THE WORLD OF SAMUEL MEEKER, MERCHANT OF PHILADELPHIA, AND GILBERT STUART, AMERICAN PORTRAIT ARTIST

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More on Dolley Madison, saving the Gilbert Stuart portrait of Washington, her slave Jennings, and ....Daniel Webster!

Dolley Madison painted by Gilbert Stuart 1804, White House Collection
Dolley Madison by William Elwell 1848; National Portrait Gallery
Click here for a great telling of the story of Dolley Madison, asking the question, how/who really saved the Stuart portrait of Washington! from *18th-century American Women--a museum in a blog*

an historical mystery...

Below is MY COMMENT, but I recommend you read the entry first... ! and if anyone has more thoughts/chooses to do more research on this, please comment as well!
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Super.
Re: "Mrs. Madison was a remarkably fine woman. She was beloved by every body in Washington, white and colored. Whenever soldiers marched by, during the war, she always sent out and invited them in to take wine and refreshments, giving them liberally of the best in the house."
So did Mrs. Madison really save the Stuart portrait, or is Jennings correct? Perhaps there is truth to both sides, Dolley did not stand there while the portrait was being cut and taken down, but ordered it to be done (and she flees)...why would servants risk their safety in the face of the approaching British, if there was no order to save the portrait? She was a "remarkably fine woman" according to Jennings. Seems likely she would possess the wherewithal, composure and intelligence to recognize the value of the portrait of Washington, and knew that its safety would be jeopardized....Anyway, super entry, I would like to mention it in my blog, if you don't mind?
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her response:
Please do, Beth. And thank you! Barbara

1 comment:

Shea Kang said...

Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there. Thanks for sharing you knowledge :)
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