Tuesday, March 16

my time with dolley madison

On a random day at a random time in shop I have never been in before i picked up an audio book. i spoke about it briefly before A Perfect Union the story of Dolley Madison by Cathrine Allgor. Can i just tell you how this book kept me company, how the story of Dolley Madison moved me so taking me through the time that the nation and first white house was established. For those who know the story, i must take this moment to state that my political views as well as race are not shared with Mrs. Madison. Yet she had this strength and this way about her i can not help but admire.

She was a peacemaker. She believed in fighting with your fist and not words- a lot of you must think that is horrible but she was not speaking of war but what she is stating is that the tongue can leave permanent scars. She had many dinner parties were she believed that people should not be invited based on their political party, their rank in society but that all would be welcomed. i am not sure what Americans might have learned about Mrs. Dolley Madison in school but the thing she is known for the most is saving the painting of George Washington as the British burned the first white house that her and president Madison established- yet even that is controversial since so many people claimed to have saved the exact painting. I think though among women and men alike she was known as a woman who new her strength behind the scenes, that made things happen even when women had no right to think!, in fact it was scandalous for a woman to have a political view!

I must confess that i admired most her life, until the winter of her death. Presidents Madison and Dolley owned slaves who worked their plantation- yet Mr. Madison was troubled by it and things were changing. Slaves were property as you know- upon his death he put in his will that the slaves would never be sold without their consent and would be let free upon Dolley's death. Dolley did not do that, she did the complete opposite, separated and sent some to the Deep South unsure if it was to cover a debt or to sustain her livelihood and it was one of her very own slaves that ended up giving her money so she would not be poor. When i was listening to this after having invested so many hours to this book, i felt ill, how could this happen.

The story is so complex i do wish you could all read it/or listen to it. i learned a lot about history of a young united states, the establishment of the republican party, establishment of the white house that would allow the two parties (the federalist and republican) to have a common place to discuss, entertain and dine as well the story of a woman that could do so much for her country yet had trouble helping her son, who would let her down. i took so much from this story like being right in the middle of everything in the city and then living away on the farm. i want to say that i admired president Madison quietness and humility and identify with that more than i do her social

reason i have chosen to write this is i had finished the audio book weeks ago- but today after a walk and a moment on reflecting on leaving this farm i found a melancholy note in my throat so i went to the computer and somehow unbeknown to me i stumbled on a documentary/movie on pbs on dolley i could not believe it- i found that my spirit was instantly better as i became transported back to this time.


PK Studios said...

I just love your blog...and I've just picked you for the Beautiful Blogger Award!!!

The rules of the Award:
#1 thank the person who gave you the award
#2 share 7 things about yourself..
#3 pass the award along to 15 others.
#4 Contact the bloggers you picked and let them know about the award...

Cheers, PK

bigBANG studio said...

nadia, such an interesting post. i didn't know much about dolley maddison until my husband (boyfriend at the time!) and i happened upon montpelier, the madison estate in the blue ridge mountains of virginia. her story blew me away, troubled me, inspired me, and made a very lasting impression on me.

our adopted mutt dog dolly is named after two controversial, much-beloved icons of americana- dolley madison and dolly parton.

can't wait to get my hands on that book. xo.

S. Etole said...

we all see in part ... thank you for sharing this

Kerry O'Gorman said...

I've given you a 'sunshine' award...its on my latest post...