UPDATE 3/18/08: Dolley Madison has sold out! The mint says they are “unavailable”.
The latest Gold Spouse Coin has arrived, and unlike the other ones, it did not immediately sell out. On the reverse, Dolley Madison is featured rescuing this George Washington portrait and other important papers.
The war of 1812 was started with the US coming to Canada’s aid to save the Canadian provinces from British Domination. But as it turned out, the Canadians, like the Vietnamese and the Iraqis, really didn’t want to saved by the United States. They wanted to be loyal to the kings and queens of England! After the British had been given some breathing room from their war with France, and in retaliation for the United States burning Toronto, they had the “brilliant” idea of invading Washington DC and New Orleans. The British believed that this would have the effect of splitting popular opinion in the United States. But instead of splitting of popular opinion, the American People united against the British. Dolley Madison wrote in August 1814:
“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.”