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 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > Former Secretaries of State > Biographies
Picture of James MadisonBIOGRAPHY

James Madison
Secretary of State, 
Term of Appointment: 05/02/1801 to 03/03/1809

  • Born at Port Conway, Virginia on March 16, 1751;
  • Graduated from the College of New Jersey in 1771;
  • Studied law and was admitted to the bar;
  • Elected to the Virginia Constitutional Convention and was a member of the State Assembly in 1776;
  • Member of the State Executive Council, 1778-1779;
  • Member of the Continental Congress, 1780-1783 and 1786-1788;
  • Served in the Virginia House of Delegates, 1784-1786;
  • Delegate to the Annapolis Convention of 1786 and to the Federal Convention of 1787, where he played a major part in the framing of the Constitution;
  • Cooperated with Hamilton and Jay on a series of essays later published as The Federalist;
  • Member of the Virginia Convention of 1788 that ratified the U.S. Constitution;
  • Representative from Virginia, 1789-1797;
  • Married Dolly Payne Todd in 1794;
  • Again a member of the House of Delegates in 1799;
  • Served as presidential elector in 1800;
  • Secretary of State in President Jefferson's Cabinet from May 2, 1801 until March 3, 1809;
  • During his tenure of office France offered and the United States accepted the Louisiana Purchase;
  • President of the United States 1809-1817;
  • Retired to Montpellier (now "Montpelier"), his estate in Virginia;
  • Became rector of the University of Virginia in 1826;
  • Member of the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1829;
  • Died at Montpellier, Orange County, Virginia, June 28, 1836,

Released on July 15, 2003

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