787 convention. [19]

In the fall of 1837, Dolley returned to Washington, charging Todd with the care of the plantation. She and her sister Anna moved into a house, bought by Anna and her husband Richard Cutts, on Lafayette Square. Madison took Paul Jennings with her as a butler, and he was forced to leave his family in Virginia. [21]

While Dolley Madison was living in Washington, Payne Todd was unable to manage the plantation, due to alcoholism and related illness. She tried to raise money by selling the rest of the president's papers. She agreed to sell Jennings to Daniel Webster, who allowed him to gain his freedom by paying him through work.

Unable to find a buyer for the papers, she sold Montpelier, its remaining slaves, and the furnishings to pay off outstanding debts.

Paul Jennings, the former slave of the Madisons, later recalled in his memoir,

In the last days of her life, before Congress purchased her husband's papers, she was in a state of absolute poverty, and I think sometimes suffered for the necessaries of life. While I was a servant to Mr. Webster, he often sent me to her with a market-basket full of provisions, and told me whenever I saw anything in the house that I thought she was in need of, to take it to her. I often did this, and occasionally gave her small sums from my own pocket, though I had years before bought my freedom of her. [22]

In 1848, Congress agreed to buy the rest of James Madison's papers for the sum of $22,000 or $25,000. [ citation needed ]

In 1842, Dolley Madison joined St. John's Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C. This church was attended by other members of the Madison and Payne families.

On February 28, 1844, Madison was with President John Tyler while aboard the USS Princeton when a "Peacemaker" cannon exploded in the process of being fired. While Secretaries of State and Navy Abel P. Upshur and Thomas Walker Gilmer, Tyler's future father-in-law David Gardiner and three others were killed, President Tyler and Dolley Madison escaped unharmed.

She died at her home in Washington in 1849, at the age of 81. She was first buried in the Congressional Cemetery, Washington, D.C., but later was re-interred at Montpelier next to her husband. [11]

During World War II the Liberty ship SS Dolly Madison was built in Panama City, Florida, and named in her honor. [23]

Madison was a member of the inaugural class of Virginia Women in History in 2000. [24]

In the past, biographers and others stated that her given name was Dorothea, after her aunt, or Dorothy, and that Dolley was a nickname. But her birth was registered with the New Garden Friends Meeting as Dolley, and her will of 1841 states "I, Dolly P. Madison". [25] Based on manuscript evidence and the scholarship of recent biographers, Dollie, spelled "ie", appears to have been her given name at birth. [26] [27] On the other hand, the print press, especially newspapers, tended to spell it "Dolly": for example, the Hallowell (Maine) Gazette, February 8, 1815, p. 4, refers to how the Congress had allowed "Madame Dolly Madison" an allowance of $14,000 to purchase new furniture and the New Bedford (MA) of March 3, 1837, p. 2 referred to a number of important papers from her late husband, and said that "Mrs. Dolly Madison" would be paid by the Senate for these historical manuscripts. Several magazines of that time also used the "Dolly" spelling, such as The Knickerbocker, February 1837, p. 165 [28] as did many popular magazines of the 1860s–1890s. She was referred to as "Mistress Dolly" in an essay from Munsey's Magazine in 1896. [29] Her grandniece Lucia Beverly Cutts, in her Memoirs and letters of Dolly Madison: wife of James Madison, president of the United States (1896) uses "Dolly" consistently throughout. [30]


Dolley Payne Todd Madison

Dolley Payne Todd Madison, one of the best known and loved First Ladies, was the wife of James Madison, the fourth President of the United States (1809-1817). Her iconic style and social presence boosted her husband’s popularity as President.

For half a century she was the most important woman in the social circles of America. To this day she remains one of the best known and best loved ladies of the White House–though often referred to, mistakenly, as Dorothy or Dorothea.

She always called herself Dolley, and by that name the New Garden Monthly Meeting of the Society of Friends, in Piedmont, North Carolina, recorded her birth to John and Mary Coles Payne, settlers from Virginia. In 1769 John Payne took his family back to his home colony, and in 1783 he moved them to Philadelphia, city of the Quakers. Dolley grew up in the strict discipline of the Society, but nothing muted her happy personality and her warm heart.

John Todd, Jr., a lawyer, exchanged marriage vows with Dolley in 1790. Just three years later he died in a yellow-fever epidemic, leaving his wife with a small son.

By this time Philadelphia had become the capital city. With her charm and her laughing blue eyes, fair skin, and black curls, the young widow attracted distinguished attention. Before long Dolley was reporting to her best friend that “the great little Madison has asked…to see me this evening.”

Although Representative James Madison of Virginia was 17 years her senior, and Episcopalian in background, they were married in September 1794. The marriage, though childless, was notably happy “our hearts understand each other,” she assured him. He could even be patient with Dolley’s son, Payne, who mishandled his own affairs–and, eventually, mismanaged Madison’s estate.

Discarding the somber Quaker dress after her second marriage, Dolley chose the finest of fashions. Margaret Bayard Smith, chronicler of early Washington social life, wrote: “She looked a Queen…It would be absolutely impossible for any one to behave with more perfect propriety than she did.”

Blessed with a desire to please and a willingness to be pleased, Dolley made her home the center of society when Madison began, in 1801, his eight years as Jefferson’s Secretary of State. She assisted at the White House when the President asked her help in receiving ladies, and presided at the first inaugural ball in Washington when her husband became Chief Executive in 1809.

Dolley’s social graces made her famous. Her political acumen, prized by her husband, is less renowned, though her gracious tact smoothed many a quarrel. Hostile statesmen, difficult envoys from Spain or Tunisia, warrior chiefs from the west, flustered youngsters–she always welcomed everyone. Forced to flee from the White House by a British army during the War of 1812, she returned to find the mansion in ruins. Undaunted by temporary quarters, she entertained as skillfully as ever.

