Madison, James (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
James Madison was the fourth president of the United States, serving from 1809 to 1817. Before achieving the nation's highest office, he participated in the Virginia Constitutional Convention; was a delegate to the CONTINENTAL CONGRESS; drafted a proposal for the U.S. Constitution; supported ratification of the Constitution, through The Federalist Papers, written with ALEXANDER HAMILTON and JOHN JAY; served in the House of Representatives; helped write the BILL OF RIGHTS; and was Thomas Jefferson's SECRETARY OF STATE.
Born March 16, 1751, in Port Conway, Virginia, Madison was the first of 11 children in his family. His father, James Madison Sr., was the wealthiest landowner in Orange County, Virginia, and provided Madison with a stable and comfortable upbringing. Eleanor Conway Madison, his mother, was an affectionate woman who gave the family emotional support throughout her ninety-eight years of life.
Madison grew up on an isolated plantation in Montpelier, Virginia. As a teenager he attended school in King and Queen County, studying logic, philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, and French, among other subjects. Although Madison suffered from ill health during much of his youth, he developed a reputation as an intense and ambitious student at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), which he attended...
(The entire section is 2565 words.)
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