Dolley Madison: Some Evicted Evening

Presidential History Blog

Dolley Madison’s reputation as the most popular First Lady is enshrined for all times…except

Washington: The Summer of 1814

Whether he wanted it or not, President James Madison found himself embroiled in the War of 1812, in essence, the “second” war of independence from Great Britain.  England had been committing serious outrages on American shipping, impressing American sailors, and a host of other “crimes” that were enraging the populace. Armies were raised and English soldiers were once again poised to reclaim their erstwhile colonies.

President James Madison

Two years after hostilities began, the “war” was still being fought, and was coming dangerously close to Washington City itself. Things did not bode well.

The decidedly un-warlike sixty-three-year-old President Madison believed it was his duty to follow the lead of George Washington, and assume personal command of the army. He mounted his horse, and rode off toward Baltimore, less than a…

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