James Madison - (1751 - 1836)

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James Madison
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James Madison Tivia

James Madison served as the Fourth President of the United States
James Madison was called the "Father of The Constitution"
James Madison proposed the first twelve amendments to the Constitution
James Madison had two vice presidents die wile serving under him as president
... View all Founding Father Trivia.


James Madison Biography



Within site of Blue Ridge, in Virginia, lived three Presidents of the United States, whose public career commenced in the Revolutionary times, and whose political faith was the same throughout a long series of years. These were Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and James Madison. The latter was born at the house of his maternal grandmother, on the banks of the Rappahannock, in Virginia, on the 16th of March, 1751. His parents resided in Orange county, and there, during a long life, the eminent statesman lived. After completing his preparatory studies, he was sent to the college at Princeton, Now Jersey, then under the charge of Dr. Witherspoon, for his parents knew the atmosphere of the lower country at Williamsburg to be uncongenial for personas from the mountain regions. He left Princeton, in the Spring of 1773, with health much impaired by intense study1 and immediately entered upon a course of reading preparatory for the practice of the law, which he had chosen for a profession. Political affairs attracted his attention, and he was diverted from law to public employments. In the Spring of 1776, he was a member of the convention which formed the first Constitution for the new free State of Virginia; and the same year he was elected a member of the State legislature. He lost the suffrages of his constituents the following year, because, it was alleged, he would not "treat" the people to Liquor, and could not make a speech! The legislature named him a member if the executive council, in which office he served until 1779, when he was elected to membership in the Continental Congress. He tools his seat there in March, 1780, and for three years he was one of the most reliable men in that body. 2

Mr. Madison was again a member of the Virginia Assembly, from 1784 to 1786, where he was the champion on of every wise and liberal policy, especially is religious matters. He advocated the separation of Kentucky from Virginia; opposed the introduction of paper money; supported the laws codified by Jefferson, Wythe, and Pendleton; and was the author of the resolution which led to the convention at Annapolis, in 1786, and the more important constitutional convention, in 1787. He was a member of the convention that formed the Federal Constitution, and lie kept a faithful record of all the proceedings of that body, day after day. 3 After the labors of the convention were over, he joined with Hamilton and Jay in the publication of a series of essays in support of it.4 These, in collected form, are known as The Federalist. In the Virginia convention called to consider the constitution, Mr. Madison was chiefly instrumental in procuring its ratification, in spite of the fears of many, and the eloquence of Patrick Henry. He was one of the first representatives of Virginia in the Federal Congress, and occupied a seat there until 1797. He was opposed to the financial policy of Hamilton, and to some of the most important measures of Washington's administration, yet this difference of opinion did not produce a personal alienation of those patriots. 5 His republicanism was of the conservative stamp, yet Mr. Jefferson esteemed him so highly that he chose him for his Secretary of State, in 1801. That station he filled with rare ability during the whole eight years of Jefferson's administration, and then he was elected President of the United States. It was a period of great interest in the history of our Republic, for a serious quarrel was then pending between the governments of the United States and Great Britain. In the third year of his administration quarrel resulted in war, which continued from 1812 until 1815.

After serving eight years as chief magistrate of the Republic, Mr. Madison, In March, 1817, returned to his paternal estate of Montpelier, where he remained in retirement until his death, which occurred almost twenty years afterward. He never left his native county but once after returning from Washington, except to visit Charlottesville, occasionally, in the performance of his duties as visitor and rector of the University of Virginia. He made a journey to Richmond, in 1829, to attend a convention called to revise the Virginia Constitution. He had married an accomplished widow, in Philadelphia, in 1794, and with her, his books, friends, and in agricultural pursuits, he passed the evening of his days In great happiness. At length, at the age of eighty-five years, on a beautiful morning in June (28th), 1836, the venerable statesman went peacefully to his rest.

1. while at Princeton, he slept only three hours of the twenty-four, for months together.
2. He was the author of the able instructions ructions to Mr. Jay, when be went as minister to Spain: also of the Address of the States, at the end of the war, on the subject of the financial affairs of the confederacy.
3. His interesting papers were purchased by Congress, after his death, for the sum of thirty thousand dollars.
4. See sketches of Hamilton and Jay.
5. Mr. Madison was opposed to the Alien and Sedition laws, enacted at the be ginning of John Adams' administration ; and it became known, after his death, that he was the author of the famous Resolutions on that topic, adopted in the convention of Virginia, held in 1798.

