Tuesday, May 4, 2010

FIRST LADY WEEK - Dolley Madison

TITLE: Dolly Madison: First Lady

AUTHOR: Cynthia Fitterer Klingel

WHAT WAS HER BACKGROUND? Dolley Payne was born in what is now Guilford County, North Carolina in 1768 to Quaker parents. Quakers educated their daughters along with their sons, and Dolley was a bright student. The family eventually gave up the farming life and moved to Philadelphia where Dolley married a Quaker lawyer and had two sons. During the 1793 yellow fever epidemic, her husband and youngest son died.

HOW DID SHE AND THE FUTURE PRESIDENT MEET? Dolley was a looker and possessed an effervescent personality. In other words, she was a bit of a man magnet. James Madison, a congressman at the time, fell for her and proposed. She had misgivings...he was only 5'6" tall, was getting up there at the age of 42, and was Episcopalian. The first First Lady, Martha Washington, talked Mr. Madison up to Dolley because she and George were really rooting for this pairing. Dolley married James Madison in 1794.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: America adored her. She had a knack for entertaining and for soothing tensions between political parties as well as between foreign dignitaries. Not only was she the hostess with the mostest during her husband’s eight year presidencey, but also during the previous eight years for Jefferson, who was a widow when he was elected. During the war of 1812 she gained hero status. The British invaded Washington D. C. while James was away. Dolley had the wherewithal to gather important papers and a large painting of George Washington before fleeing. Soon after the British plundered the presidential residence and set the place on fire.

Ages: 9-12

Activity: Dolley was the only First Lady that was raised as a Quaker. Numerous Quakers from many walks of life have become world-renowned. Can you find the Quaker in these groups?

Actor:  A. Clark Gable  B. John Wayne  C. James Dean   D. Paul Nueman
Suffragist:  A. Elizabeth Cady Stanton  B. Susan B. Anthony  C. Lucy Burns  D. Margaret Mitchell
President:  A. Hubert Hoover  B. Grover Cleveland  C. Warren Harding  D. Richard Nixon
Musician:  A. Bonnie Raitt  B. Taylor Swift  C. Bruce Springsteen  D. Alice Cooper
Scientist:  A. Stephen Hawking  B. Carl Sagan  C. Jacques Cousteau  D. John Bartram
Journalist: A. Edward R. Murrow  B. Ann Coulter  C. Ann Landers  D. Elijah Lovejoy
Author: A. James Michener  B. Stephen King  C. Michael Chrichton  D. John Grisham
Founding Father:  A. Benjamin Franklin  B. Paul Revere  C. Thomas Paine  D. Thomas Jefferson
Religious Leader:  A. Billy Graham B. John Wesley  C. Max Lucado  D. William Penn


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