“I was beaten by Mr. and Mrs. Madison. I might have had a better chance had I faced Mr. Madison alone.”
Charles C. Pinckney, after losing his presidential bid against James Madison in 1808
“She looked a queen. . . . It would be absolutely impossible for anyone to behave with more perfect propriety than she did. Unassuming dignity, sweetness, grace. It seems to me that such manners would disarm envy itself, and conciliate even enemies.”
Margaret Bayard Smith, recalling Dolley’s appearance at the 1809 Inaugural Ball
“She will never be forgotten because she was truly our first lady for a half-century.”
President Zachary Taylor, at Dolley’s 1849 funeral
♦ ♦ ♦
“Dolley was fantastic today! A good actress with deep knowledge of her subject, she was completely engaging and fascinatingly informative. I was compelled to take notes on her talk. My small sons enjoyed her thoroughly. It was hard to believe she wasn't Dolley. I hope to hear more from her in the near future!”
A Visitor to Montpelier, Summer, 2010
“My students (and my TA) are in complete agreement with me that Dolley Madison was easily the hit of our two-day excursion to Central Virginia (in turn, Monticello, the Lawn at UVA, Montpelier, and Ash Lawn). Indeed, in all the years I have been doing these strange classes based on field trips, I believe this is the first time a class has insisted that I contact the museum to tell the staff just how great an aspect of a visit seemed to them. . . . She is impressive.”
Dr. James P. Whittenburg, Pullen Professor of History, College of William & Mary
“I enjoyed my experience [at Montpelier], but I want in particular to thank the woman playing the role of Dolley Madison . . . I found both her and her presentation to be extraordinary; she was the highlight of my experience.”
A Visitor to Montpelier, Summer, 2011
|Being interviewed for “A Taste of History” at Montpelier, 2010.
Photo by Ariel Schwartz.