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Social Invitations to Dolley Madison

Invitation to Mr. F. C. Labbe's Ball

This engraved invitation to Dolley Madison requests her presence at Mr. F. C. Labbe's Ball at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C., on May 6, in an unspecified year (but probably between 1836, when her husband, James Madison, died, and her own death in 1849). Francois Labbe, a French immigrant, was a well-known dance teacher in Washington, D.C., who showcased his students in a performance every May. The National Intelligencer dated September 25, 1848, wrote of the Labbe balls, "All will remember with delight those brilliant May-day spectacles in which the accomplishments of his pupils were displayed with such agreeable taste and effect." As a widow, Dolley Madison lived either in Washington, D.C., or her Virginia home, Montpelier, and remained socially active.
Citation: Papers Concerning Dolley Madison, 1810–49, Accession #8607. Special Collections, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.

Original Author: William J. Stone, engraver

Created: Probably between 1836 and 1849

Medium: Engraved invitation

Courtesy of University of Virginia Special Collections

Invitation to Washington Assemblies, 1845

This 1845 engraved invitation to Dolley Madison requests her presence at the Washington Assemblies, an elite social gathering in the nation's capital. Dolley Madison was then a widow living in Washington, D.C. Among the organizers of the event listed on the invitation are James Buchanan, the future fifteenth president of the United States (1857–1861), and Hamilton Fish, who would serve as the governor of New York (1849–1850), as a U.S. senator from New York (1851–1857), and as the U.S. secretary of state (1869–1877).

Citation: Papers Concerning Dolley Madison, 1810–49, Accession #8607. Special Collections, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.

Original Author: Waashington Assemblies Managers

Created: 1845

Medium: Engraved invitation

Courtesy of University of Virginia Special Collections

Invitation to the National Birth Night Assembly

This lithographed invitation to Dolley Madison requests her presence at the National Birth Night Assembly, an event being held at Carusi's Saloon, in Washington D.C., on Feb 22 to celebrate George Washington's birthday. Carusi's was a fashionable site for balls, concerts, and theatrical events in nineteenth-century Washington. Among the organizers of the event listed on the card is Major General Winfield Scott, which indicates that the event must have taken place between 1842, after Scott had been promoted to the rank of major general, and 1849, when Dolley Madison died. Madison, then a widow, spent most of those years in Washington, D.C., and maintained an active social life. 
Citation: Papers Concerning Dolley Madison, 1810–49, Accession #8607. Special Collections, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.

Original Author: E. Weber, lithographer

Created: Between 1842 and 1849

Medium: Lithographed invitation

Courtesy of University of Virginia Special Collections

Invitation to Carusi's May Ball 1839

An engraved figure of a dancer en pointe illustrates an invitation to a ball being celebrated on May 1, 1839, at Carusi's Saloon in Washington, D.C. This invitation was addressed to Dolley Madison, then a widow splitting time between Washington D.C. and her Virginia home, Montpelier. Carusi's was a fashionable site for balls, concerts, and theatrical events in nineteenth-century Washington.

Citation: Papers Concerning Dolley Madison, 1810–49, Accession #8607. Special Collections, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.

Original Author: William Bannerman, engraver

Created: 1839

Medium: Engraved invitation

Courtesy of University of Virginia Special Collections

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  • Invitation to Mr. F. C. Labbe's Ball

    This engraved invitation to Dolley Madison requests her presence at Mr. F. C. Labbe's Ball at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C., on May 6, in an unspecified year (but probably between 1836, when her husband, James Madison, died, and her own death in 1849). Francois Labbe, a French immigrant, was a well-known dance teacher in Washington, D.C., who showcased his students in a performance every May. The National Intelligencer dated September 25, 1848, wrote of the Labbe balls, "All will remember with delight those brilliant May-day spectacles in which the accomplishments of his pupils were displayed with such agreeable taste and effect." As a widow, Dolley Madison lived either in Washington, D.C., or her Virginia home, Montpelier, and remained socially active.
    Citation: Papers Concerning Dolley Madison, 1810–49, Accession #8607. Special Collections, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.

    Original Author: William J. Stone, engraver

    Created: Probably between 1836 and 1849

    Medium: Engraved invitation

    Courtesy of University of Virginia Special Collections

  • Invitation to Washington Assemblies, 1845

    This 1845 engraved invitation to Dolley Madison requests her presence at the Washington Assemblies, an elite social gathering in the nation's capital. Dolley Madison was then a widow living in Washington, D.C. Among the organizers of the event listed on the invitation are James Buchanan, the future fifteenth president of the United States (1857–1861), and Hamilton Fish, who would serve as the governor of New York (1849–1850), as a U.S. senator from New York (1851–1857), and as the U.S. secretary of state (1869–1877).

    Citation: Papers Concerning Dolley Madison, 1810–49, Accession #8607. Special Collections, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.

    Original Author: Waashington Assemblies Managers

    Created: 1845

    Medium: Engraved invitation

    Courtesy of University of Virginia Special Collections

  • Invitation to the National Birth Night Assembly

    This lithographed invitation to Dolley Madison requests her presence at the National Birth Night Assembly, an event being held at Carusi's Saloon, in Washington D.C., on Feb 22 to celebrate George Washington's birthday. Carusi's was a fashionable site for balls, concerts, and theatrical events in nineteenth-century Washington. Among the organizers of the event listed on the card is Major General Winfield Scott, which indicates that the event must have taken place between 1842, after Scott had been promoted to the rank of major general, and 1849, when Dolley Madison died. Madison, then a widow, spent most of those years in Washington, D.C., and maintained an active social life. 
    Citation: Papers Concerning Dolley Madison, 1810–49, Accession #8607. Special Collections, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.

    Original Author: E. Weber, lithographer

    Created: Between 1842 and 1849

    Medium: Lithographed invitation

    Courtesy of University of Virginia Special Collections

  • Invitation to Carusi's May Ball 1839

    An engraved figure of a dancer en pointe illustrates an invitation to a ball being celebrated on May 1, 1839, at Carusi's Saloon in Washington, D.C. This invitation was addressed to Dolley Madison, then a widow splitting time between Washington D.C. and her Virginia home, Montpelier. Carusi's was a fashionable site for balls, concerts, and theatrical events in nineteenth-century Washington.

    Citation: Papers Concerning Dolley Madison, 1810–49, Accession #8607. Special Collections, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.

    Original Author: William Bannerman, engraver

    Created: 1839

    Medium: Engraved invitation

    Courtesy of University of Virginia Special Collections