Center for Women's History
Women’s history is American history. Bring it into your classroom with our new curriculum!
Major support for Women and the American Story provided by
Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Foundation
Curriculum website and learning experience made possible through a grant from
This program is supported as part of the Dutch Culture USA program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York.
Lead support for New-York Historical's teacher programs provided by
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.