Born to Quaker parents in North Carolina, Dolley Payne lived with her family in Hanover County, Virginia until 1783. Following the death of her first husband, John Todd, she married Congressman James Madison in 1794. As First Lady of the United States from 1809-1817, her social graces, political acumen, and enthusiasm for public life became the standard by which first ladies were measured for more than a century afterward. Before the British burned the White House in August 1814, Mrs. Madison oversaw the removal and safeguard of many national treasures, including a large portrait of George Washington. She is buried at Montpelier.
Year On Marker: 2011
Original Sponsor: Department of Historic Resources
Geographic Location: Orange County
Physical Description of Location: Constitution Highway (Route 20 North), Orange, VA 22972. Marker is on right when traveling north. At turn lane into Montpelier.
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