Virtual Museum of Art | Virtual Museum of History | Virtual Public Library | Virtual Science Center | Virtual Museum of Natural History | Virtual War Museum
   You are in: Museum of History >> Hall of USA >> US First Ladies >> Dolley Payne (Todd) Madison

Who was the First U.S. President?
There were actually four first Presidents
of the United Colonies and States of America
Click Here


Dolley Payne (Todd) Madison

(1768 - 1849)

First Lady from March 4, 1801 to March 4, 1817

Dolley Madison

First Lady

Click here to read Dolley Madison's letter concerning the burning of Washington DC

By  Sherri W.   - Gotha Middle School, Windermere, Florida.

Dorothea Payne Todd (1768-1849) was born into a Quaker family. They lived in Guliford County, North Carolina. She then moved to Scotchtown, Virginia, but spent most of her life in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Little else is known about her childhood.

Her first marriage was a disaster. Her husband and son died of yellow fever in 1793. But, soon after she married James Madison, the 9th president. From 1809-1817 he was president of the United States of America. Now she became known as Dolley Madison.

In 1814 the British invaded Washington D.C. They burned the White House. But as it was going up in flames she managed to save some important papers and a portrait of George Washington. Dolley Madison is one of the most famous first ladies in American history. Funny what you can find on president's wives, if you just look.

Dolley Madison ,was born Dolley Payne in Guilford County, N. C., on May 20, 1768. Her family moved to Virginia when she was an infant, and she spent the first 15 years of her life there. In 1783 her Quaker parents moved to Philadelphia, where, in 1790, she married Quaker lawyer John Todd, Jr. They had two children: one died in 1793 during the same yellow-fever epidemic that took her husband's life; the other was John Payne Todd. She married Congressman James Madison, 17 years her senior, on Sept. 15, 1794. The marriage, though childless, was apparently a very happy one.

Mrs. Madison first served as "unofficial first lady" during the presidency of Thomas Jefferson, a widower, while her husband served as secretary of state. During her husband's presidency (1809-1817), she became the unquestioned center of Washington society.  Noted for her graciousness and charm as well as her ability to entertain guests and preside at dinners, she was best known for her Wednesday evening receptions where politicians, diplomats and the general public gathered. At a time of intense party rivalries, these gatherings helped to soothe some of the tensions between Federalists and Republicans. Correspondence indicates that not only was she an effective counter balance to her husband's rather colorless public personality, but that her influence on Madison's political decisions was not in the least insignificant. Notably, during the British invasion of Washington in 1814, she escaped to Virginia carrying important state papers, a Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington, and other personal valuables.

Retiring to Virginia in 1817, the Madison's continued to entertain lavishly. After her husband's death in 1836, Mrs. Madison returned to Washington where her home once again became a center of social life. Her last public appearance was at a ball given for President Polk in 1848. She died in Washington on July 12, 1849.

 



Dolley Payne Madison was the wife of President James Madison and one of the most famous First Ladies in U. S. History.



A full address leaf, Free Frank "Free D.P. Madison" by her at the upper right, and addressed in her hand to Miss Mary E.E. Cutts in Washington. With a very dark circular red "Orange C.H. VA June 8" postmark Black seal with "DM" initials is intact.


Start your search on Dolley Payne (Todd) Madison.


America's Four United Republics Exhibit - Click Here


Unauthorized Site: This site and its contents are not affiliated, connected, associated with or authorized by the individual, family, friends, or trademarked entities utilizing any part or the subject's entire name. Any official or affiliated sites that are related to this subject will be hyper linked below upon submission and Evisum, Inc. review.

Research Links

  • First Ladies: The White House Site
  • National First Ladies' Library

    Copyright© 2000 by Evisum Inc.TM. All rights reserved.
    Evisum Inc.TM Privacy Policy

  • Search:

    About Us

     

     

    Image Use

    Please join us in our mission to incorporate America's Four United Republics discovery-based curriculum into the classroom of every primary and secondary school in the United States of America by July 2, 2026, the nation’s 250th birthday. , the United States of America: We The People Click Here

     

    Childhood & Family

    Click Here

     

