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Meet Amazing Americans U.S. Presidents James Madison
Rescued portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart
Rescued portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart

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Madison's Memorable Wife
In August 1814, when the British captured Washington and stormed the White House during the War of 1812, Dolley grabbed the Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington (seen here) and got out just in time. Her rescuing Washington's portrait and organizing the removal of other important artifacts made Dolley even more popular with the American public and confirmed the role of first lady as the guardian of the "people's house." Dolley was politically skilled; she visited the home of every new senator and representative upon his arrival in Washington. When she died in 1849, everyone from President Zachary Taylor to members of Congress and diplomats attended her funeral.
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