The Library of Virginia
Portrait of James Madison James Madison (1751-1836) was one of the most influential and successful Virginians of the Revolutionary generation. In addition to helping write the first two Constitutions of Virginia, the Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights, he represented Virginia in Congress during the American Revolution and in the U.S. House of Representatives for eight years. He was the first great legislative leader in the United States, employing skills he  had learned in Virginia to help Congress create the new nation. Madison's contributions to American government were based in large part on his knowledge of the skillful statecraft of Virginia's colonial leaders, among them Sir William Berkeley and John Robinson Jr. The Virginian who made the greatest contributions to American political theory and practice, Madison succeeded by joining the power of his mind with the pragmatic political practices he learned during his first years of politics in Virginia. He was also a coauthor of the Federalist Papers and served as secretary of state (1801-1809) and as president (1809-1817).

James Madison. After Gilbert Stuart. Hand-colored engraving.
The Library of Virginia.

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