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The Fast Pace of 18th Century Life

July 21, 2014

Below is the chronicle of one woman from birth to her mid-twenties.

1768 – Born in North Carolina
1769 – Family moves to Virginia
1783 – Family moves to Philadelphia
1790 – Marries
1791 or 1792 – Mother opens boarding house
1792 – Gives birth to her first child;
Father dies
1793 – Gives birth to her second child;
Yellow Fever Epidemic kills more than 5,000 Philadelphians, including her
husband, her second child, and her husband’s parents;
Mother closes boarding house and moves out of state
1794 – Introduced to a suitor by one of her mother’s former boarders;
The woman chooses this suitor over a rival;
Marries for the second time

In 1794 the widow was known as Mrs. Dolley Payne Todd, the former boarder was Congressman Aaron Burr, the unlucky suitor was Atty. William Wilkins, and the woman’s second husband was Congressman James Madison.

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