historical otps; Dolley Payne Todd Madison & James Madison
I offer you a look inside, I offer you that trust.
I need your strength to help me fight the battles that I must.
I need you to remind me of the light we bear within,
That there’s more to life than struggle and the things we seek to win.
Don’t take me out of duty, don’t take me out of pride,
Just take me if the man you see is one you’d stand beside
I’m offering an open heart, I’m asking for your hand.
And I only ask you take me, you take me as I am.
James was seventeen years Dolley’s senior, and smitten with her before she truly fell in love with him. She saw him, first, as a “generous and tender protector” for her young son Payne. They were married in 1794, when James was still in Congress. Unlike the Adamses, they were rarely separated and thus wrote few letters to one another. Those that do survive, however, show just how much they loved each other, or as Dolley put it, how their “hearts understood each other.” Dolley’s charisma, charm, and political savvy helped balance out James’ reseve. Their marriage lasted another nineteen years after his Presidency. During these years at Montpelier, they were said to look “like Adam and Eve in Paradise.” James died in 1836; Dolley in 1849.