Montpelier Print by Hedy Farah

Fun Presidential Facts – James Madison

Here are some quick facts, opinions, quotes and other information on President James Madison:


Personal Information on James Madison:

  • Fourth (1809-1817)
  • Date of Death: June 28, 1836 (Tuesday)
  • Place of Death: Orange, Virginia
  • Place of Burial: Montpelier, Orange, Virginia
  • Cause of Death: Heart failure
  • Age: 85 years old
  • Length of Retirement: 7056 days
  • Burial Website: James Madison’s grave

Interesting James Madison facts:

  1. James Madison, along with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, produced the Federalist Papers. The Federalist Papers went a long way in helping persuade Americans to approve the constitution. Although Madison would later fall into the Thomas Jefferson camp and favor a states rights country over a strong central government country which the Federalist Papers promoted. Madison again would change his mind, after the War of 1812, and he would again favor a strong central government. The Federalist Papers were composed of 85 articles. Hamilton would write 51 of those articles. Madison would write 29 of the articles. John Jay would write 5 of the articles.
  2. James Madison was one of five Presidents to serve in the Continental Congress. He served in the Second Continental Congress and the Congress of the Confederation. The others were: George Washington (First Continental Congress), John Adams (First and Second Continental Congress), Thomas Jefferson (Second Continental Congress and the Congress of the Confederation), and James Monroe (Congress of the Confederation). Madison was also one of nineteen Presidents to serve in the House of Representatives. The other Presidents to serve in the House were: Nixon, Lincoln, JQ Adams, Kennedy, Ford, Pierce, Fillmore, WH Harrison, Hayes, Garfield, McKinley, Buchanan, Jackson, Polk, A Johnson, LB Johnson, GHW Bush, and Tyler. Madison was also one of six Presidents who also served as Secretary of State. The other Presidents, who served as Secretary of State, were: Jefferson, Monroe, JQ Adams, Van Buren, and Buchanan.
  3. If all the Presidents were laid on the ground head to toe in a row, it would stretch 3116 inches. That’s a little less than the length of a football field. A football field is 100 yards and the Presidential row would be 86 yards, 1 foot, 8 inches. Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon Johnson would contribute the most to that cause because each was 6 feet 4 inches tall. That makes them the two tallest Presidents. James Madison would contribute the least, as he was a foot shorter than those two, standing only 5 feet 4 inches taller. At that height he is also the shortest President, a full two inches shorter than his closest competitors: Martin Van Buren and Benjamin Harrison.

My favorite James Madison Quotes:

All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree.
If men were angels, no government would be necessary.
No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.
The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries.

The circulation of confidence is better than the circulation of money.

The class of citizens who provide at once their own food and their own raiment, may be viewed as the most truly independent and happy.

Americans have the right and advantage of being armed – unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.

James Madison blogs (click the title to go to that page):

James Madison page on Presidential Crossroads (click “James Madison” below):

James Madison

James Madison Blogs:

His wife Dolley

His Death

His Step-Son

War of 1812

Father of the Constitution

What similar traits do I have with the first ten Presidents


Personal thoughts on James Madison:


Intelligent, Popular wife, Persuasive


Not much of a personality, Tended to change his mind

Presidential Greatness Scale (1-poor to 5-great): 2.9


James Madison was one of the founding fathers of our country and he was the leader in getting our Constitution passed in Congress. For those efforts he was rewarded the nickname: The Father of the Constitution. Yet, like other Presidents I have rated, my rating system is not on the individual themselves, but on the job I felt they did while they were President. The War of 1812 was a total disaster and we’re very lucky we all aren’t speaking English now. Wait, I guess we are speaking English. The war ended up being fought to a draw. That was probably pretty good for us because we really had no navy or army reserves to speak of. The main reason for that was Madison didn’t really believe those services were necessary. So you declare a war on a super power, yet you have nothing to fight with. It doesn’t sound like the most solid ground on which to base your Presidency. But Madison wasn’t all bad and recovered a little bit after the war. He changed some of his strong stands, like having a standing military and the need for a central bank. He would help usher in the Era of Good Feeling that the next President, James Monroe, would experience.

James Madison - A Life Reconsidered by Lynne Cheney

James Madison – A Life Reconsidered by Lynne Cheney

Favorite James Madison book:

James Madison – A Life Reconsidered by Lynne Cheney

Favorite James Madison story:

His being asked if he wanted to prolong his life for a few more days so he could die on the fourth of July. He turned down the request.

Most memorable James Madison memory:

Visiting his Home, Montpelier in Orange, Virginia

Favorite James Madison possession (see picture at the top):

A Montpelier (Madison’s home) print I found in a yard sale

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