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James Madison

  • Date Submitted: 05/08/2010 07:39 PM
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James Madison

      James Madison served as the fourth President of the United States.   He is known as one of our Founding Fathers of this country.   As the “Father of the Constitution,” he was the principle author of the document.   Madison played a very important role in the establishment of the United States.
James was born in Port Conway, Virginia on March 16, 1751.   He grew up as the oldest of twelve children, of whom nine survived.   His father, James Madison, Sr., was a tobacco planter who grew up on an estate in Orange County, Virginia.   His mother, Nelly Conway, was born at Port Conway, Virginia, the daughter of a prominent planter and tobacco merchant. Madison's parents married in 1743. Both parents had a significant influence over their most famous oldest son.   Madison had three brothers and three sisters, who lived to maturity.
When James was ages 11-16, he studied under Donald Robertson.   From Robertson, Madison learned mathematics, geography, and modern and ancient languages.   He became extremely proficient with Latin.   Madison said later on in his life, “I owe my bent for learning largely to Donald Robertson."
At age 16, James began a two year course with Reverend Thomas Martin, who prepared him for college.   In 1769, Madison enrolled at the College of New Jersey, which is now known as Princeton University.   His studies there included Latin, Greek, science, geography, mathematics, rhetoric, and philosophy.   Through dedication and hard work, James Madison graduated in 1771.   After graduating, he remained at Princeton to study Hebrew and political philosophy.
James married Dolley Payne Todd on September 15, 1794, and adopted her only surviving son, John, after the marriage.   Dolley was born on May 20, 1768.   She was a widow and a member of the “Society of Friends” group.   For marrying Madison, a non-Quaker, she was expelled from this group.
A young Madison became a lawyer, defending Baptist preachers arrested for preaching without a license...

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