Source: Lossing, Benson J. Eminent Americans:

More Information about James Madison

Religion: Episcopalian
James Madison on Wikipedia | Amazon | Google

Documents from our document library


Biography for James Madison (1751 - 1836)
Biography for James Madison
(File Size: 5.54K)

Anti-Federalist Papers 1787 - 1788
Anti-Federalist Papers is the collective name given to the scattered writings of those Americans who during the late 1780s to early 1790s opposed to or who raised doubts about the merits of a firmer and more energetic union as embodied in the 1787 United
(File Size: 801.78K)

The Bill of Rights 12-15-1791
The Bill of Rights is the collective name for the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. Proposed to assuage the fears of Anti-Federalists who had opposed Constitutional ratification, these amendments guarantee a number of personal freedo
(File Size: 3.23K)

The Federalist Papers 1787 - 1788
The Federalist Papers are a series of 85 articles and essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay promoting the ratification of the United States Constitution. Seventy-seven were published serially in The Independent Journal and The
(File Size: 1.10M)

Detached Memoranda 13962
James Madison, Detached Memoranda - Amendment I (Religion)
(File Size: 1.77K)


Article/Blog Entries


Wise Quotes From our Founding Fathers

Does it seem as though we are relying more and more on past personalities and their comments to give us sage advice instead of developing our own morality and intellect? Who determines what is a wise quote, a funny quote or even any comment that should be immortalized by the ages?

Democracy or Republic?

Despite clear historical evidence showing that the United States was established as a republic and not a democracy, there is still confusion regarding the difference between these two very different systems of government.  Some confusion stems because the word “democracy” is used to describe both a "type" and a "form" of government.

"Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" - But In Current Textbooks the Context of These Words is Deleted

While I didn't write or compile this mountain of support information, I would ask you offer a humble prayer of thanks for that man or woman who did. Now it my/our privilege to offer free~reprint rights to others who dare to share the truth. Respectifully ,Russ Miles



From The Digital Public Library of America

There are currenlty are 1490 items in the DLPA for James Madison, only 25 are displayed here.

  1. Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  2. Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  3. Date: [1941-61]
    Type: text
    A condensed version of this work published in 1970 under title: The fourth President.
    University of Michigan
  4. Date: 1912
    Type: text
    University of Michigan
  5. Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  6. Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  7. Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  8. Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  9. Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  10. Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  11. Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  12. Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  13. Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  14. Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  15. Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  16. Date: 1911-1911
    Type: image
    National Portrait Gallery
  17. Date: c. 1801-1810
    Type: image
    National Portrait Gallery
  18. Date: completed after the 1809 date on medal
    Type: image
    President George Washington began the practice of presenting peace medals to Indian chiefs on such important occasions as the signing of a treaty or a visit to the capital. By the time of Madison’s presidency, the Indians considered the medals an essential part of negotiations. In May 1812, John Mason, head of the Office of Indian Trade, ordered new Madison medals after learning that several chiefs would be visiting Washington. He did not want to give them leftover hollow Jefferson medals, knowing they preferred the solid ones the British gave out. Mason engaged John Reich, assistant to the chief coiner at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, to cut the dies and strike the medals. Finally, on December 17, 1814, twelve silver medals of three different sizes arrived in Washington. The largest, pictured here, was given to the most important Indian chiefs.
    National Portrait Gallery
  19. Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  20. Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  21. Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  22. Date: 1880-1880
    Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  23. Date: 1783 - 1888
    Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  24. Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
  25. Date: 1877-1877
    Type: image
    Wallach Division: Print Collection. The New York Public Library
See all the items for "James Madison" at the Digital Public Library of America

Quotes by James Madison

Quote 306 details Share on Google+ - Quote 306 Linked In Share Button - Quote 306 An elective despotism was not the government we fought for; but one in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among the several bodies of magistracy as that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.

James Madison: Federalist No. 58, 1788
The Federalist Papers

Quote 296 details Share on Google+ - Quote 296 Linked In Share Button - Quote 296 A just security to property is not afforded by that government, under which unequal taxes oppress one species of property and reward another species.

James Madison: Essay on Property, March 29, 1792

Quote 1026 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1026 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1026 You give me a credit to which I have no claim, in calling me "The writer of the Constitution of the U.S." This was not, like the fabled Goddess of Wisdom, the offspring of a single brain. It ought to be regarded as the work of many heads & many hands.

