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Portrait of George Washington

Painting of George Washington

Dolley Madison had refused to abandon the portrait as she fled from the British in 1814; she wrote to her sister on the day of the fire: "Our kind friend, Mr. Carroll, has come to hasten my departure, and is in a very bad humor with me because I insist on waiting until the large picture of Gen. Washington is secured, and it requires to be unscrewed from the wall. This process was found to be too tedious for these perilous moments; I have ordered the frame to be broken, and the canvas taken out; it is done--and the precious portrait placed in the hands of two gentlemen of New York, for safe keeping." Her efforts were successful, and the portrait was returned to the White House when the rebuilding was completed. The companion portrait of Martha Washington was painted by Eliphalet F. Andrews in 1878.

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