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Charles A. Burnett, Photo by Philip Beaurline, Dolley Madison’s Snuffbox, ca. 1800. Silver. Montpelier, a National Trust Historic Site, Bequest of Marion duPont Scott, NT85.2.45.

Resource 4: Parties and Politics

Now the president’s wife, Dolley Madison’s brief letter to her sister recounts the previous night’s party, and reveals how deeply she understood the role her social events played during a chaotic time. Regardless of their politics, people came to the so-called “squeezes”— parties packed tightly with guests—because so much of the unofficial business of government happened there.

Creative: Tronvig Group