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LIFE, ADMINISTRATION AND TIMES
FOURTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
March 4, 1809, to March 4, 1817.
THE FAMILY AND BOYHOOD OF MR. MADISON.
LTHOUGH much of the civil and military history
of the Nation, with which Mr. Madison was more or less intimately connected, has already been written, in a manner, in the preceding volumes of this work, yet his relation to events was mainly shown, if at all, in the briefest adequate terms. By this course not only the special part he took, but often the most essential features of events themselves, were left to be developed under his name in this work. The lives of each of the prominent actors in the history of a country portray, in an especial way, some line of events, or a number of its separate, noteworthy incidents. No two of them are in the same way related to events, and in some way each one illustrates best the contemporary history with which he has been identified.
Few persons were so intimately concerned in the formation of this government as James Madison. In its constitutional history he was, perhaps, its most earnest and indefatigable scribe.
indefatigable scribe. While he was no great lawyer, or soldier, the period of his active public services was filled with big events, to most of which he contributed. A plain portrayal of these, in the story of his life, will be found to continue the unbroken threads in the ever-interesting history of this prosperous, diversified, and beautiful land.
The Madison family of Virginia dates its first appearance in that colony within the first fifteen or twenty years of the settlement at Jamestown, and hence takes its place among the oldest of the permanent adventurers to the New World. A very good and honorable record has it made. Not many of its members, however, rose to great distinction, and although living in the most chivalrous of the offshoots of European civilization through two hundred years of a chivalrous age, no great or brilliant deeds are recorded of them. Yet this has really been a strong family from its foundation in this country; and not a few of its members have been named among the leaders and framers of current events. In the early history of Jamestown, at least one of the Madisons is mentioned as an Indian fighter; and George Madison, of Rockingham County, was a brave and skillful soldier. When a mere boy he served in the war of the Revolution, and was for many years involved in the never-ending troubles with the Indians. He accompanied Arthur St. Clair in his ill-fated expedition, and was wounded in the famous battle. He was major in John Allen's Kentucky regiment in the war of 1812, and participated notably in the memorable battle of the Raisin. In 1816, the people of Kentucky elected him governor of that State, and so popular was he that the election