-Signers of the Declaration
-Signers of the A. O. C.
-Signers of the U. S. Constitution
-Wives of the Signers
Mr. Madison was again a member of the Virginia Assembly, from 1784 to 1786, where he was the champion on of every wise and liberal policy, especially is religious matters. He advocated the separation of Kentucky from Virginia; opposed the introduction of paper money; supported the laws codified by Jefferson, Wythe, and Pendleton; and was the author of the resolution which led to the convention at Annapolis, in 1786, and the more important constitutional convention, in 1787. He was a member of the convention that formed the Federal Constitution, and lie kept a faithful record of all the proceedings of that body, day after day. 3 After the labors of the convention were over, he joined with Hamilton and Jay in the publication of a series of essays in support of it.4 These, in collected form, are known as The Federalist. In the Virginia convention called to consider the constitution, Mr. Madison was chiefly instrumental in procuring its ratification, in spite of the fears of many, and the eloquence of Patrick Henry. He was one of the first representatives of Virginia in the Federal Congress, and occupied a seat there until 1797. He was opposed to the financial policy of Hamilton, and to some of the most important measures of Washington's administration, yet this difference of opinion did not produce a personal alienation of those patriots. 5 His republicanism was of the conservative stamp, yet Mr. Jefferson esteemed him so highly that he chose him for his Secretary of State, in 1801. That station he filled with rare ability during the whole eight years of Jefferson's administration, and then he was elected President of the United States. It was a period of great interest in the history of our Republic, for a serious quarrel was then pending between the governments of the United States and Great Britain. In the third year of his administration quarrel resulted in war, which continued from 1812 until 1815.
After serving eight years as chief magistrate of the Republic, Mr. Madison, In March, 1817, returned to his paternal estate of Montpelier, where he remained in retirement until his death, which occurred almost twenty years afterward. He never left his native county but once after returning from Washington, except to visit Charlottesville, occasionally, in the performance of his duties as visitor and rector of the University of Virginia. He made a journey to Richmond, in 1829, to attend a convention called to revise the Virginia Constitution. He had married an accomplished widow, in Philadelphia, in 1794, and with her, his books, friends, and in agricultural pursuits, he passed the evening of his days In great happiness. At length, at the age of eighty-five years, on a beautiful morning in June (28th), 1836, the venerable statesman went peacefully to his rest.
1. while at Princeton, he slept only three hours of the twenty-four, for months together.