The James Madison Papers

James Madison
James Madison.
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Overview

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The James Madison Papers from the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress consist of approximately 12,000 items captured in some 72,000 digital images. They document the life of the man who came to be known as the "Father of the Constitution" through correspondence, personal notes, drafts of letters and legislation, an autobiography, legal and financial documents, and miscellaneous manuscripts. The collection is organized into six series dating from 1723 to 1836. Beginning with a selection of his father's letters, the series moves through Madison's years as a student, and as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates and include extensive notes of the debates during his three-year term in the Continental Congress (1779-82). Notes and a memoranda document Madison's pivotal role in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and the Virginia ratification convention of 1788. Other materials reflect the nine years that Madison spent in the House of Representatives and his tenure as Secretary of State during Thomas Jefferson's presidency. Correspondence and notes trace his two terms as the fourth president of the United States, illuminating the origins and course of the War of 1812 and the post-war years of his presidency and subsequent retirement. The collection also includes a complete copy, made by Madison's brother in-law, John C. Payne, of Thomas Jefferson's notes from the Continental Congress of 1776. Notable correspondents include Dolley Payne Madison, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Edmund Randolph, Noah Webster, and Secretary of War James Armstrong, whose correspondence with Madison fills an entire series.

Timeline

The life of James Madison.

Essay

Cracking Madison's codes.