This is my hero report I wrote for my commonwealth school:
Dolley Payne Todd Madison
Dolley Madison is my hero, being the First Lady she was always looked up to. She was a mother to the people and was always there for them. She went through hardships, illnesses, pain and life-changing experiences.
Dorthea (or Dolley) Payne was born on May 20, 1768 in
In 1783 John Payne emancipated his slaves and moved his family to
Dolley’s father’s dying wish was for Dolley to marry a Quaker Lawyer, John Todd. I believe in her affections she wished for no more then a dear friendship and did not desire anything more. Dolley knew that her father had great trust in this man and believed that he would give Dolley a comfortable home, he also believed that John’s business would be a great success in the near future, so she obliged to marry him. This event happened in January 1790, they had two sons: John Payne Todd born 1792 (he was usually called Payne) and
Dolley was happy and grew to love John very much. In the fall of 1793 the known-to-well epidemic of Yellow Fever broke out. Unfortunately William had been bore in the middle of this epidemic. The birth had left Mother and child weak. John was very worried about his wife and child. So he took them out of the plague infested city to Gray’s Ferry which was a good distance outside of the city limits. John’s loyal law clerk stayed behind to manage the business which was busy with settling wills he also stayed at the house. After a while the business was needing another person to help settle wills. The threat of death forgotten, John returned to the city. Sadly John caught the fever, knowing he was close to death he stumbled to Gray’s ferry and died in his wife’s arms. Just hours after John died, Dolley’s newborn William was said to have cought the fever, he died hours after that. The child was described as being “very weakly from birth.” It is unknown if he died from the fever or of natural causes. We do not have the details of his death. In just 1 month Dolley lost her husband, son, father-in-law and her mother-in law. And to sharpen the blow: just months later her two older brothers both died from other things. Dolley never recovered from this emotional blow.
As a widow Dolley returned to
With the approaching Presidential election
After James’ two terms as President, James and Dolley moved back to their estate,
James died on June 28, 1836. Dolley stayed at
While Dolley was away Payne could not manage
Dolley fell in 1849 and after about five days of this sickness she died peacefully on July 12. Her funeral was on July 17 and she was buried in
Strength and Honor the life of Dolley Madison
By Richard N. Cote’