Dolley Madison (1768 - 1849) Survivor of wars, intrigue, and challenges beyond the call of duty, Dolley Madison became one of the most beloved women of 19th Century America. Born a sprightly Quaker girl in the North Carolina wilderness, Dolley Payne Todd was a grieving young widow when she married James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, a future President, and the dearest love of her life. Together they would live in Philadelphia, the first seat of the Government, Washington D.C., and their beloved Montpelier estate in the heart of Virginia.
Dolley began her political career, if you will, as the confidante and best friend of Martha Washington, and Aaron Burr, among others. She was there from the beginning of our American government and acted as official hostess for eight years for President Jefferson, and became the nation's First Lady from 1809-1817. These were tremendous years of growth and change for our country with the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the Louisiana Purchase, to her personal heroism displayed during the British attack on Washington D.C. in the War of 1812.
Dolley Madison had an enthusiasm and humor that was infectious. Statesman Henry Clay exclaimed, "Everybody loves Mrs. Madison." She responded, "That's because Mrs. Madison loves everybody!" Even her husband's enemies admired Dolley's tact and diplomacy. Federalist Presidential candidate, Charles Pinckey, lamented, "I was beaten by Mr. And Mrs. Madison. I might have had a better chance had I faced Mr. Madison alone." Until her demise in 1849 at the age of 81, Dolley would become an advisor and friend of every President from Washington to President Polk.
One cannot say enough about the "wonderful Mrs. Madison," and her advice to the United States of America today to never, ever give up the fight for our Constitutional Government, and our God-given rights to live with freedom!