A new episode of the Madison presidency series is now available!
July 24, 2022

4.083 - Dolley Madison Part Three

4.083 - Dolley Madison Part Three

Year(s) Discussed: 1817-1858

James and Dolley Madison left Washington, DC in 1817 anticipating a peaceful retirement in Montpelier. Little did they know what life had in store for them or that Dolley would end up returning to the social circles of the leading politicians in the nation's capital. Learn more about the triumphs and tribulations faced by the former Lady Presidentress in her later years and the legacy that she left by listening to this episode. Sources used for this episode can be found at https://www.presidenciespodcast.com.


Special thanks to Bry of Pontifacts, Matt of Ranking '76, and Stacey of History's Trainwrecks for providing the intro quotes for this episode, and thanks to Christian of Your Podcast Pal for his editing work on this episode!

The transcript for this episode can be found here.

  • Allgor, Catherine. A Perfect Union: Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation. New York: Henry Holt & Co, 2006.
  • Bigler, Philip. Scandalous Son: The Elusive Search for Dolley Madison’s Son, John Payne Todd. Quicksburg, VA: Apple Ridge Publishers, 2015.
  • Chambers, Douglas B. Murder at Montpelier: Igbo Africans in Virginia. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2005.
  • Duncan, Mike. Hero of Two Worlds: The Marquis de Lafayette in the Age of Revolution. New York: PublicAffairs, 2021.
  • Ellet, Mrs. E F. The Court Circles of the Republic, or the Beauties and Celebrities of the Nation. Hartford, CT: Hartford Publishing Co, 1870.
  • Guasco, Suzanne Cooper. Confronting Slavery: Edward Coles and the Rise of Antislavery Politics in Nineteenth-Century America. DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press, 2013.
  • Historical Currency Converter (test version 1.0). http://www.historicalstatistics.org/Currencyconverter.html. [Last Accessed: 30 May 2022]
  • Jennings, Paul. “A Colored Man’s Reminiscences of James Madison.” A Slave in the White House: Paul Jennings and the Madisons. Elizabeth Dowling Taylor. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013 [2012].
  • Ketcham, Ralph. James Madison: A Biography. Charlottesville, VA and London: University Press of Virginia, 1994 [1971].
  • Landry, Jerry. The Presidencies of the United States. 2017-2022. https://www.presidenciespodcast.com.
  • Logan, Mrs. John A. Thirty Years in Washington; or, Life and Scenes in Our National Capital. Hartford, CT: A D Worthington, 1901.
  • Mattern, David B, and Holly C Shulman, eds. The Selected Letters of Dolley Payne Madison. Charlottesville, VA and London: University of Virginia Press, 2003.
  • Moore, Virginia. The Madisons: A Biography. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1979.
  • Taylor, Elizabeth Dowling. A Slave in the White House: Paul Jennings and the Madisons. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013.

Featured Images:

  • "Mrs. James Madison" by Bass Otis [c. 1817], courtesy of Wikipedia
  • " Daguerreotype of Dolley Madison" by Matthew Brady [c. 1848], courtesy of Wikipedia
  • "Paul Jennings" [c. mid-late 1800s], courtesy of Wikipedia
  • "A gathering on the South Portico of the White House of President Polk, Dolley Madison, and James Buchanan" by George Eastman House [c. 1848], courtesy of Wikipedia

Intro and Outro Music: Selections from “Jefferson and Liberty” as performed by The Itinerant Band