Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas.


7i. ' AAMES MADISON, the
'..* E X'f o u r t h President of the
'~~~~liB , United States, I809-'I7,
was born at Port Conway,
Prince George
County, Virginia, March
I6, 175I1 His father,
l , ~Colonel James Madison, was
a wealthy planter, residing
:^ ''upon a very fine estate
called "Montpelier," only
twenty-five miles from the
home of Thomas Jefferson
at Monticello. The closest
.^-^ personal and political attachment
existed between
these illustrious men from their early youth
until death.
James was the eldest of a family of seven
children, four sons and three daughters, all
of whom attained maturity. His early education
was conducted mostly at home,
under a private tutor. Being naturally intellectual
in his tastes, he consecrated himself
with unusual vigor to study. At a very
early age he made considerable proficiency
in the Greek, Latin, French and Spanish
languages. In I769 he entered Princeton
College, New Jersey, of which the illustrious
Dr. Weatherspoon was then President.
He graduated in 177I, with a character
of the utmost purity, and a mind
highly disciplined and stored with all the
learning which embellished and gave efficiency
to his subsequent career. After
graduating he pursued a course of reading
for several months, under the guidance of
President Weatherspoon, and in I772 returned
to Virginia, where he continued in
incessant study for two years, nominally
directed to the law, but really including
extended researches in theology, philosophy
and general literature.
The Church of England was the established
church in Virginia, invested with all
the prerogatives and immunities which it
enjoyed in the fatherland, and other denominations
labored under serious disabili'
ties, the enforcement of which was rightly
or wrongly characterized by them as persecution.
Madison took a prominent stand
in behalf of the removal of all disabilities,
repeatedly appeared in the court of his own
county to defend the Baptist nonconformists,
and was elected from Orange County to
the Virginia Convention in the spring of
1766, when he signalized the beginning of
his public career by procuring the passage
of an amendment to the Declaration of
Rights as prepared by George Mason, substituting
for "toleration" a more emphatic
assertion of religious liberty.

Lewis Publishing Company. Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas.. Chicago, Illinois. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 26, 2016.

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