Dolley Madison's Life

Timeline created by oliviaupchurch7
In History
  • Birth

    Dolley Madison was born in New Garden, North Carolina. Her father was John Payne Jr. Her mother was Mary Coles Payne.
  • Marries John Todd

    Marries John Todd
    Dolley Madison marries John Todd at the age of 21. He is a Quaker lawyer. Todd dies three years later because of yellow-fever.
  • Marries James Madison

    Marries James Madison
    Dolley Madison marries James Madison at the age of 26. James Madison later became the Fourth President​ of The United States. James and Dolley were very close and perfect for each other.
  • Inaugural ceremony of James Madison

    Inaugural ceremony of James Madison
    Dolley Madison wore a beautiful pale yellow gown at her husband's inaugural ceremony. She made a dramatic impression on everybody. This is the first example of how she helped James Madison's popularity grow during his presidency.
  • Letter to Edward Coles

    Letter to Edward Coles
    Dolley Madison writes a letter to her cousin, Edward Coles. She was writing about the possibility of the British attacking the Capitol. Dolley was also saying how she felt she was a fighter, even though she was a Quaker.
  • Dinner Party

    Dinner Party
    Dolley's husband, James Madison, left to gather troops for a battle. Dolley Madison threw a dinner party, but no one showed up. Instead, she went on her roof and used her spyglass to see if she could spot a sign of an American victory at the nearby battle or her husband returning.
  • Saved the portrait of George Washington

    Saved the portrait of George Washington
    When Dolley Madison was forced to leave the White House in 1814 due to British forces invading during the War of 1812, she grabbed cabinet papers, public documents, and a copy of the Declaration of Independence. She also grabbed a portrait of George Washington painted by Gilburt Stuart to save it for posterity. She also took the portrait so the British wouldn't mock it if they found it.
  • Retire to Montpelier

    Retire to Montpelier
    Dolley and James Madison retire to Montpelier in Orange County, Virginia. The Madisons' hosted many parties, and the Montpelier became a great social gathering spot. They also had slaves working for them there.
  • Dolley Madison returns to DC

    Dolley Madison returns to DC
    After Dolley Madison's husband, James Madison, dies on June 28, 1836, she returns to Washington, DC. She lives at her sister, Anna Payne Cutts's house on Layfette Street and organizes her husband's papers to sell for money for her son who was living at Montpelier. Payne Todd, her son went to debtor's prison because of his gambling and alcohol​ addiction.
  • Sells Montpelier

    Sells Montpelier
    Dolley Madison sells Montpelier because her son, Payne Todd gets the family close to being in debt. Dolley also sells the slaves that worked at the house. After she sold Montpelier, she moved back to the capital.
  • Confirms faith

    Confirms faith
    Dolley Madison, a former Quaker, confirms her faith to Episcopalian. She does this because she married James Madison, who isn't a Quaker, and she got expelled. The ceremony took place at St. John's Church in Washington, DC.
  • Death

    Dolley Madison died in her sister's home at Lafayette Square in Washington, DC. She was moved to be next to James Madison. The burial site is in Montpelier Station, Virginia.