James Madison
100 Pages
English
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James Madison

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100 Pages
English

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Published 08 December 2010
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The Project Gutenberg eBook, James Madison, by Sydney Howard Gay This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: James Madison Author: Sydney Howard Gay Release Date: May 29, 2009 [eBook #28992] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 ***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK JAMES MADISON*** E-text prepared by Suzanne Shell, Carla Foust, and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team (http://www.pgdp.net) Transcriber's note Minor punctuation errors have been corrected without notice. Printer's errors have been corrected, and they are indicated with a mouse-hover and listed at the end of this book. All other inconsistencies are as in the original. Giants of America The Founding Fathers James Madision JAMES MADISON The Home of James Madison SYDNEY HOWARD GAY ARLINGTON HOUSE New Rochelle, N.Y. CONTENTS CHAP. I. THE VIRGINIA MADISONS II. THE YOUNG STATESMAN III. IN CONGRESS IV. IN THE STATE ASSEMBLY V. IN THE VIRGINIA LEGISLATURE VI. PUBLIC DISTURBANCES AND ANXIETIES VII. THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION VIII. "THE COMPROMISES" IX. ADOPTION OF THE CONSTITUTION X. THE FIRST CONGRESS XI. NATIONAL FINANCES—SLAVERY XII. FEDERALISTS AND REPUBLICANS XIII. FRENCH POLITICS XIV. HIS LATEST YEARS IN CONGRESS XV. AT HOME—"RESOLUTIONS OF '98 AND '99" XVI. SECRETARY OF STATE XVII. THE EMBARGO XVIII. MADISON AS PRESIDENT XIX. WAR WITH ENGLAND XX. CONCLUSION INDEX PAGE 1 15 28 45 61 73 84 94 110 122 144 164 185 207 225 242 254 272 290 309 325 ILLUSTRATIONS JAMES MADISON From the painting by Sully in the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C. Autograph from a MS. in the New York Public Library, Lenox Building. The vignette of "Montpelier," Madison's home at Montpelier, Va., is from a photograph. CHARLES COTESWORTH PINCKNEY From the original painting by Gilbert Stuart in the possession of Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, D. D., LL. D., Charleston, S. C. Autograph from a MS. in the New York Public Library, Lenox Building. FISHER AMES PAGE facing 98 Frontispiece facing 162 From the miniature painted by John Trumbull in 1792, now in the Art Gallery of Yale University. Autograph from the Chamberlain Collection, Boston Public Library. DOLLY P. MADISON From a miniature in the possession of Dr. H. M. Cutts, Brookline, Mass. Autograph from a letter kindly loaned by Dr. Cutts. BATTLE OF LAKE ERIE facing 222 facing 310 From the painting by W. H. Powell in the Capitol at Washington. JAMES MADISON CHAPTER I THE VIRGINIA MADISONS [1] James Madison was born on March 16, 1751, at Port Conway, Virginia; he died at Montpellier, in that State, on June 28, 1836. Mr. John Quincy Adams, recalling, perhaps, the death of his own father and of Jefferson on the same Fourth of July, and that of Monroe on a subsequent anniversary of that day, may possibly have seen a generous propriety in finding some equally appropriate commemoration for the death of another Virginian President. For it was quite possible that Virginia might think him capable of an attempt to conceal, what to her mind would seem to be an obvious intention of Providence: that all the children of the "Mother of Presidents" should be no less distinguished in their deaths than in their lives—that the "other dynasty," which John Randolph was wont to talk about, should no longer pretend to an equality with them, not merely in this world, but in the manner of going out of it. At any rate, he notes the date of Madison's death, the twenty-eighth [2] day of June, as "the anniversary of the day on which the ratification of the Convention of Virginia in 1788 had affixed the seal of James Madison as the father of the Constitution of the United States, when his earthly part sank without a struggle into the grave, and a spirit, bright as the seraphim that surround the throne of Omnipotence, ascended to the bosom of his God." There can be no doubt of the deep sincerity of this tribute, whatever question there may be of its grammatical construction and its rhetoric, and although the date is erroneous. The ratification of the Constitution of the United States by the Virginia Convention was on June 25, not on June 28. It is the misfortune of our time that we have no living great men held in such universal veneration that their dying on common days like common mortals seems quite impossible. Half a century ago, however, the propriety of such providential arrangements appears to have been recognized almost as one of the "institutions." It was the newspaper gossip of that time that a "distinguished physician" declared that he would have kept a fourth ex-President alive to die on a Fourth of July, had the illustrious sick man been under his treatment. The patient himself, had he been consulted, might, in that case, possibly have declined to have a fatal illness prolonged a week to gratify the public fondness for patriotic coincidence. But Mr. Adams's appropriation of another anniversary answered all the purpose, for that he made a mistake as to the [3] date does not seem to have been discovered. It was accidental that Port Conway was the birthplace of Madison. His maternal grandfather, whose name was Conway, had a plantation at that place, and young Mrs. Madison happened to be there on a visit to her mother when her first child, James, was born. In the stately—not to say stilted—biography of him by William C. Rives, the christened name of this lady is given as Eleanor. Mr. Rives may have thought it not in accordance with ancestral dignity that the mother of so distinguished a son should have been burdened with so commonplace and homely a name as Nelly. But we are afraid it is true that Nelly was her name. No other biographer than Mr. Rives, that we know of, calls her Eleanor. Even Madison himself permits "Nelly" to pass under his eyes and from his hands as his mother's name. In 1833-34 there was some correspondence between him and Lyman C. Draper, the historian, which includes some notes upon the Madison genealogy. These, the ex-President writes, were "made out by a member of the family," and they may be considered, therefore, as having his sanction. The first record is, that "James Madison was the son of James Madison and Nelly Conway." On such authority Nelly, and not Eleanor, must be accepted as the mother's name. This, of course, is to be regretted from the Rives point of view; but perhaps the name had a less familiar sound a century and a half ago; and no doubt it was chosen by