A 2013 - 2014 original C-SPAN feature series telling the stories of America's First Ladies - from Martha Washington to Michelle Obama -
through conversations with top experts, video tours of historic sites, and questions from C-SPAN's audience.

America's First Ladies — from Martha Washington to Michelle Obama
Dolley Madison
First Lady: 1809 - 1817
Click the list to watch videos
  • Dolley Madison Program
  • Dolley Madison program: Opening clip
  • White House unveiling of Dolley Madison $10 gold coin
  • Panel discussion on First Ladies' Influence
  • Artist discusses portrait of Blue Room
  • Madisons and burning of the White House
  • Setting social precedents
  • Dolley Madison exhibit at Dumbarton House
  • Dolley's sale of Montpelier
  • Life at Montpelier
  • Dolley Madison's Montpelier bedroom
  • Richard Norton Smith on Dolley's personality
  • William Seale on Dolley's son and life after White House
  • Entertaining and political influence
  • White House Red Room
  • Life at Montpelier
  • Dolley Todd House in Philadelphia
  • The Octagon House
  • Dresses at Montpelier
  • Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens & Clifford Sloan on Dolley Madison
  • Life After the White House
  • Religious Background
  • Motherhood
  • Meeting her husband
  • "Calling" on People
  • Role as First Lady
  • Entertaining in the White House
  • A brief introduction of Dolley Madison
  • Dolley Madison and Paul Jennings


Dolley Madison

James Madison
“And now, dear sister, I must leave this house or the retreating army will make me a prisoner in it by filling up the road I am directed to take. When I shall again write you, or where I shall be tomorrow, I cannot tell!” " Mrs. Madison wrote her sister Lucy, as retreating American troops passed by a few hours before the British burned the White House in 1814.

Born - May 20, 1768 in New Garden Quaker Settlement, North Carolina

Parents - John Payne & Mary Coles Payne

Married - September 15, 1794 to James Madison (first married to John Todd, Jr. in 1790, widowed 1793)

Children - (both from first marriage)
John Payne Todd (1792 – 1852),
William Temple Todd (1793)

Firsts - 1st First Lady to be featured on a silver dollar. During her eulogy, President Zachary Taylor was the first to refer to her as “First Lady.”

Post White House residence - Montpelier, Orange, Virginia; Washington, D.C.

Died - July 12, 1849 in Washington, D.C.

Click here to see full bio of Dolley Madison

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