At their plantation Montpelier in Virginia, the Madisons lived in pleasant retirement until he died in 1836. She returned to the capital in the autumn of 1837, and friends found tactful ways to supplement her diminished income. She remained in Washington until her death in 1849, honored and loved by all. The delightful personality of this unusual woman is a cherished part of her country’s history.


The Legend of Dolley Madison’s Red Velvet Dress

As Major General Robert Ross and his 4,000 British troops closed in on Washington, with orders to set fire to the city’s public buildings, Dolley Madison stood her ground at the White House. One of the most powerful first ladies in history, she maintained enough composure to gather some of the nation’s treasures before making her escape.

That fateful day, August 24, 1814, Dolley famously arranged for servants to bust the frame of Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of George Washington hanging in the state dining room and cart it off to safety. She also saved some silver, china and, of all things, red velvet draperies from the Oval Drawing Room.

At the National Portrait Gallery, a fiery red velvet dress steals the attention of visitors to �: A Nation Emerges,” a new exhibition commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812. Could the empire-style gown, which Dolley Madison owned until her death in 1849, have been made from the curtains she salvaged from the White House? Some historians and curators suspect so.

Piecing together the story of the dress requires, first, a consideration of the history of the draperies. In 1809, Congress appropriated $14,000 for architect Benjamin Latrobe to redecorate the White House. For the Oval Drawing Room (now called the Blue Room) Latrobe envisioned grand window treatments made of silk damask. But he wrote to Dolley, on March 22, 1809, with disappointing news: “There is no silk damask to be had in either New York of Philadelphia, and I am therefore forced to give you crimson velvet curtains.”

When Latrobe received the velvet, he found it garish. “The curtains! Oh the terrible velvet curtains! Their effect will ruin me entirely, so brilliant will they be,” he wrote in an April letter to the First Lady. Dolley, on the other hand, known for having bold tastes, liked the fabric.

“She gets her way, of course,” says Sid Hart, the National Portrait Gallery’s senior historian and curator of the exhibition.

A letter Dolley wrote to Latrobe’s wife, Mary, shortly after the burning of the White House, is often cited as evidence that she did, in fact, grab the curtains. “Two hours before the enemy entered the city…I sent out the silver (nearly all) and velvet curtains and General Washington’s picture.” She saw to it that only a few cherished items were saved, so why include the curtains?

At the National Portrait Gallery, a fiery red velvet dress steals the attention of visitors to "1812: A Nation Emerges," a new exhibition commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812. (Greensboro Historical Museum) As Major General Robert Ross and his 4,000 British troops closed in on Washington, with orders to set fire to the city's public buildings, Dolley Madison stood her ground at the White House. (Dolley Dandridge Payne Todd Madison by Gilbert Stuart / White House Historical Association (White House Collection)) Some historians and curators suspect that the empire-style gown, which Dolley Madison owned until her death in 1849, may have been made from the curtains she salvaged from the White House in 1814. (Mark Gulezian. © National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution)

“She had a special affection for the drapes,” says Hart. “Maybe they somehow represented in her mind her efforts to make the White House a center of social activity.”

At the outbreak of the War of 1812, the nation was about as polarized as it would be nearly 50 years later, at the start of the Civil War. Democratic-Republicans, like President Madison, supported the war, while Federalists opposed it. “There needed to be a cohesive force in Washington,” says Hart. Vivacious as she was, Dolley served that role.

During her husband’s term as president, Dolley hosted parties every Wednesday night, attended by people of all different views. Quite purposefully, she brought factions together in hopes that agreements could be struck. The gatherings, often held in the Oval Drawing Room, where the velvet curtains hung, were called “squeezes,” Hart explains, because “everybody wanted to squeeze in.”

Late in life, as a widow, Dolley was rather poor. When she died, most of her remaining possessions were sold at public auction. At an auction in 1852, Dolley’s niece Anna Payne purchased the red velvet dress, a portrait of Dolley, a few of her trademark silk turbans and other items, which Payne’s daughter and grandson later inherited. In 1956, a trunk containing the belongings was discovered in the attic of a rural Pennsylvania home, where the grandson’s widow had lived. The Dolley Madison Memorial Association invested in the collection and then donated it to the Greensboro Historical Museum in 1963. (Dolley was born in Greensboro.)

Once in the hands of the museum, researchers started to talk about how Dolley’s red dress seemed to be made of drapery-weight velvet. The dress was featured in a 1977 exhibition, titled “Dolley and the ‘Great Little Madison,’” at the Octagon House in Washington, where the Madisons lived after the burning of the White House. In an accompanying book, the show’s curator Conover Hunt-Jones noted that the gown was made “not of the light velvets ordinarily used for clothing.” The observation was enough to feed the imaginations of historians, and many since have entertained the idea that Dolley may have repurposed the curtains.

“It seems to be in character,” says Susan Webster, curator of costumes and textiles at the Greensboro Historical Museum. “Why let this go to waste, and won’t this be a great piece to talk about when we are having dinner with folks? Maybe it is her practicality as a Quaker. I think she treasured things. She understood their value.”

Documents found with the red dress tie it, unquestionably, to Dolley. It was likely made sometime between 1810 and 1820. Yet, no record, be it a letter of Dolley’s or an order for a dress, has ever been found linking the dress to Latrobe’s draperies. “It is a 20th century folklore,” says Webster.

In the stir of publicity for the National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition, Diane Dunkley, director and chief curator of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Museum, also in Washington, D.C., read about the dress—most likely on display for the last time given its fragile condition. Her ears perked. The DAR Museum has in its collection a swatch of fabric purportedly from the red velvet draperies.

Plans quickly formulated. The DAR Museum and the Greensboro Historical Museum sent clippings of the alleged curtains and the dress to the National Museum of American History, for costumes conservator Sunae Park Evans to compare them using a new digital microscope.

