Eliza Collins Lee to Dolley Madison

Two days before Dolley Madison became First Lady, she received the following note from her dear friend Eliza Collins Lee, on 2 March 1809:

“My dear friend
’Tis but on events most productive of Great pain, or pleasure to you that I am induced to intrude upon your time, sensible that from the retirements of my life I could neither affoard [sic] you information or amusement.

Allow me then to offer my congratulations at a moment when you are about to fill a character the most dignified and respectable in society. And I assure you I feel no small degree of exultation in knowing that the mind, temper, and manners of my Philadelphia Quaker friend, are peculiarly fitted for the station, where hospitality and graciousness of deportment, will appear conspicuously charming & conciliating—And I feel still greater sattisfaction [sic] in believing that in the Husband of this friend we have a Man whose Abilities and principles justly elect him to a seat which he will fill with equal dignity and justice. Offer him if you please my congratulations and respects—To your Son and Sister my affectionate love—And believe me tho’ for family reasons only I have not been able to meet you Personally—there is nothing can make me forgetful of your happiness, or unmindful of your Friend Ship in which no one more sincerely participates than

Your truly
Affecte friend
Eliza Lee”