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James Madison: A Resource Guide

James Madison, bust portrait miniature, facing slightly right
James Madison, bust portrait miniature, facing slightly right. Painting: watercolor on ivory,
in gold case.
Charles Willson Peale, artist. [1783]
Prints and Photographs Division.
Reproduction Number:

Related Resources

America's Story

Meet Amazing Americans: James Madison

Designed for elementary and middle-school students, America's Library provides a variety of stories about James Madison, including information about the U.S. Constitution, Dolley Madison, and the War of 1812.

Jump Back in Time: The New United States of America Adopted the Bill of Rights

Jump Back in Time: President James Madison Approved an Act of Congress to Purchase Jefferson's Library

The Web site provides the full text of the Federalist Papers, a series of eighty-five essays urging the citizens of New York to ratify the new United States Constitution. Written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay, the essays originally appeared anonymously in New York newspapers in 1787 and 1788 under the pen name "Publius."


American Treasures of the Library of Congress

Religion and the Founding of the American Republic

Explores the role religion played in the founding of the American colonies, in the shaping of early American life and politics, and in forming the American Republic. This exhibition includes information on many items related to Madison and religion, including a copy of Madison's notes for his speech introducing the Bill of Rights and a description of Madison attending church services during his presidency.

Madison's Treasures

The majority of the documents in this exhibition relate to two seminal events in which Madison played a major role: the drafting and ratification of the Constitution of the United States (1787-88) and the introduction (1789) in the First Federal Congress of the amendments that became the Bill of Rights. Other documents in this exhibition relate to freedom of religion, a cause to which Madison was passionately devoted, and to the burning of Washington, D.C., by the British in 1814.

Library of Congress Symposium

James Madison: Philosopher and Practitioner of Liberal Democracy

This symposium explored the thought and character of James Madison as well as his many significant contributions to the nation's history, such as his defense of religious liberty; his role as architect and principal defender of the Constitution of the United States; his introduction of the legislation that produced the Bill of Rights; and his service as secretary of state in 1801-09, and as president of the United States from 1809 to 1817. This site contains the full text of papers presented at the symposium, as well as Webcasts of the speakers.

Manuscript Division

Manuscript Division Finding Aids Online

Access the finding aids for the papers of James Madison and Dolley Madison in the Library of Congress Manuscript Division.

Prints and Photographs Division

Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC)

Search PPOC using the subject heading Madison, James, 1751-1836 to find digital images related to Madison such as prints, photographs, and political cartoons. Search all text fields in PPOC using the phrase James Madison to locate additional images.

Presidents of the United States Selected Images From the Collections of the Library of Congress

This guide presents portraits of U.S. presidents and first ladies, including images of James Madison and Dolley Madison.

Today in History

January 30

On January 30, 1815, President James Madison approved an Act of Congress appropriating $23,950 to purchase Thomas Jefferson's library of 6,487 volumes.

March 16

James Madison, "Father of the Constitution" and fourth president of the United States, was born on March 16, 1751.

June 18

On June 18, 1812, President James Madison signed a declaration of war against Great Britain, marking the beginning of the War of 1812.

August 19

On August 19, 1814, during the War of 1812, British troops under the command of Major General Robert Ross and Rear Admiral George Cockburn landed at Benedict, Maryland, on the shores of the Patuxent River.

September 17

On September 17, 1787, members of the Constitutional Convention signed the final draft of the Constitution.

October 27

The first in a series of eighty-five essays by "Publius," the pen name of Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, appeared in the Independent Journal, a New York newspaper, on October 27, 1787.

December 15

On December 15, 1791, the new United States of America adopted the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Virtual Programs and Services

Digital Reference Section Web Guides

A Guide to the War of 1812

The digital collections of the Library of Congress contain a wide variety of material associated with the War of 1812, including manuscripts, broadsides, pictures, and government documents.

Presidents as Poets: Poetry Written by United States Presidents

Many presidents of the United States have turned to poetry at certain points in their lives as an outlet for their feelings and thoughts, or to explore the resources of the English language, including James Madison.

Primary Documents in American History

This site offers a list of some of the most important documents in American history from 1763 to 1877. Each document has a page with background information, links to digital material associated with the documents, and bibliographies for both adult and young readers. Many of the documents contain information related to Madison, including the Constitution, Federalist Papers, Bill of Rights, and the Treaty of Ghent.

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  March 13, 2017
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