“You can’t absolutely prove that the history is true just from a comparison,” explains Alden O’Brien, curator of costumes and textiles at the DAR Museum. Only through oral history, after all, does the DAR Museum know that their swatch comes from the curtains. “But if the fabrics match, it strengthens the likelihood that there’s truth to the shared histories,” she says.

In a brightly lit lab in the basement of the American History Museum, accompanied by a few half-built Styrofoam mannequin bodices, I watch as Evans and O’Brien analyze a tiny piece of the DAR’s remnant. The microscope’s magnified view is transposed on a computer screen. Based on the fabric’s weave, they quickly realize that it is satin, not velvet. Somewhat disappointingly, O’Brien concludes that the swatch couldn’t possibly be from the red draperies in the Oval Room Drawing Room, as the DAR thought, since all references to the curtains specify that they are velvet.

Evans then places a small snippet of the dress, taken from an inside seam, under the lens. “Oh, very different weave structure,” O’Brien exclaims. “Totally different.” In fact, the color is too. This piece is more pinkish than the previous swatch. Based on the way the fibers are woven, Evans says with certainty that this one is velvet. Whether it is the velvet from the draperies, though, no one can say.

Hart, of the National Portrait Gallery, likes to believe in the tale. “It seems reasonable to me,” says the historian. Dolley did keep the dress until her dying day. “But there is no way that I can see that this can ever really be proved one way or another,” he says.


Facts about Dolley Madison 9: married to James Madison

On 15 September 1794, Dolley married to James Madison after he was expelled from Society of Friends because Madison was not a Quaker.

Facts about Dolley Madison 10: as the first lady

Dolley took the role as the first lady after his husband was elected as the president. She was notable due to her hospitality and social grace.

Do you like reading facts about Dolley Madison?


ABOUT DOLLEY PAYNE MADISON:

Here are the bits of information that indicate that Dolley Madison, wife of President James Madison, may be a blood relative:

From the PoliSci Dept., W.Virginia University, Marion County History: " Oral history indicates that in 1808 BOAZ FLEMING made his annual trek to Clarksburg to pay his brother's Harrison County taxes. While in Clarksburg he attended a social gathering that included DOLLY MADISON, his cousin."

John Fleming was her great, great Grandfather. He was born in Scotland in about 1627, and died in Virginia in about 1686.

From Ancestry.com and other sources: Mary Cole, Dolley's mother, died in Clarksburg, VA in 1808. This was the same year that Boaz Fleming visited Clarksburg and ran into his cousin, Dolley.

From Wikipedia.org/DolleyMadison: Dolley Payne Todd married James madison on 15 Sep 1794 at Harewood, Virginia (now W.Virginia), a plantation owned by her sister, Mary, and her brother-in-law, George Steptoe Washington, nephew of 1st U.S. President, GEORGE WASHINGTON.

Dolley's first husband was John Todd, Jr. They had two children. John died in 1793 along with their oldest son and his parents of yellow fever.


Ближайшие родственники

About Dolly Madison, First Lady of the USA

First Lady of the United States from 1809 to 1817. She also occasionally acted as what is now described as First Lady of the United States during the administration of Thomas Jefferson, fulfilling the ceremonial functions more usually associated with the President's wife, since Jefferson was a widower.[1] It is disputed as to whether her true name is Dorothea, Dorothy, or Dolley and her name has been widely misspelled as "Dolly" her most recent biographers use the name Dolley as that is how she identified herself during her lifetime and because that is how her name was registered at her birth.

On January 7, 1790, in Philadelphia, she married John Todd, Jr. (1764-1793), a lawyer who was instrumental in keeping her father out of bankruptcy and who found Mary Payne a position as the manager of a boarding house. The couple had two sons, John Payne (February 29, 1792-1852) and William Temple (born/died in 1793). In 1793, a yellow fever epidemic broke out in Philadelphia. Her husband moved Dolley and their older son, out of the city to safety, while he returned to attend to the sick including his parents. John Todd and his parents soon died, however. [6] Their youngest son, William Temple Todd, also died in 1793 from yellow fever.[7] Dolley and her other son, John Payne, were both also afflicted with yellow fever, but recovered.

Marriage to James Madison:

In 1794, after returning to Philadelphia, her friend Aaron Burr, who was a frequent guest at the boarding house managed by Mary Payne, introduced her to James Madison. On September 14, 1794, Dolley Todd married James Madison, who was seventeen years older. The location of the wedding was Harewood, Virginia (now in West Virginia), a plantation owned by the bride's brother-in-law George Steptoe Washington, a nephew of the first president of the United States. The Madisons had no children but raised Dolley's son from her first marriage, John Payne Todd, whom they called Payne.

The First Spouse Program under the Presidential $1 Coin Act authorizes the United States Mint to issue 1/2 ounce $10 gold coins and bronze medal duplicates[8] to honor the spouses of Presidents of the United States. Dolley Madison's coin (below, right) was released on November 18, 2007. Earlier, the Mint had issued a commemorative coin (below, left) in 1999 bearing her likeness. ________________________________________________________________________________________ During the War of 1812, the Tayloe family offered their home, known as The Octagon, as a temporary "Executive Mansion" after the British burned the White House. There are reports of Dolley Madison's ghost seen roaming the house after her death, still wearing her elegant clothes and the feathered turban.

Dolley Madison was the wife of James Madison, the architect of the U.S. Constitution and fourth president of the United States (1809­�). She was the third woman to serve as what is now called "first lady," and her imprint as the national hostess defined the role until the more activist Eleanor Roosevelt broke Madison's ceremonial model. It was during her years in the White House that Madison gained her fame as a shrewd and graceful politician who could win the hearts of those who opposed her husband, and the greatest Washington hostess of the first quarter of the nineteenth century. She is also known for saving a portrait of George Washington during the War of 1812. After the end of James Madison's second term in the White House, the couple returned to live at their plantation, Montpelier, in Orange County, where they remained until James Madison died in 1836. From 1836 to 1844, Dolley Madison resided both in Washington, D.C., and at Montpelier, after which she spent the last five and a half years of her life in Washington. She was criticized by abolitionists for continuing to own slaves but remained a prominent national figure even while facing serious financial struggles. Along with Elizabeth Hamilton, the wife of Alexander Hamilton, she was the last surviving member of the founding generation, admired and esteemed for both her own contributions and those of her husband. She died in 1849 in Washington, where she was buried. Her remains were later moved to the Madison family cemetery at Montpelier.

