James Madison

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Portrait, James MadisonJames Madison 4th President of the United States (March 4, 1809 to March 3, 1817) Nicknames: “Father of the Constitution” Born: March 16, 1751, in Port Conway, Virginia Died: June 28, 1836, at Montpelier, Virginia

Father: James Madison Mother: Nelly Conway Madison Married: Dolley Payne Todd Madison (1768-1849), on September 15, 1794 Children: None Religion: Episcopalian Education: Graduated from College of New Jersey (now Princeton University; 1771) Occupation: Lawyer Political Party: Democratic-Republican Other Government Positions:

  • Member of Virginia Constitutional Convention, 1776
  • Member of Continental Congress, 1780-83
  • Member of Virginia Legislature, 1784-86
  • Member of Constitutional Convention, 1787
  • Member of U.S. House of Representatives, 1789-97
  • Secretary of State, 1801-09 (under tiny U.S. flag Jefferson)

Presidential Salary: $25,000/year

Presidential Election Results:
YearElectoral Votes
1808James Madison122
Charles C. Pinckney47
George Clinton6
(Votes Not Cast)1
1812James Madison128
DeWitt Clinton89
(Votes Not Cast)1

Vice Presidents: George Clinton (1809-12); Elbridge Gerry (1813-14) Cabinet:

Secretary of State
Robert Smith (1809-11)
tiny U.S. flag James Monroe (1811-17)
Secretary of the Treasury
Albert Gallatin (1809-14)
George W. Campbell (1814)
Alexander J. Dallas (1814-16)
William H. Crawford (1816-17)
Secretary of War
William Eustis (1809-12)
John Armstrong (1813-14)
tiny U.S. flag James Monroe (1814-15)
William H. Crawford (1815-16)
Attorney General
Caesar A. Rodney (1809-11)
William Pinkney (1812-14)
Richard Rush (1814-17)
Secretary of the Navy
Paul Hamilton (1809-12)
William Jones (1813-14)
Benjamin W. Crowninshield (1815-17)

Supreme Court Appointments:

Associate Justice
Gabriel Duvall (1811-35)
Joseph Story (1812-45)

Notable Events:

  • 1811
    • Madison allows the 20-year charter of the Bank of the United States to lapse.
    • tiny U.S. flag William Henry Harrison fought Indians led by Chief Tecumseh at Tippecanoe, near Indianapolis on November 7.
  • 1812
    • War is declared on England on June 18 after England continues to attack U.S. ships headed to France.
    • Madison is re-elected.
  • 1814
  • 1815
    • tiny U.S. flag Andrew Jackson defeats the British at New Orleans on January 8, after the war ends.
  • 1816
    • The Second Bank of the United States is chartered on April 10.

Internet Biographies:

James Madison — from The Presidents of the United States of America
Compiled by the White House.
James Madison — from American Presidents: Life Portraits — C-SPAN
Biographical information, trivia, key events, video, and other reference materials. Website created to accompany C-SPAN’s 20th Anniversary Television Series, American Presidents: Life Portraits.
James Madison — from U.S. Presidents
From the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, in addition to information on the Presidents themselves, they have first lady and cabinet member biographies, listings of presidential staff and advisers, and timelines detailing significant events in the lives of each administration.
James Madison — from LeftJustified
Biography discussing Madison’s contribution to the Constitution of the United States.
James Madison and Slavery — by Kenneth M. Clark
Extensive paper with bibliography.

Historical Documents:

First Inaugural Address (1809)
Second Inaugural Address (1813)
Memorial and Remonstrance (1785)
The Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 reported by James Madison (1787)
Constitution of the United States (1787)
Federalist Papers (1787-1788)

Other Internet Resources:

James Madison Building
Inscriptions and quotations in the James Madison Building of the Library of Congress.
James Madison Museum of Orange County Heritage
Facts, tourist information, and a history blog.
Hours and brief description.

Points of Interest:

  • Madison was the first president who had had prior experience as a congressman.
  • tiny U.S. flag Zachary Taylor and Madison were second cousins.
  • Madison was the first president to wear long trousers. All previous presidents had worn knee breeches.
  • During the War of 1812 Madison came under enemy fire. He was the first president to be in that situation.
  • At 5 feet, 4 inches and less than 100 pounds, he was the shortest and lightest president.
  • Dolley Madison sent the first personal message using Morse telegraph in 1844.
  • As Secretary of State under Thomas Jefferson, Madison played an important role in the Louisiana Purchase.
  • Along with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, James Madison authored the collection of essays that are now known as The Federalist Papers.

Previous President: tiny U.S. flag Thomas Jefferson | Next President: tiny U.S. flag James Monroe

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