Dolley Payne Todd Madison was the spouse of James Madison, and was First Lady of the United States from 1809 to 1817. During the previous administration of Thomas Jefferson, a widower and their friend, she occasionally acted as First Lady to fulfill the ceremonial functions more usually associated with the President's wife. She was notable for her social gifts and is credited with helping define the role of the First Lady, as well as contributing to the popularity of Madison as president.
Dorothea Payne Todd Madison (Dolly Madison), unofficial First Lady to U.S. President Thomas Jefferson, and official First Lady to President James Madison. For half a century she was the most important woman in the social circles of America. To this day she remains one of the best known and best loved ladies of the White House.