BURIAL DATE IS NOT WRONG -- READ BIO BELOW. Dolley was buried three different times.

Presidential First Lady. She was the wife of 4th United States President James Madison. Born in New Garden, North Carolina, she married John Todd, Jr., a lawyer, in 1790. He succumbed to yellow fever in 1793, leaving her with a small son, Payne. Her second marriage was to James Madison, who was then serving as a Congressman from Virginia, and was seventeen years her senior. He was very patient with his stepson Payne who first mismanaged his own affairs and eventually his mothers which left her destitute. She was a great asset to Madison's career. When her husband was appointed Secretary of State by the widowed President Thomas Jefferson in 1801, Dolley assisted him as White House hostess and presided at the first inaugural ball when her husband became Chief Executive in 1809. During the burning of the White House in 1814, she saved many state papers and a portrait of George Washington from the advancing British. Upon her husbands death in 1836 in Virginia, she returned to Washington, D.C. residing on Lafayette Square where she retained a place in Washington society and was granted a lifelong seat on the floor of the House of Representatives. Upon her death she was interred in a brick receiving vault at the Congressional Cemetery, Washington D.C. It was removed in 1852 and placed in the private vault of her niece. The remains were on the move again in 1858 when it was exhumed and transported to the Madison family graveyard at Montpelier and interred behind her husband's monument. (bio by: Paul S.)

Search Amazon for Dolley Madison

Montpelier Estate National Historic Site

Edit Virtual Cemetery info [?]

Maintained by: Find A Grave

Find A Grave Memorial# 660

Wife of James Madison, the fourth President of the United States.

Dolley Payne Todd Madison (May 20, 1768 – July 12, 1849) was the spouse of the fourth President of the United States, James Madison, and was First Lady of the United States from 1809 to 1817. She also occasionally acted as First Lady during the administration of Thomas Jefferson, fulfilling the ceremonial functions more usually associated with the President's wife, since Jefferson was a widower.[1]

In the past, biographers and others stated that her real name was Dorothea after her Aunt, or Dorothy and Dolley was a nickname. However, the registry of her birth with the New Garden Friends Meeting lists her name as Dolley and her will of 1841 states "I, Dolley p. Madison"[2]. Based on manuscript evidence and the scholarship of her recent biographers, Dolley, spelled with an E, appears to have been her given name.[3]

Early life and first marriage

Dolley Payne was born on May 20, 1768, in the Quaker settlement of New Garden, North Carolina, in Guilford County. [4] Her parents, both Virginians, had moved there in 1765. Her mother, Mary Cole, a Quaker, married John Payne, a non-Quaker, in 1761. Three years later, he applied and was admitted to the Quaker Monthly Meeting in Hanover County, Virginia, and Dolley Payne was raised in the Quaker faith.

Dolley was one of 8 children, four boys (Walter, William Temple, Isaac, and John) and four girls (Dolley, Lucy, Anna, and Mary). In 1769, the family returned to Virginia.[5] As a young girl, she grew up in comfort in rural eastern Virginia, deeply attached to her mother's family.

In 1783, John Payne emancipated his slaves and moved his family to Philadelphia, where he went into business as a starch merchant. By 1789, however, his business had failed. He died in 1792. Dolley's mother initially made ends meet by opening a boarding house. A year later she moved to western Virginia to live with her daughter Lucy, who had married George Steptoe Washington, a nephew of George Washington. Mary Coles Payne took her two youngest children, Mary and John, with her. By then, Dolley Payne had married Quaker lawyer John Todd in January 1790. Their son, John Payne Todd, was born in 1792 and William Temple Todd in 1793. Her sister Anna lived with the Todds as well.

In the fall of 1793, yellow fever struck Philadelphia. Her husband and younger son, William Temple, both died in the epidemic, and Dolley Todd was left a widow at the age of twenty-five.

In May, 1794, James Madison asked his friend Aaron Burr to introduce him to Dolley Todd. Madison was seventeen years her senior and, at the age of forty-three, a long-standing bachelor.

The encounter apparently went smoothly for a brisk courtship followed, and by August she had accepted his proposal of marriage. For marrying Madison, a non-Quaker, she was expelled from the Society of Friends. They were married on September 15, 1794 and lived in Philadelphia for the next three years.

In 1797, after eight years in the House of Representatives, James Madison retired from politics. He took his family to Montpelier, the Madison family estate in Orange County, Virginia. There they expanded the house and settled in. They expected to remain as planters living quietly in the country but when Thomas Jefferson became the third president of the United States, in 1801, he asked James Madison to serve as his Secretary of State. James Madison accepted, and the Madison family, consisting now of James, Dolley, her son Payne, and her sister Anna, moved to Washington, D.C.. They moved to an extremely large house for the amount of their savings.

Madison worked with the architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe to furnish the White House.

In the approach to the 1808 presidential election, with Thomas Jefferson ready to retire, the Democratic-Republican caucus nominated James Madison to succeed him. James Madison was elected President, serving two terms from 1809 to 1817, with Dolley becoming official First Lady.

