AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT SIGNED (AMS)
n.p. 17 July 1848. Manuscript. A SIGNED AUTOGRAPH QUOTATION on a 4-1/8" x 6-5/8" sheet from the novel FALKLAND by Edward Bulwer Lytton, dated 27 July 1848, written to William W. Stickney, U. S. Attorney for the state of New Hampshire. In full: "The passions are like sounds of nature, only heard in her solitude. Our senses may captivate us with beauty; but in absence we forget or can conquer so superficial an impression. Our vanity may enamour us with rank; but the affections of vanity are traced in sand; but who can love genius and not feel that the sentiment it excites partakes of its own intenseness and its own immortality." Dolley Madison, wife of James Madison, President of the United States from 1809 to 1817, did much to define the role of the President's spouse, known only much later by the title First Lady -- a function she had sometimes performed earlier for the widowed Thomas Jefferson. It is believed that Aaron Burr introduced her to Madison, 17 years her senior. She was noted for holding Washington social functions in which she invited members of both political parties, essentially spearheading the concept of bipartisan cooperation, albeit before that term was in use. She worked with the architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe to furnish the White House, the first official residence built for the president of the United States. She was the only First Lady given an honorary seat on the floor of Congress and the first American to respond to a telegraph message. She became a national heroine when, as popular lore goes, she rescued the Stuart painting of George Washington during the British burning of Washington in 1814, although modern scholarship credits another in directing servants, many of whom were slaves, in the crisis, and that house slaves were the ones who actually preserved the painting. Light stains at corners from previous mounting. About Fine and scarce. Item #020226
The former First Lady was fond of this quote as we found two other examples of her using it, including in her younger sister's friendship album (see J. Madison Cutts, "Dolly Madison," in RECORDS OF THE COLUMBIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY WASHINGTON, D.C., III (1900), page 49). This example comes from the collection of the late Joseph Rubinfine, having previously sold at Smythe Auctions on 26 February 1998 (lot 437).