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James 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 (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:



Electoral Votes


James Madison



Charles C. Pinckney



George Clinton



(Votes Not Cast)



James Madison



DeWitt Clinton



(Votes Not Cast)


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


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)

Notable Events:

  • 1811

    • Madison allows 20-year charter of Bank of the United States to lapse.

    • tiny U.S. flag William Henry Harrison fought Indians led by Chief Tecumseh at Tippecanoe, near Indianapolis, November 7.

  • 1812

    • War declared on England on June 18 after England continued to attack U.S. ships headed to France.

    • Madison reelected.

  • 1814

  • 1815

    • tiny U.S. flag Andrew Jackson defeated British at New Orleans January 8, after war ended.

  • 1816

    • Second Bank of the United States chartered, April 10.

Internet Biographies:

James Madison -- from The Presidents of the United States of America

Compiled by the White House.

James Madison -- from Table of Presidents and Vice Presidents of the United States - MSN Encarta

Grolier Online has created this resource from its collection of print articles in Encyclopedia Americana. Contains a full biography, written by Ralph Ketcham of Syracuse University, along with suggestions for further reading.

James Madison -- from The American President

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.

A Colored Man's Reminiscences of James Madison -- by Paul Jennings

Observations from one of Madison's slaves.

James Madison -- from Heritage by Left Justified

Biography focusing on 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

Facts, tourist information, and an online bookstore.


Hours and brief description.

Points of Interest:

  • Madison was the first president who had prior service 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 wore knee breeches.

  • During the War of 1812 Madison was 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 the Morse telegraph in 1844.




James Madison

4th President of the United States
(March 4, 1809 to March 3, 1817)


Dolley Madison