An Unlikely Love Story that Saved America

James fought for religious liberty. Dolley fought for political civility.

Both fought for each other

She became Dolley Madison, the nation’s “first First Lady.”
Delve into the personal stories of the couple who led their beloved country safely through its first generation, surviving and thriving despite serious conflicts at home and abroad. They weathered the bitter attacks of their enemies and remained dedicated through it all to each other, to the Constitution that James fathered, and to the United States.
Facing adversity with unparalleled dignity and civility, they stand as an example worthy of emulation in our times.
Their love story is a heart-warming, inspiring, and hopeful tribute to the power of equal partnership in marriage, and a beautiful reminder of what America, at its best, can be.
Physically unimpressive, intellectually brilliant James Madison had been unlucky in love—heartbroken and betrayed not once, but twice.
Middle-aged and resigned to a life alone, he never dreamed that fate had something astonishing in store for him and for the country he loved: a young widow of exceptional intelligence and poise. She was his equal in many ways, her warmth and extroversion perfectly complemented his quiet, contemplative nature.

Rodney K. Smith

Rodney K. Smith directs the Center for Constitutional Studies at Utah Valley University.
He is the author of James Madison: The Father of Religious Liberty, and has written for USA Today, the Christian Science Monitor, and other leading newspapers. Dr. Smith regularly appears on radio and TV programs.
Before coming to Utah Valley University, Dr. Smith served as the Distinguished Professor of Practice and founding director of the sports law and business program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.
He previously served as the president of Southern Virginia University and as a law school dean at Capital University, the University of Montana, and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He held the Herff Chair of Excellence in Law at the University of Memphis, where he emphasized constitutional law, sports law, and ethics.
Dr. Smith's work, particularly in the First Amendment and sports law areas, has been widely cited by scholars and courts at all levels, including the United States Supreme Court.


Discover more about what America is and what America can be.


© 2020 by Rodney K. Smith