Did James and Dolley Madison have any pets?

dolley madison James Pets
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Did James and Dolley Madison have any pets?

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Yes. They each had a pet. James Madison had his horse Liberty. Dolley Madison’s niece Mary Cutts gave the following description of Liberty, “Liberty” which had grown old in his service, was petted, fed and stalled alone; he well deserved his name; not a gate which he could not open–nor, any outrage which cattle could commit was not, by the [slaves], ascribed to “Liberty.” Mr. Madison in his humorous way often repeated these amusing and generally false tales of his disused horse, but never curtailed his freedom. Dolley Madison had Polly, (also from Mary Cutts) “a large Macaw–it was a splendid bird and seemed happy and proud when it spread its wings and screamed out French phrases, which it had been taught by John Sioussa. It was very fond of Mr. and Mrs. Madison, but the terror of visitors. “Polly is coming!” was the mode of frightening the children of the household as some of those little ones, now grown, can tell!

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