Strength and Honor: The Life of Dolley Madison
Born a sprightly Quaker farm girl in the North Carolina wilderness, Dolley Payne became a wife, a mother, and soon a grieving young widow as yellow fever decimated her family. Then fate led her to James Madison, father of the Constitution, a future president, and the dearest love of her life. ?Our hearts understand each other, ? she wrote to him in 1805. Her enthusiasm was infectious. When eminent statesman Henry Clay exclaimed, ?Everybody loves Mrs. Madison, ? she responded, ?That's because Mrs. Madison loves everybody!? Dolley's immense warmth, effervescence, tact, and popularity were acknowledged even by her husband's political opponents. In 1808, Federalist presidential candidate Charles C. Pinckney lamented, ?I was beaten by Mr. and Mrs. Madison. I might have had a better chance had I faced Mr. Madison alone.' The personal heroism she displayed when the British attacked Washington during the War of 1812, and the courage and integrity that characterized her entire life, made her an extraordinary role model. By the time of her death at the age of eighty-one in 1849, she was one of the most-acclaimed, most-loved women in nineteenth-century America. Based on more than 2,000 of Dolley Payne Todd Madison's letters, this intimate portrait explores the mind, heart, and brave journey of a vivacious, dedicated woman, who triumphed over adversity, poverty, and tragedy to help build the new American republic and define the role of First Lady of the land.
From Hostess to Heroine
Adam and Eve in Paradise
Days of Grace and Honor
Other editions - View all
Adams American Anna Payne appeared Arnett arrived August became become born British brother building Burr called close Coles Collection Congress County Cutts Cutts Memoir daughter death died Dolley Dolley Madison Dolley's drawing dress early Elizabeth father fever four France French Garden George hand Hanover Harewood House Henry Historical husband James Madison Jefferson John Payne known Lady land later letter lived Lucy March marriage married Mary Meeting months Montpellier mother moved never North Carolina noted Philadelphia plantation political portrait president President's House published Quaker received records remained returned River secretary served sister slaves Smith social Society soon Street Thomas Todd took troops United Virginia Washington wedding weeks White House wife woman women wrote York young
Page 12 - ... the approach of my dear husband and his friends; but, alas! I can descry only groups of military wandering in all directions, as if there was a lack of arms, or of spirit, to fight for their own firesides!
Page 4 - I have since received two despatches from him written with a pencil. The last is alarming, because he desires I should be ready at a moment's warning, to enter my carriage and leave the city; that the enemy seemed stronger than had at first been reported, and it might happen that they would reach the city with the intention of destroying it.