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John Payne Todd

Painting of John Payne Todd by Joseph Wood ca.1817
Born February 29, 1792(1792-02-29)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died January 27, 1852 (aged 59)
Washington, D.C.
Education Bishop John Carroll's Catholic Boarding School
Alma mater St. Mary's College
Parents John Todd Jr.
Dolley Payne Todd Madison
James Madison (stepfather)

John Payne Todd (February 29, 1792-January 27, 1852) was the son of John Todd Jr. and Dolley Payne. He had a younger brother named William Temple Todd. Both his brother and father died of yellow fever in 1793. His mother later married future President James Madison, who adopted Payne.[1] Payne was an habitual gambler and acquired a great deal of debt over his life. Twice he was sent to debtors' prison, and his step-father had to cover much of his debt. Madison tried to teach his step-son responsibility by sending him with an official delegation to Europe, but Payne spent much of the time drinking and gambling.[2] Payne was largely responsible for his mother's late life poverty and threatened to sue to get access to the small amount of money she received for selling Madison's papers. Dolley Madison was forced to sell the family's Montpelier estate to cover his debts.[3] However, she was still very devoted to him. John outlived his mother by only two years.[4] He died of typhoid fever in 1852.[2]

References


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