James Madison was born March 16, 1751 at Port Conway, Virginia. He would graduate from
College in 1771 in New Jersey at Princeton. In 1776, he helped write the constitution of the State of
Virginia. He served from 1776-77 in the Virginia legislature. From 1778-79, he was a member of
the Virginia governors advisory council. From 1780-83 he would be delegate to Congress.
In 1787, he was a delegate to the Constitutional Covention and as a member of the Congress of the
Confederation he wrote the Federalist essays. he woudl be the leading voice in creating our
Constitution and Bill of Rights. From 1789-1797 he served as U.S. Representative in Congress. He
would marry Dolly Payne Todd in 1794. From 1801-1809 he would serve as Secretary of State
under Thomas Jefferson.
Then from 1809-1817 he would serve as the Fourth President of the United States.
Madison was the last of the Founding Fathers to serve as President. He served two terms in the
White House. But his greatest contributions to this nation were as the "Father of the Constitution and
Bill of Rights."
Madison held the nation together during the War of 1812. During August 1814 the British invaded
Washington and burned the capitol and executive mansion. On December 24, 1814 the Treaty of
Ghent ended the war, but the biggest defeat of the British Army occurred because General Jackson
won the Battle of New Orleans on January 9, 1815. Communitions were slow and they didn't know
the war was over.
Madison died on June 28, 1836, at Montpelier, Virginia. He had written, "to the object of devising
and proposing a constitutional system which should best supply the defeats of that which it was to
replace, and best secure the permanent liberty and happiness of their country."
1. The Complete Presidency, 2000, Compiled.