“More Agreeable Hours”
James and Dolley Madison had begun their lives together in the spring of 1794. On a warm spring day in May 1801, they opened a new chapter in their partnership. Thomas Jefferson, the Madisons' friend and colleague, had been elected president in 1800, and he asked James to be his secretary of state. The Jefferson administration would be the first to rule from Washington City. For the first few weeks after their arrival, the Madisons stayed with Jefferson in the newly built presidential mansion. The leaders of the Republicans, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, were also elites, but they appealed to the "common man". In the 1790s, the Republican Party was less a reality than the beginnings of an idea. In 1794, Thomas Jefferson "retired" to Monticello, though he agreed to run for president in 1796. Jefferson regarded his election as a mandate, interpreting the Adams and even Washington administrations as a false start.