As the invading British army approached Washington during the War of 1812, Madison's slaves collected valuables like silver, Gilbert Stuart's famous portrait of George Washington, an original draft of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

However, in her own letter to her sister the day before Washington was burned (after hearing about the Battle of Bladensburg) [6],Dolly says she ordered that the painting be removed: "Our kind friend Mr. Carroll has come to hasten my departure, and in a very bad humor with me, because I insist on waiting until the large picture of General Washington is secured, and it requires to be unscrewed from the wall. The process was found too tedious for these perilous moments I have ordered the frame to be broken and the canvas taken out". "It is done, and the precious portrait placed in the hands of two gentlemen from New York for safe keeping. On handing the canvas to the gentlemen in question, Messrs. Barker and Depeyster, Mr. Sioussat cautioned them against rolling it up, saying that it would destroy the portrait. He was moved to this because Mr. Barker started to roll it up for greater convenience for carrying." [7]

The late White House historians JH McCormick (1904) and Gilson Willets (1908)identify the man in charge of removing the painting, as Jean Pierre Sioussat [8], the first Master of Ceremonies of the White House [9], quoted as follows: " a negro servant, named Paul Jennings, issued in 1865, A Colored Man's Reminiscences of James Madison, in which he, as a White House employe, insists 'She (Mrs. Madison) had no time for doing it It would have required a ladder to get it down. All she carried off was the silver in her reticule, as the British were thought to be but a few squares off, and were expected every moment. John Suse (meaning Jean Sioussat), a Frenchman, then doorkeeper, and still living, and McGraw, the President's gardener, took it down and sent it off on a wagon with some larger silver urns and other such valuables as could be hastily got together. When the British did arrive they ate up the very dinner that I had prepared for the President's party.'"

The late White House historians give the accounts of further authorities regarding the First Lady's escape from fire of 1814:

"The friends with Mrs. Madison hurried her away (her carriage being previously ready), and she, with many other families, retreated with the flying army. In Georgetown they perceived some men before them carrying off the picture of General Washington (the large one by Stewart), which with the plate was all that was saved out of the President's house. Mrs. Madison lost all her own property. Mrs. Madison slept that night in the encampment, a guard being placed round her tent the next day she crossed into Virginia, where she remained until Sunday, when she returned to meet her husband."

An eye-witness, writing for the Federal Republican, published at the time of the fire, says: "About ten o'clock on the night of the 24th ult., while the Capitol, the Navy Yard, the Magazine, and the buildings attached thereto, on Greenleaf's Point, were entirely in flames, I was sitting in the window of my lodging on the Pennsylvania Avenue, contemplating the solemn and awful scene, when about a hundred men passed the house, troops of the enemy, on their way toward the President's house. They walked two abreast preceded by an officer on foot, each armed with a hanger, and wearing a chapeau de bras. In the middle of the ranks were two men, each with a dark lanthorn. They marched quickly but silently. Some of them, however, were talking in the ranks, which being overheard by the officer, he called out to them 'Silence! If any man speaks in the ranks, I'll put him to death' 1 Shortly after they pushed on, I observed four officers on horseback, with chapeau de bras and side arms. They made up to the house, and pulling off their hats in a polite and social manner, wished us a good evening. The family and myself returned the salute, and I observed to them, 'Gentlemen! I presume you are officers of the British Army'. They replied they were. 'I hope, sir', said I, addressing one that rode up under the window, which I found to be Admiral Cockburn, 'that individuals and private property will be respected'. Admiral Cockburn and General Ross immediately replied: 'Yes, sir, we pledge our sacred honor that the citizens and private property shall be respected. Be under no apprehension. Our advice to you is to remain at home. Do not quit your houses'. Admiral Cockburn then inquired: 'Where is your President, Mr. Madison ?' I replied, "I could not tell, but supposed by this time at a considerable distance."

"They then observed that they were on their way to pay a visit to the President's house, which they were told was but a little distance ahead. They again requested that we would stay in our houses, where we would be perfectly safe, and bowing, politely, wished us good night, and proceeded on. I perceived the smoke coming from the windows of the President's house, and in a short time, that splendid and elegant edifice, reared at the expense of so much cost and labor, inferior to none that I have observed in the different parts of Europe, was wrapt in one entire flame. The large and elegant Capitol of the Nation on one side, and the splendid National Palace and Treasury Department on the other, all wrapt in flame, presented a grand and sublime, but, at the same time, an awful and melancholy sight."

On April 6 1817, Dolley and James Madison returned to their estate in Orange County, Virginia.

In 1830, Dolley Madison's son by her first marriage, Payne Todd, who had never found a career, went to debtors prison in Philadelphia. The Madisons sold land in Kentucky and mortgaged half of the Montpelier estate to pay Todd's debts.

James Madison died at Montpelier on June 28, 1836. Dolley remained at Montpelier for a year. One of her nieces, Anna Payne, came to live with her. Payne Todd also came for a stay, and Mrs. Madison organized and copied her husband's papers. In 1837, Congress authorized $30,000 as payment for the first installment of the Madison papers.

In the fall of 1837, Dolley Payne Madison decided to leave Montpelier for Washington, D.C., charging Payne Todd with the care of the plantation. She moved with Anna Payne into a house her sister Anna and her husband Richard Cutts had bought, located on Lafayette Square.

While Madison was living in Washington, Payne Todd was unable to manage the plantation successfully due to alcoholism and resulting illness. Madison tried to raise money by selling the rest of James' papers. Unable to find a buyer for the papers, she sold the whole estate to pay off outstanding debts. Paul Jennings later recalled, "In the last days of her life, before Congress purchased her husband's papers, she was in a state of absolute poverty, and I think sometimes suffered for the necessaries of life. While I was a servant to Mr. Webster, he often sent me to her with a market-basket full of provisions, and told me whenever I saw anything in the house that I thought she was in need of, to take it to her. I often did this, and occasionally gave her small sums from my own pocket, though I had years before bought my freedom of her."[10] In 1848, Congress agreed to buy the rest of James Madison's papers for the sum of $25,000.