James Madison: letter to William Cogswell, March 10, 1834
Madison's Gift - David O. Stewart

Quote 1027 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1027 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1027 Pride ignorance and Knavery among the Priesthood and Vice and Wickedness among the Laity. This is bad enough But It is not the worst I have to tell you. That diabolical Hell conceived principle of persecution rages among some and to their eternal Infamy the Clergy can furnish their Quota of Imps for such business. This vexes me the most of any thing whatever.

James Madison: letter to William Bradford, January 24, 1774
Madison's Gift - David O. Stewart

Quote 1025 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1025 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1025 Let it be remembered finally that it has ever been the pride and boast of America, that the rights for which she contended were the rights of human nature. By the blessing of the Author of these rights on the means exerted for their defense, they have prevailed against all opposition and form the basis of thirteen independent States.

James Madison: Report on Address to the States, April 26, 1783

Quote 1023 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1023 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1023 Unless some amicable & adequate arrangements be speedily taken for adjusting all the subsisting accounts and discharging the public engagements, a dissolution of the union will be inevitable...

James Madison: letter to Edmund Randolph, February 25, 1783
Madison's Gift - David O. Stewart

Quote 1024 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1024 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1024 If justice, good faith, honor, gratitude & all the other Qualities which enoble the character of a nation, and fulfil the ends of Government, be the fruits of our establishments, the cause of liberty will acquire a dignity and lustre, which it has never yet enjoyed; and an example will be set which can not but have the most favorable influence on the rights of mankind. If on the other side, our Governments should be unfortunately blotted with the reverse of these cardinal and essential Virtues, the great cause which we have engaged to vindicate, will be dishonored & betrayed; the last & fairest experiment in favor of the rights of human nature will be turned against them; and their patrons & friends exposed to be insulted & silenced by the votaries of Tyranny and Usurpation.

James Madison: Report on Address to the States, April 26, 1783
Madison's Gift - David O. Stewart

Quote 58 details Share on Google+ - Quote 58 Linked In Share Button - Quote 58
The very definition of tyranny is when all powers are gathered under one place.

James Madison: The Federalist No. 47

Quote 967 details Share on Google+ - Quote 967 Linked In Share Button - Quote 967
The free system of government we have established is so congenial with reason, with common sense, and with a universal feeling, that it must produce approbation and a desire of imitation, as avenues may be found of truth to the knowledge of nations.

James Madison: letter to Pierre E. Duponceau, January 23, 1826
Respectfully quoted: A dictionary of quotations...

Quote 349 details Share on Google+ - Quote 349 Linked In Share Button - Quote 349 It is too early for politicians to presume on our forgetting that the public good, the real welfare of the great body of the people, is the supreme object to be pursued; and that no form of government whatever has any other value than as it may be fitted for the attainment of this object.

James Madison: Federalist No. 45, January 26, 1788
The Federalist Papers

Quote 821 details Share on Google+ - Quote 821 Linked In Share Button - Quote 821
The free men of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much soon to forget it. Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects? that the same authority which can force a citizen to contribute three pence only of his property for the support of any one establishment, may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever?

James Madison: Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments, 1785

Quote 303 details Share on Google+ - Quote 303 Linked In Share Button - Quote 303 America united with a handful of troops, or without a single soldier, exhibits a more forbidding posture to foreign ambition than America disunited, with a hundred thousand veterans ready for combat.

James Madison: Federalist No. 14, November 30, 1787
The Federalist Papers

Quote 295 details Share on Google+ - Quote 295 Linked In Share Button - Quote 295 A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.

James Madison: Federalist No. 51, February 8, 1788
The Federalist Papers

Quote 333 details Share on Google+ - Quote 333 Linked In Share Button - Quote 333 If it be asked what is to restrain the House of Representatives from making legal discriminations in favor of themselves and a particular class of the society? I answer, the genius of the whole system, the nature of just and constitutional laws, and above all the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people of America, a spirit which nourishes freedom, and in return is nourished by it.

James Madison: Federalist No. 57, February 19, 1788
The Federalist Papers

Quote 309 details Share on Google+ - Quote 309 Linked In Share Button - Quote 309 As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed. As long as the connection subsists between his reason and his self-love, his opinions and his passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other.

James Madison: Federalist No. 10, November 23, 1787
The Federalist Papers


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