Dolley Madison was a long-time and popular figure in Washington. She served as Thomas Jefferson's unofficial hostess while he was President and her husband was Jefferson's Secretary of State. She then served as first lady during her husband's terms as President (1809-1817) and, in fact, her popularity has been credited in aiding Madison's re-election. She is best known for removing the portrait of George Washington from the White House during the burning of Washington, D.C. in 1814 by the British.