Dolley Madison died at her home in Washington, DC at the age of 81. She was first interred in the Congressional Cemetery, Washington, DC., but later re-interred at Montpelier estate, Orange, Virginia. [11]

Dolley was born to John and Mary Coles Payne in North Carolina in 1768. In 1783, John Payne moved his family to Philadelphia, city of the Quakers. Although raised in the strict discipline of the Society of Friends, she had a happy personality and a warm heart.

John Todd, Jr., a lawyer, exchanged marriage vows with Dolley in 1790. Just three years later he died in a yellow-fever epidemic, leaving his wife with a small son.

By this time Philadelphia had become the capital city. With her charm and her laughing blue eyes, fair skin, and black curls, the young widow attracted distinguished attention. Although Representative James Madison of Virginia was 17 years her senior, and Episcopalian in background, they were married in September 1794. The marriage, though childless, was notably happy: "our hearts understand each other", she assured him. He could even be patient with Dolley's son, Payne, who mishandled his own affairs - and, eventually mismanaged Madison's estate.

Discarding the somber Quaker dress after her second marriage, Dolley chose the finest of fashions. Blessed with a desire to please, and a willingness to be pleased, Dolley made her home the center of society when Madison began, in 1801, his eight years as Jefferson's Secretary of State. She assisted at the White House when the President asked her help in receiving ladies, and presided at the first inaugural ball in Washington when her husband became Chief Executive in 1809.

Dolly's social graces made her famous. Her political acumen, prized by her husband, is less renowned, though her gracious tact smoothed many a quarrel. Hostile statesmen, difficult envoys from Spain or Tunisia, warrior chiefs from the west, flustered youngsters - she always welcomed everyone.

During the War of 1812, she was forced to flee Washington, as the British Army was advancing. But not before insisting on saving Stuart's oil portrait of George Washington. On August 24, 1814, the burning walls of the White House were saved only by a thunderstorm that broke that night. She returned to find the mansion in ruins. But undaunted by temporary quarters, she continued to entertain as skillfully as ever.

At their plantation Montpelier in Virginia, the Madisons lived in pleasant retirement until he died in 1836. She returned to the capital in the autumn of 1837, where she remained until her death in 1849, honored and loved by all.

Presidential First Lady. She was the wife of 4th United States President James Madison. Born in New Garden, North Carolina, she married John Todd, Jr., a lawyer, in 1790. He succumbed to yellow fever in 1793, leaving her with a small son, Payne. Her second marriage was to James Madison, who was then serving as a Congressman from Virginia, and was seventeen years her senior. He was very patient with his stepson Payne who first mismanaged his own affairs and eventually his mothers which left her destitute. She was a great asset to Madison's career. When her husband was appointed Secretary of State by the widowed President Thomas Jefferson in 1801, Dolley assisted him as White House hostess and presided at the first inaugural ball when her husband became Chief Executive in 1809. During the burning of the White House in 1814, she saved many state papers and a portrait of George Washington from the advancing British. Upon her husbands death in 1836 in Virginia, she returned to Washington, D.C. residing on Lafayette Square where she retained a place in Washington society and was granted a lifelong seat on the floor of the House of Representatives.

First Lady of the United States from 1809 to 1817. She also occasionally acted as what is now described as First Lady of the United States during the administration of Thomas Jefferson, fulfilling the ceremonial functions more usually associated with the President's wife, since Jefferson was a widower.[1] It is disputed as to whether her true name is Dorothea, Dorothy, or Dolley and her name has been widely misspelled as "Dolly" her most recent biographers use the name Dolley as that is how she identified herself during her lifetime and because that is how her name was registered at her birth.

On January 7, 1790, in Philadelphia, she married John Todd, Jr. (1764-1793), a lawyer who was instrumental in keeping her father out of bankruptcy and who found Mary Payne a position as the manager of a boarding house. The couple had two sons, John Payne (February 29, 1792-1852) and William Temple (born/died in 1793). In 1793, a yellow fever epidemic broke out in Philadelphia. Her husband moved Dolley and their older son, out of the city to safety, while he returned to attend to the sick including his parents. John Todd and his parents soon died, however. [6] Their youngest son, William Temple Todd, also died in 1793 from yellow fever.[7] Dolley and her other son, John Payne, were both also afflicted with yellow fever, but recovered.

Marriage to James Madison:

In 1794, after returning to Philadelphia, her friend Aaron Burr, who was a frequent guest at the boarding house managed by Mary Payne, introduced her to James Madison. On September 14, 1794, Dolley Todd married James Madison, who was seventeen years older. The location of the wedding was Harewood, Virginia (now in West Virginia), a plantation owned by the bride's brother-in-law George Steptoe Washington, a nephew of the first president of the United States. The Madisons had no children but raised Dolley's son from her first marriage, John Payne Todd, whom they called Payne.

The First Spouse Program under the Presidential $1 Coin Act authorizes the United States Mint to issue 1/2 ounce $10 gold coins and bronze medal duplicates[8] to honor the spouses of Presidents of the United States. Dolley Madison's coin (below, right) was released on November 18, 2007. Earlier, the Mint had issued a commemorative coin (below, left) in 1999 bearing her likeness. ________________________________________________________________________________________ During the War of 1812, the Tayloe family offered their home, known as The Octagon, as a temporary "Executive Mansion" after the British burned the White House. There are reports of Dolley Madison's ghost seen roaming the house after her death, still wearing her elegant clothes and the feathered turban.

BURIAL DATE IS NOT WRONG -- READ BIO BELOW. Dolley was buried three different times.


Dolley Madison

Dolley Payne was born on May 20, 1768, in the Quaker settlement of New Garden in Guilford County, North Carolina. Her parents, John and Mary Coles Payne, had moved there from Virginia in 1765. Her mother, a Quaker, had married John Payne, a non-Quaker, in 1761. Three years later, John was admitted to the Quaker Monthly Meeting in Hanover County, Virginia, and Dolley Payne was raised in the Quaker faith.

