Dolley Madison


Dolley Madison

Original Name Dorothea Dandridge Payne
Guilford County, North Carolina, USA
Death 12 Jul 1849 (aged 81)
Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, USA
Burial Montpelier Station, Orange County, Virginia, USA
Memorial ID 660 View Source
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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.

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Wife of
May 20, 1768.
July 12, 1849.


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 660
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Dolley Madison (20 May 1768–12 Jul 1849), Find a Grave Memorial ID 660, citing Montpelier Estate National Historic Site, Montpelier Station, Orange County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .