Dolley Madison

Madison, Dolley, 1768–1849, wife of President James Madison, b. Guilford co., N.C. Born Dolley Payne of Quaker parents, she was brought up in simplicity and was married (1790) to a Quaker, John Todd, who died in the yellow fever epidemic of 1793. She left the Friends to marry Madison in 1794. In later years as official White House hostess for President Jefferson (who was a widower) and for her husband, both in the White House and at Montpelier, she was noted for the magnificence of her entertaining as well as for charm, tact, and grace.

See her memoirs and letters (1886, repr. 1971); biographies by E. S. Arnett (1972) and C. Allgor (2006).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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