Say Happy Birthday to "Dolley Madison" at her Montpelier Home


You are cordially invited to celebrate Dolley Madison’s 243rd birthday at Montpelier on Friday, May 20, 2011. Join “Mrs. Madison” for cake and lemonade at the Montpelier Visitor Center at 11:00 a.m. Then, take a tour of the home, where she showered guests with her legendary hospitality. Also take in one of Mrs. Madison’s salons (informal lectures) at 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. in the mansion’s south wing. If you share Dolley’s birthday or her first name, you will enjoy the gift of free admission!

Dolley Madison was born to John Payne and Mary Coles Payne on May 20, 1768. She became one of the first female power players in our nation’s capital. Her famous “squeeze” parties brought together political adversaries to broker compromises in a civil manner. When the British invaded Washington in 1814, she rescued George Washington’s portrait, with the help of Paul Jennings, a young slave in the Madison household. Mrs. Madison held the first inaugural ball, where she was dubbed “The Presidentess.” She also founded the White House Easter Egg Roll. Dolley Madison was recently the subject of the PBS “American Experience” documentary Dolley Madison: America’s First Lady.









Montpelier Staff