America's First Lady: Dolley Payne Todd Madison
First in Fashion, charm and hospitality
Meet the woman who defined the role of a president’s wife
Before suffragettes and feminists revolutionized the American landscape, one local woman influenced the flavor of our nation.
Icon. Fashionista. Heroine. Guilford County native, and the only First Lady born in North Carolina, Dolley Madison is one of the area’s most celebrated native daughters. Wife of our 4th president, James Madison, Dolley led a life filled with love and acclaim, but also with hardship.
Let Dolley’s personal possessions, collected with care through the years, introduce you to the part of her life marked by privilege, parties and high tea. A calling card case and pair of silk slippers will transport you into the social swirl of her time as First Lady.
Then, discover why Dolley spent her final years in near-poverty and how her possessions, first sold at auction, were later donated to the Greensboro Historical Museum.