The fourth installment (Volume 4) of the Dolley Madison Digital Edition has just been completed, extending the collection through 1840. Starting with the third installment, the DMDE staff decided to include non-epistolary documents and expand the range of third-party documents. This began with Dolley’s illness in 1836 and 1837 as others wrote for her, and we have continued this practice in order to include as much about her life and doings as possible. The third installment launched a number of legal records around James Madison’s will and its probate in court. The fourth installment continues to include legal records, expanding them to encompass records that track land transferred and debts paid—or not paid—as well as a sprinkling of newspaper accounts, most often to track Dolley’s movements. This installment also includes an essay on Dolley’s situation during 1839–40 as she begins to sell off land after her husband’s death, and a three-generational genealogy of the Madison family.
The third installment of DMDE is published, adding over two hundred documents mainly from 1836 and later, most of them connected with Dolley Madison’s complex and burdensome task of settling her late husband’s will. In addition to personal correspondence, the new installment includes many legal documents connected to the settlement and reprinted articles from newspapers and periodicals concerning James Madison’s papers and estate.
The second installment of DMDE is published, adding nearly two hundred documents written after James Madison’s death on June 28, 1836, and extending the chronology of the DMDE through early April 1837. In addition, forty-five pre-widowhood letters have been added to those originally published in the first installment of DMDE. Complete lists:
The following new features and improvements accompany the second installment: