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Dolley PAYNE  TODD MADISON 1768 - 1849

Dolley was born in what is now Guilford County, North Carolina, daughter of John & Mary PAYNE. Born to Quaker parents, her family moved from North Carolina to a plantation in Scotchtown, Hanover County, Virginia when she was an infant. When she was 15, her family moved again to Philadelphia. Her first husband was John Payne TODD with whom she had two children. Her second husband was James Madison, 4th President of the United States.

As First Lady, Dolley Madison, wife of President James Madison, is credited with saving important State Papers and the famous full-length portrait of George Washington by artist Gilbert Stuart just before the British burned the White House in 1814.  She removed the canvas from its frame and loaded it into a wagon with other items and headed to the Virginia countryside. Handling this situation alone, while her husband was away on business, she became an American Heroine for her

She was well known as a Washington Hostess - click on the small photo below to see bigger version.


Letter written by Dolley Madison to her sister, Anna, the day before the British burned the City of  Washington in 1814.

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