Martin County Library System Press Releases

January 26, 2011

James and Dolley Madison to Appear at Blake Library Feb. 21



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                                       

DATE:  JANUARY 26, 2011                                                                                                     

CONTACT:  PUBLIC RELATIONS (772) 221-1403                    

WHO:         The Friends of the Blake Library, Inc., sponsor, in support of the Martin County Library System

WHAT:      Chautauqua South: A Presidents’ Day Celebration with Founding Father and First Lady, James and Dolley Madison


Professor Dan O’Connell and Ruth O’Connell will present “A Presidents’ Day Celebration with Founding Father and First Lady, James and Dolley Madison”  2:00 p.m. Monday, February 21 in the John F. Armstrong Wing of the Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart.

A 12 ½-minute DVD entitled “Madison, Montpelier and the Constitution” will play continuously before the program. The couple will be available for a Q&A both in and out of character following the performance. The event is free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are required.

To celebrate Presidents’ Day this year, Martin County Library System is privileged to host the fourth president of the United States, James Madison, acknowledged to be the father of both the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Scholars agree that no one had a greater role in shaping American Constitutional theory and in framing the particulars of representative government than James Madison. Joining him will be the first First Lady, Dolley Madison. It was Dolley who originated the role of First Lady. She is also known for her courage, best represented by her actions to save the portrait of General Washington from the flames when the British invaded the capital in 1814.

 “Jemmy” will talk about his relationship to other presidents and family links back to England and how persecutions in his family led him to join Jefferson in fighting hard for freedom of religion and against established churches. Dolley will discuss her transformation from being a Quaker to a fashionable and vivacious hostess for President Jefferson and the Madison White House.


Dan and Ruth O’Connell have appeared as historic performers of James and Dolley Madison for decades. Both are retired “teachers of excellence”—Ruth from teaching Spanish in the Palm Beach Public Schools and Dan from teaching Political Science at Palm Beach State College and Florida Atlantic University. Dan is a former Army officer, attorney and staff to Florida governors and the Florida Legislature.


WHEN:      Monday, February 21, 2:00 p.m.

WHERE:   Blake Library, John F. Armstrong Wing, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart

HOW:         Free and open to the public.  No tickets or reservations required.

For more information call (772) 221-1403, pick up a Library Connection or Chautauqua South brochure at any branch library, or visit the library website at




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