American Presidents

Read a letter from President Madison

Portrait Gallery

Did You Know?

He was president during the War of 1812 which his critics dubbed "Mr. Madison's War."
He was a central figure in the development of the United States Constitution and kept the most complete notes of anyone at the Constitutional Convention.
Both of his vice presidents died in office.
Madison stood close to five feet five inches and weighed one hundred pounds.


Key Events in the Administration

James Madison
(March 16, 1751 - June 28, 1836)

Life Facts

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First Lady: Dolley Madison, Wife
Wife's Maiden Name: Dolley Payne Todd
Number of Children: None
Education Level: College
School Attended: Princeton University
Religion: Episcopalian
Profession: farmer, planter
Military Service: Colonel

Public Service:
Dates of Presidency: 3/4/1809 - 3/3/1817
Presidency Number: 4
Number of Terms: 2
Why Presidency Ended: End of 2nd term
Party: Democratic-Republican
His Vice President(s): George Clinton, Elbridge Gerry
Cabinet Service: Secretary of State (Thomas Jefferson, 1801-1809)
House of Representatives: Virginia (1789-1797)
Colonial Government: VA House of Delegates (1776-1777), Continental Congress (1780-1783)
Other Offices: Virginia House of Delegates; Delegate to the Virginia Convention; Member of the Council of State; Delegate to the Annapolis Convention
Methodology and Resources

Presidential Places

Birthplace: Conway House
Gravesite: Montpelier
Museum: The James Madison Museum

Reference Material

Inaugural Address
Related Links
C-SPAN in the Classroom
Papers: Library of Congress - Washington, DC, 202-707-5387
Watch American Presidents Programs from
C-SPAN's Archives

Programming includes:

James Madison Life Portrait: From Montpelier - Montpelier Station,VA
 Guests included: Jack Rakove, history professor, Stanford University; Holly Shulman, associate research professor, University of Virginia, and co-editor, Dolley Madison's papers; Kathleen Stiso Mullins, executive director, Montpelier; and Lynne Lewis, senior archaeologist, National Trust for Historic Preservation Watch | Order Videotape
Online chat with Gerard W. Gawalt, American history specialist, Library of Congress manuscript division Read the Transcript
Montpelier video, "Discovering Madison" Watch
Anthony Pitch on Madison and the burning of Washington, D.C. Watch

Kathleen Mullins on Madison Gravesite Watch
Holly Shulman on Dolley Madison Watch

Booknotes with Lance Banning, The Sacred Fire of Liberty Watch
Booknotes with Jack Rakove, Original Meanings Watch   

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