Skip to main content

Who Was President James Madison?

  • Author:
  • Updated date:

I am a Christian. I was an 8th-grade American History teacher. I am currently a freelance writer, public speaker, & homeschooling mom of 9.

Image credit:

Image credit:

Madison for Teachers, Students, & All Who Love to Learn

Looking for great YouTube video clips, books, and free worksheets and lapbooks for teaching and/or learning about President James Madison? Here you will find my favorite picks we used while studying the individual Presidents of the United States. This is part of a series of lessons I posted on individual Presidents. You can find links to all the lessons at President's Day Unit Study .

James Monroe by John Vanderlyn

James Monroe by John Vanderlyn

Just the Facts on Our 4th President

Presidential Term: 1809-1817

Political Party: Democratic-Republican

Vice Presidents: George Clinton (1809-1812) & Elbridge Gerry (1813-1814)

Birthplace: Virginia

Occupation: Lawyer

Yearly Salary as President: $25,000

Height: 5'4"

First Lady: Dolley Madison

We found these to be helpful when creating a notebook and lapbook and adding in a cooking activity. I love anything that is both edible and educational!

James Madison for Teachers offers links to lots of free worksheets covering James Madison. Also included are book suggestions and general information.

Dolley Madison's Soft Gingerbread, Cinnamon Cake, Layer Cake, & Caramel Recipes provides a recipe for some of Madison's favorite desserts, Soft Gingerbread, Cinnamon Cake, Layer Cake, & Caramel, and also includes a description of some of his other favorite dishes.

Presidents Lapbook provides free lapbook pages for each of the Presidents of the United States.

Presidential Statistics and Points of Interest includes an overview of James Madison's life and some fun points of interest.

Our Favorite Picture Book on James Madison

More of Our Favorite Picture Books on James and Dolley Madison and also on the War of 1812

James Madison (Jr. Graphic Founding Fathers) by Sandra Dooling was a favorite with my boys (ages 9 and 6) who love any books that have comic book style illustrations (graphic) like this one. I love that it still includes plenty of historical information.

James Madison and Dolly Madison and Their Times by Robert M. Quackenbush is a longer picture book and is less colorful than some of the more modern books, but it is definitely worth reading! The author pulls out many interesting tidbits about the Madisons and presents it in an engaging manner. Even my 4 year old enjoyed it. We learned quite a bit from the book.

Scroll to Continue

A Fine New Home for Young James Madison by Ann M. Ferguson includes a story from Madison's childhood and how it shaped him to be the man that he became.

Dolley Madison Saves History (Graphic History) by Roger Smalley is a comic book style (graphic illustrated) story of the heroic actions of First Lady Dolley Madison during the War of 1812.

Dolley Madison Saves George Washington by Don Brown is an excellent picture book about how First Lady Dolley Madison risked her life to save the portrait of George Washington. It also includes some biographical information about Dolley Madison. This is told in such an engaging manner and has illustrations that are ideal for keeping the interest of younger listeners.

The Story of the Star-Spangled Banner (Graphic History) by Ryan Jacobson was the favorite pick on the story of the Star Spangled Banner with my boys (ages 9 and 6). As usual, they gravitate toward books that have comic book style illustrations (graphic) like this one. I love the books in this series because they do include so much information as well. This includes the events that led up to the Battle of Fort McHenry, how and why Francis Scott Key wrote the Star-Spangled Banner, and also how his poem became America's national anthem.

Francis Scott Key's Star-Spangled Banner (Step into Reading) by Monica Kulling includes a biographical background of Francis Scott Key and how he came to write the Star-Spangled Banner. This has nice illustrations, and the story is told in an interesting manner.

By the Dawn's Early Light: The Story of the Star-Spangled Banner by Steven Kroll is another good picture book on the story of Francis Scott Key writing the Star-Spangled Banner during the War of 1812.

Good Chapter Book on James Madison

More Good Chapter Books on James and Dolley Madison

The Diary of Maggie, A Madison Mouse by Peyton Cockrill Lewis is a cute 122 page chapter book that is written from the perspective of a mouse living at the time of Madison. It reminds me quite a bit of "Ben and Me" about the mouse who helps Benjamin Franklin.

