James Madison

4th President James Madison, 1809-18174th President James Madison, 1809-18174th President James Madison, 1809-18174th President James Madison, 1809-1817

4th President James Madison, 1809-1817

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

Full Name: James Madison
Nicknames: "Father of the Constitution"

Born: March 16, 1751, in Port Conway, Virginia
Died: June 28, 1836, at Montpelier, Virginia

Father: James Madison, Sr. (1723-1801)
Mother: Nelly Conway Madison (1731-1829)
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 Jefferson)

Presidential Salary: $25,000/year

Presidential Election Results:

YearCandidateElectoral Votes
1808James Madison122
(map)Charles C. Pinckney47
George Clinton6
(Votes Not Cast)1

YearCandidateElectoral Votes
1812James Madison128
(map)DeWitt Clinton89
(Votes Not Cast)1

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


Secretary of State
Robert Smith (1809-11)
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)
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 Justices:
Gabriel Duvall (1811-1835)
Joseph Story (1812-1845)

Notable Events:
  • 1811
    • Madison allows 20-year charter of Bank of the United States to lapse.
    • 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.
    • On April 20, Vice President George Clinton died in office.
  • 1814
  • 1815
    • 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 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.
James Madison -- from Encyclopaedia Britannica
Facts about Madison and his presidency.
A Colored Man's Reminiscences of James Madison -- by Paul Jennings
Observations from one of Madison's slaves.
James Madison -- from Heritage by LeftJustified
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.
Other Internet Resources:
Belle Grove Plantation
Birthplace of James Madison is now a bed and breakfast. Located in King George, VA.
The Best Biographies of James Madison
In 2012, Stephen Floyd started his search for the best biography of each president. He usually has reviews of multiple biographies for each president.
Health and Medical History of James Madison
Medical background of each president with references. Compiled by John Sotos, MD.
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 of the things to do at Madison's Virginia home.
Points of Interest:

9221 Belle Grove Dr, King George, VA 22485

11350 Constitution Hwy, Montpelier Station, VA 22957

Additional Facts:
  • Madison was the first president who had prior service as a congressman.
  • 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.
  • Madison was the first president to ask Congress for a Declaration of War.
  • Madison was the first president to have his Vice President die in Office. The Vice President for his second term also died in office.

“The circulation of confidence is better than the circulation of money.”

“The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.”

“The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted.”

“The problem to be solved is, not what form of government is perfect, but which of the forms is least imperfect.”

“If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”

“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”

“Philosophy is common sense with big words.”

Previous President: Thomas Jefferson
Next President: James Monroe