James Madison Jr., 4th President of the United States

James Madison Jr. was born at Belle Grove Plantation in Port Conway, Virginia Colony, British America to James Sr. and Nelly (Conway) Madison on March 16, 1751. James Jr.

grew up as the oldest of 12 children, 7 brothers and 4 sisters. His father was a tobacco farmer who owned a plantation that was originally named Mount Pleasant. Madison married the 26 year old widow Dolly Payne Todd on September 15, 1794 at Harewood, which is now in Jefferson County, Virginia. The couple never had their own children but John Jr did adopt Dolly’s one surviving son, John Payne Todd, when they married. Madison’s political career began March 1, 1781 when he was elected as a delegate to the Congress of the Confederation, a position held until November 1, 1783 when he was succeeded by Thomas Jefferson. Then from March 4, 1789 until March 4, 1793 Madison was a delegate to the US House of Representatives from Virginia’s 5th district.

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This position was immediately followed by a position as a member of the US House of Representatives from Virginia’s 15th district; a position held from March 4, 1793 until March 4, 1797. Then during the Jefferson Administration Madison was named the 5th US Secretary of State which was held from May 2, 1801 until March 3, 1809. Then Madison became the 4th President of the United States on March 4, 1809 and held the position until March 4, 1817. James Madison was known for helping write the Federalist Papers along with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. He was also known for founding the Democratic-Republican Party which was the precursor to today’s Democratic Party.

On June 28, 1836 in Orange, Virginia the life of President James Madison came to an end. He is buried in the Madison Family Cemetery at Montpelier.