Strength And Honor: The Life Of Dolley Madison

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9781929175208: Strength And Honor: The Life Of Dolley Madison

Based on more than two thousand of Dolley Payne Todd Madison's letters and accompanied by period illustrations, offers a biography of the popular First Lady who was renowned as a hostess and heroine of the War of 1812.

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From the Inside Flap:

From an upper window in the President’s House, Dolley Madison peered in vain through her telescope, desperate for a glimpse of her returning husband, James, who was on the battlefield with his troops. Six miles away, British soldiers had overrun the American defenders. Now they marched directly toward the heart of Washington City. Their orders were clear: destroy the public buildings and secure the submission of the United States.

Dolley dashed off a note to her sister, Lucy. "My husband...enquired anxiously whether I had courage, or firmness to remain in the President's house until his return... and on my assurance that I had no fear but for him and the success of our army, he left me, beseeching me to take care of myself, and of the cabinet papers, public and private." In the brief time she had to save the nation’s treasures, Dolley directed that the large wall portrait of George Washington be broken from its frame and evacuated. She did not flee until the British were nearly on her doorstep.

Expecting an American victory, the president had directed his French chef to prepare a sumptuous meal for him and his staff that afternoon. Neither James nor Dolley Madison could have conceived that the diners that evening would all be British soldiers, who gleefully ate the food, drank the wine, and then burned the White House to the ground. [Excerpted from Chapter One: "In Harm's Way." © 2005 by Richard N. Côté. All rights reserved.]

About the Author:

A native of Connecticut, Richard N. Côté studied political science and journalism at Butler University. After serving several years on the staff of the South Carolina Historical Society, he spent the 1980s and 1990s researching and writing about Southern plantation life, social history, architecture, and exotic local microcultures. In 1995, the publication of Safe House, the memoirs of accused spy, Edward Lee Howard, marked his transition to writing for the trade.

His two previous biographies, Mary’s World: Love, War, and Family Ties in Nineteenth-century Charleston and Theodosia Burr Alston: Portrait of a Prodigy, brought him national recognition. A recent novel, The Redneck Riviera, showcased his fiction talents. In 2004, he was awarded the Bobby Gilmer Moss Award in History by the Daughters of the American Revolution for his outstanding contributions to South Carolina history. Dick resides in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, where he writes biographies and contemporary fiction.

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Richard N. Cote
Published by Corinthian Books (2004)
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