Center for Women's History
Women’s history is American history. Bring it into your classroom with our new curriculum!
Leadership support for Women and the American Story provided by
Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Foundation
Mathew B. Brady, Dolley Madison, three-quarter length portrait of a woman, facing front, seated, 1848. Half-plate daguerreotype. White House Historical Association / White House Collection.
Resource 9: Write to Me
In 1844, Dolley Madison writes to her unreliable son, Payne Todd, about their crushing financial difficulties, and begs him to come and help her. Despite being one of the most famous and respected people in the United States, Dolley inherited very little after the death of her husband and, as a woman, had little opportunity to support herself financially. She lived out the last years of her life in near destitution.