Dolley was one of 8 children, four boys and four girls. In 1769 the family returned to Virginia. As a young girl, Dolley grew up in comfort in rural eastern Virginia. In 1783, John Payne emancipated his slaves and moved the family to Philadelphia, where he went into business as a starch merchant.

No records exist of any formal education for Dolley. Although Philadelphia’s Pine Street Meeting, to which the Paynes belonged, did offer class instructions for girls as well as boys, Dolley was 15 years old at the time she moved to Philadelphia and was past the usual age for school.

By 1789, however, Payne’s business had failed he died in 1792. Dolley’s mother, Mary Coles Payne, initially made ends meet by opening a boarding house, and one of her guests was Congressman Aaron Burr. A year later Mary moved to western Virginia to live with her daughter Lucy, who had married George Steptoe Washington, a nephew of George Washington.

In January 1790, Dolley Payne married John Todd a lawyer and fellow Quaker. They lived in a modest three-story brick house at the corner of Fourth and Walnut Streets. Their son John Payne Todd was born in 1792 and William Temple Todd in 1793. Dolley’s eleven-year-old sister Anna, whom Dolley referred to as her “daughter-sister,” lived with the Todds as well.

During a yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia in the fall of 1793, Dolley’s husband and younger son both died on the same day, leaving her a widow at the age of twenty-five.

In May 1794, James Madison, a Congressman from Virginia, asked his friend Aaron Burr to introduce him to Dolley Todd. Madison was seventeen years her senior and, at the age of forty-three, a long-standing bachelor. A courtship followed, and by August she had accepted his proposal of marriage.

On September 15, 1794, Dolley married James Madison at her sister Lucy’s home in present-day West Virginia. Following their wedding, James and Dolley honeymooned at the home of Madison’s sister, Nelly Hite, at Belle Grove near Winchester, Virginia, before returning to Philadelphia where Madison resumed his leadership duties in Congress. They lived in Madison’s elegant three-story Spruce Street brick house until his retirement from Congress in 1797.

For marrying a non-Quaker, she was expelled from the Society of Friends. This never seemed to bother the lively Dolley who later noted that the “Society used to control me entirely and debar me from so many advantages and pleasures.”

James Madison: Founding Father
James Madison was among the first to recognize that a stronger central government would be critical to the new nation’s survival. He undertook an exhaustive study of government structures throughout history, outlining reasons why earlier attempts at democracy and representative government failed. His research convinced him that the Articles would not withstand the onslaughts of state interests.

Madison’s ideas eventually crystallized into the Virginia Plan, where the interests of individuals, states, and the national authority were balanced and mixed into “an extended republic.” He also sought the counsel of influential Americans whose support was vital if any changes in the government were to take place. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Edmund Randolph were among the prominent politicians to support Madison’s plan.

When the Constitutional Convention finally began in Philadelphia on May 14, 1787, many feared that the young country was near collapse. During the long, hot summer that followed, the 55 delegates hammered out a new framework of government. Madison lobbied strongly for his positions, proposed compromises and took copious notes.

In the end, many of Madison’s proposals were incorporated into the Constitution, including representation in Congress according to population, support for a strong national executive, the need for checks and balances among the three branches of government and the idea of a federal system that assigned certain powers to the national government and reserved others for the states.

However, the Constitution still faced challenges with the state ratification conventions. Along with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, Madison wrote a series of essays, The Federalist Papers, that argued for ratification. Virginia’s support would be absolutely critical, so he lobbied his fellow citizens hard for its passage. His efforts were rewarded in June 1788, when New Hampshire and Virginia ratified the Constitution.

In 1797, after eight years in the House of Representatives, James Madison retired from politics. He took his family to Montpelier, the Madison family estate in Orange County, Virginia. There they expanded the house and settled in, expecting to remain planters and live quietly in the country. Dolley assumed not only household management of the plantation and slaves, but also cared for her elderly mother-in-law who lived there.

However, when Thomas Jefferson became the third president of the United States in 1801, he asked James Madison to serve as his Secretary of State. He accepted, and the Madison family, moved to Washington, DC, the new capital, in June 1801.

Initially, the family – consisting now of James, Dolley, son Payne and sister Anna – lived in The White House (known simply as the “president’s house” at this time) with Jefferson, but by 1802 they had their own house on F Street two blocks away. Anna would continue as part of the family until she married Congressman Richard Cutts in 1804.

At receptions and dinners President Thomas Jefferson – who had been a widow since 1782 – felt required hostess, he asked Dolley Madison to help him. Though not given an official designation, her exposure to the political and diplomatic figures who were guests of the President, as well as to the general public who came to meet him, provided her with a lengthy experience as a White House hostess.

Dolley Madison’s popularity as a hostess for Jefferson in Washington added greatly to the recognition of her husband by those members of congress whose electoral votes chose the winner of presidential races. During the 1808 election, however, there was an attempt by Federalist newspapers in Baltimore and Boston that implied Mrs. Madison had been intimate with President Jefferson as a way of attacking her character.

In the approaching 1808 presidential election, with Jefferson ready to retire, the Democratic-Republican Party nominated James Madison to succeed him. Madison was elected the fourth President of the United States, serving two terms from 1809 to 1817 Dolley became First Lady of the United States.

Image: President James Madison
4th President of the United States
John Vanderlyn, 1816

In the White House 1809-1817
In preparation for the inaugural ceremonies on March 4, 1809, the commandant of the Washington Navy Yard requested Dolley’s permission and sponsorship of a dance and dinner, and she readily agreed thus, the first Inaugural Ball took place that evening. Held at Long’s Hotel on Capitol Hill, four hundred guests attended. Dressed in a buff-colored velvet gown, wearing pearls and large plumes in a turban, Dolley made a dramatic impression.