    Historic Documents

    Articles of Association

    Articles of Confederation 1775

    Articles of Confederation

    Article the First

    Coin Act

    Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence

    Emancipation Proclamation

    Gettysburg Address

    Monroe Doctrine

    Northwest Ordinance

    No Taxation Without Representation

    Thanksgiving Proclamations

    Mayflower Compact

    Treaty of Paris 1763

    Treaty of Paris 1783

    Treaty of Versailles

    United Nations Charter

    United States In Congress Assembled

    US Bill of Rights

    United States Constitution

    US Continental Congress

    US Constitution of 1777

    US Constitution of 1787

    Virginia Declaration of Rights

     

    Historic Events

    Battle of New Orleans

    Battle of Yorktown

    Cabinet Room

    Civil Rights Movement

    Federalist Papers

    Fort Duquesne

    Fort Necessity

    Fort Pitt

    French and Indian War

    Jumonville Glen

    Manhattan Project

    Stamp Act Congress

    Underground Railroad

    US Hospitality

    US Presidency

    Vietnam War

    War of 1812

    West Virginia Statehood

    Woman Suffrage

    World War I

    World War II

     

    Is it Real?



    Declaration of
    Independence

    Digital Authentication
    Click Here

     

    America’s Four Republics
    The More or Less United States

     
    Continental Congress
    U.C. Presidents

    Peyton Randolph

    Henry Middleton

    Peyton Randolph

    John Hancock

      

    Continental Congress
    U.S. Presidents

    John Hancock

    Henry Laurens

    John Jay

    Samuel Huntington

      

    Constitution of 1777
    U.S. Presidents

    Samuel Huntington

    Samuel Johnston
    Elected but declined the office

    Thomas McKean

    John Hanson

    Elias Boudinot

    Thomas Mifflin

    Richard Henry Lee

    John Hancock
    [
    Chairman David Ramsay]

    Nathaniel Gorham

    Arthur St. Clair

    Cyrus Griffin

      

    Constitution of 1787
    U.S. Presidents

    George Washington 

    John Adams
    Federalist Party


    Thomas Jefferson
    Republican* Party

    James Madison 
    Republican* Party

    James Monroe
    Republican* Party

    John Quincy Adams
    Republican* Party
    Whig Party

    Andrew Jackson
    Republican* Party
    Democratic Party


    Martin Van Buren
    Democratic Party

    William H. Harrison
    Whig Party

    John Tyler
    Whig Party

    James K. Polk
    Democratic Party

    David Atchison**
    Democratic Party

    Zachary Taylor
    Whig Party

    Millard Fillmore
    Whig Party

    Franklin Pierce
    Democratic Party

    James Buchanan
    Democratic Party


    Abraham Lincoln 
    Republican Party

    Jefferson Davis***
    Democratic Party

    Andrew Johnson
    Republican Party

    Ulysses S. Grant 
    Republican Party

    Rutherford B. Hayes
    Republican Party

    James A. Garfield
    Republican Party

    Chester Arthur 
    Republican Party

    Grover Cleveland
    Democratic Party

    Benjamin Harrison
    Republican Party

    Grover Cleveland 
    Democratic Party

    William McKinley
    Republican Party

    Theodore Roosevelt
    Republican Party

    William H. Taft 
    Republican Party

    Woodrow Wilson
    Democratic Party

    Warren G. Harding 
    Republican Party

    Calvin Coolidge
    Republican Party

    Herbert C. Hoover
    Republican Party

    Franklin D. Roosevelt
    Democratic Party

    Harry S. Truman
    Democratic Party

    Dwight D. Eisenhower
    Republican Party

    John F. Kennedy
    Democratic Party

    Lyndon B. Johnson 
    Democratic Party 

    Richard M. Nixon 
    Republican Party

    Gerald R. Ford 
    Republican Party

    James Earl Carter, Jr. 
    Democratic Party

    Ronald Wilson Reagan 
    Republican Party

    George H. W. Bush
    Republican Party 

    William Jefferson Clinton
    Democratic Party

    George W. Bush 
    Republican Party

    Barack H. Obama
    Democratic Party

    Please Visit

    Forgotten Founders
    Norwich, CT

    Annapolis Continental
    Congress Society


    U.S. Presidency
    & Hospitality

    © Stan Klos

     

     

     

     


    Virtual Museum of Art | Virtual Museum of History | Virtual Public Library | Virtual Science Center | Virtual Museum of Natural History | Virtual War Museum