National Historical Publications & Records Commission

The Papers of James Madison

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James Madison by John Vanderlyn, 1816


The University of Virginia

University Press of Virginia at (earlier volumes from University of Chicago Press).

The papers of James Madison are also included in Founders Online 

A comprehensive edition of the papers of James Madison (1751 –1836), American statesman and political theorist, the fourth President of the United States (1809–1817). Hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being instrumental in the drafting of the United States Constitution, Madison became one of the leaders in the ratification movement. He collaborated with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay produced the Federalist Papers. After the ratification of the Constitution in 1788, Madison won election to the United States House of Representatives. For his role in drafting the first ten amendments to the Constitution during the First Congress, Madison is known as the "Father of the Bill of Rights." Together with Thomas Jefferson, Madison organized the Democratic-Republican Party, which became one of the nation's two first major political parties. After Jefferson won the 1800 presidential election, Madison served as Jefferson's Secretary of State from 1801 to 1809, supervising the Louisiana Purchase, which doubled the nation's size. Madison succeeded Jefferson with a victory in the 1808 presidential election, and he won re-election in 1812. After the failure of diplomatic protests and a trade embargo against the United Kingdom, he led the U.S. into the War of 1812. 

The edition is divided into four series:

  • Congressional Series – Complete in 17 volumes
  • Secretary of State Series – Ten volumes completed of a planned 16 volume edition
  • Presidential Series – Eight volumes completed of a planned 11 volume edition
  • Retirement Series – Three volume completed of a planned seven volume edition


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