Was it easy for Dolley Madison to take the George Washington portrait with her?



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Posted on (Answer #1)

The answer to this depends to some degree on what you think would constitute “an easy time.”  It did not cause any physical difficulties to Dolley Madison herself.  However, it was not a simple process.

Rescuing the painting did not cause Madison any physical difficulties because she did not exactly do it herself.  It is not as if she took the painting down and physically carried it away as she walked.  Instead, she had White House servants take the picture down from the wall where it hung.  She had the painting placed in a wagon.  In this sense, it was not difficult at all for her because all she did was to tell other people what to do.

However, we can say that it was difficult for two reasons.  First, Madison had to have the courage to stay in the White House long enough to save the painting and other things.  This must have been at least somewhat difficult.  Second, it was not easy to get the painting down from the wall.  The painting was screwed to the wall and the servants who were there lacked the tools needed to take it down.  Therefore, they had to break the frame to get the painting out. 

In these ways, there was some difficulty involved, but it was not physical difficult on Madison’s part.

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