With more conscious effort than either of her two predecessors, and with an enthusiasm for public life that neither of them had, Dolley Madison forged the highly public role as a President’s wife, believing that the citizenry was her constituency as well as that of her husband’s. This would establish her as the standard against which all her successors would be held, well into the mid-20th century.

This persona was specifically created to serve the political fortunes of not only the President, but also of the United States. She would steer conversation with political figures in a way that revealed their positions on issues facing the Madison Administration, or sought to convince them to consider the viewpoint of her husband. She held dove parties where congressional wives discussed current events, hosted political dinners, and gave wildly popular public receptions.

She was also the first to decorate the White House. Working within a tight budget, Dolley balanced the elegance required to impress international visitors and the modesty of a republican nation. Through her purchases of wallpaper, furniture, and china, Dolley Madison combined sophistication with simplicity. She completed her decoration of the White House by 1810, throwing a gala to display her achievements to the American public.

In 1814, while the War of 1812 was raging, the British Army advanced on Washington, and the President left the city to be on the front lines with the troops. He ordered his wife to leave, but she refused to leave until she heard cannon fire.

On August 24, 1814, British soldiers set fire to the White House, and fuel was added to the fires to ensure they would continue burning into the next day the smoke was reportedly visible as far away as Baltimore. Dolley commandeered a large wagon off the street and helped the servants load it with vital state documents, the President’s papers and books, her favorite silver and china, and at the last minute, Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of George Washington.

The fire in the White House destroyed the interior and charred much of the exterior. Reconstruction began almost immediately. Colonel John Tayloe III offered the use of his home, The Octagon House, to the Madisons as a temporary Executive Mansion, and they resided there for the remainder of his term. Madison used the circular room above the entrance as a study, and in that room in 1815, he signed the ratification papers for the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812.

At Montpelier 1817-1837
On April 6, 1817, Dolley and James Madison returned to their estate in Orange County, Virginia. In 1830, Dolley’s son by her first marriage, Payne Todd, a gambler and an alcoholic who never married nor had a career, went to debtors prison in Philadelphia. The Madisons sold land in Kentucky and mortgaged half of the Montpelier estate to pay Todd’s debts.

Madison used his retirement to organize his papers for publication, especially his notes from the Constitutional Convention. In this effort, Dolley was his helpmate, even serving as his hands when painful rheumatism kept him from writing. Madison always said he would not share these notes until the last of the delegates to the convention had died. As it turned out he himself was the last to pass away.

James Madison died at Montpelier on June 28, 1836, at the age of 85.

Thus the 41-year marriage between James and Dolley drew to a close. Theirs had been a supremely successful relationship on both a personal and a public level. Dolley remained at Montpelier for a year thereafter. One of her nieces, Anna Payne, daughter of her younger brother John Coles Payne came to live with Dolley, but she found life at Montpelier difficult.

In the fall of 1837, Dolley decided to leave Montpelier and again moved to Washington, DC, with her niece, leaving Payne Todd was to run the plantation. Dolley and Anna moved into a house Dolley’s sister Anna and her husband had bought. Dolley was socially in demand, and politically she was a living symbol of the generation of the Founding Fathers.

Dolley Madison had helped her husband organize and prepare his papers, including those he used in drafting the U.S. Constitution for public release. After his death, she continued to organize and copy her husband’s papers. It was left to Dolley to publish Madison’s papers, and they did not bring the money he had hoped would carry her through to the end of her life.

While Dolley was living in Washington, Payne Todd was unable to manage the plantation successfully due to alcoholism and resulting illnesses, leaving them without income. Dolley moved back to Montpelier to run the plantation, but failed to make a profit. Due to the increasing burden of vast debt accumulated by her irresponsible son, she was forced to sell their Virginia properties, including Montpelier.

In Washington 1844-1849
In 1844, Dolley Madison returned permanently to Washington, DC, and moved into another Madison property, a row house across the street from the White House. The former First Lady lived in near-poverty for several years, and was so poor that she had to accept hand-outs from friends. In 1847, she sold her slave Paul Jennings to her Lafayette Square neighbor, Daniel Webster.

In the last days of her life, before Congress purchased her husband’s papers, she was in a state of absolute poverty, and I think sometimes suffered for the necessaries of life. While I was a servant to Mr. Webster, he often sent me to her with a market-basket full of provisions, and told me whenever I saw anything in the house that I thought she was in need of, to take it to her. I often did this, and occasionally gave her small sums from my own pocket.

In 1844, the United States House of Representatives dedicated an honorary seat in Congress for Dolley, allowing her to watch congressional debates from the floor, where members sat at their desks. From the White House she was the first private citizen to transmit a message via telegraph, an honor given her by its inventor Samuel F. B. Morse.

In 1848, Congress finally purchased James Madison’s papers for the sum of $25,000. Of this sum, Dolley invested $20,000 in a trust fund out of fear that Payne Todd would waste it on gambling and alcohol. During this time, Dolley served as Honorary Chair of a women’s group to raise funds for the Washington Memorial. Her last public appearance was on the arm of President James K. Polk at his last White House reception.

Dolley Payne Todd Madison died at her home in Washington, DC, July 12, 1849, at the age of 81. Her funeral was a state occasion, attended by the president, the cabinet officers, the diplomatic corps, members of the House and Senate, the justices of the Supreme Court, officers of the army and navy, the mayor and city leaders, and “citizens and strangers.”

Sometimes referred to today as the first First Lady, the title actually came from her eulogy which was delivered by then-President Zachary Taylor, who referred to her as “the first lady of the land for half a century.” Her final legacy was to inspire the term by which the presidents’ wives have been known ever since.

Her remains originally went to the Congressional Cemetery, but were later transported to Montpelier and now rest next to her husband’s in the Madison Family Cemetery.


Watch the video: Dolley Madison - The Courtship (October 2022).

Video, Sitemap-Video, Sitemap-Videos