Dolly Madison: Quaker Girl (Childhood of famous Americans) by Helen Albee Monsell is a wonderful illustrated chapter book about the childhood of James Madison's wife, Dolley. It has black and white illustrations every few pages and is perfect for an elementary aged child to read.

Timeline of Major Events from 1811-1816

-William Henry Harrison defeated Tecumseh at the Battle of Tippecanoe

-Louisiana admitted as 18th state
-War of 1812 began
-Madison reelected for 2nd term

-Commodore Perry defeated British on Lake Erie

-Capitol and White House burned by British
-Francis Scott Key wrote The Star-Spangled Banner
-Treaty of Ghent ended War of 1812

-Defeat of British at Battle of New Orleans led by Andrew Jackson

-Indiana admitted as 19th state
-Second Bank of the United States chartered

The U.S. Constitution

The U.S. Constitution

James Madison: The Father of the Constitution

Madison is most well known not for being a president but for being "the Father of the Constitution," helping to draft the Constitution and Bill of Rights and later defending the Constitution through The Federalist Papers.

War of 1812

War of 1812

President During the War of 1812

Between 1812-1814, America was at war with England in the war known as the War of 1812. This occurred after Englad refused to stop attacking U.S. ships. During this war, the White House was burned. Dolley rescued a famous portrait of George Washington along with a number of important documents like the Declaration of Independence. Francis Scott Key penned the The Star-Spangled Banner after seeing the flag still standing over Fort McHenry. The Treaty of Ghent was signed to end the War of 1812, though fighting continued (such as Andrew Jackson's defeat over the British at New Orleans) even after the treaty was signed.

James Madison engraving by David Edwin

James Madison engraving by David Edwin

James Madison was the first president to wear long pants. All the presidents prior to him wore knee breeches.

Second Bank of the United States

Second Bank of the United States

Second Bank of the United States

During Madison's presidency, the Second Bank of the United States was chartered in 1816. It was modeled after Alexander Hamilton's First Bank of the United States. The financial situation following the War of 1812 convinced Madison of its necessity.

Battle of Tippecanoe

Battle of Tippecanoe

Harrison Serving in Madison's Army

It was during Madison's presidency, in 1811, that William Henry Harrison fought Chief Tecumseh at the Battle of Tippecanoe. He would later become the ninth President of the United States.

Good Overview of James Madison

When searching out YouTube video clips that provided helpful information about his presidency and were completely child-friendly, these were our favorites.

Presidential Minute With James Madison

James Madison from the History Channel's The Presidents

Glenn Beck- Founders' Friday: James Madison

The War of 1812 - Crash Course US History #11

James Madison - Mini Biography

Liberty's Kids #40 We the People (James Madison's role in the developing the Constitution)

War of 1812

Jame Madison's tombstone at Montpelier

Jame Madison's tombstone at Montpelier

James Madison's Death and Burial

James Madison retired as President to his family home of Montpelier, where he would struggle financially for the next 20 year. He died at Montpelier and was the last of the Founding Fathers to pass away. He was buried in the Madison Family Cemetery at Montpelier and his grave still lies in the family plot, accessible only by a dirt road.

Where was James Madison buried?

  • President's Day Unit Study - I posted links to each of my lessons on individual Presidents here. In each lesson I included fun worksheets, children's books, YouTube clips, timelines, and recipe ideas. On this page I also included our favorite books and YouTube video clips that cover all of the Presidents of the United States.
  • Fun, FREE Hands-on Unit Studies - Looking for all of my lessons and unit studies? Over the years I have posted over 35 science and social-studies based unit studies, compromised of more than 170 lessons. For each lesson I have included activities (with photos), our favorite books and YouTube video clips, lapbook links, and other resources. I posted links to all of my unit studies and lessons on this page.

© 2012 Shannon

What first comes to mind when you think of James Madison? - Or just let me know you dropped by. I LOVE getting feedback from you!

Shannon (author) from Florida on October 17, 2017:

Thank you!

Doug West from Missouri on October 16, 2017:

Good article. I like to write about the presidents too.

Related Articles