Thomas Jefferson
(Library of Congress Exhibition)

James Madison
Miniature portrait by
Charles Willson Peale, 1783
Rare Book and
Special Collections Division

The documents presented here are among the most significant Madison holographs in the Library of Congress' James Madison collection, the largest single collection of original Madison documents in existence. The majority of these documents relates to two seminal events in which Madison played a major role: the drafting and ratification of the Constitution of the United States (1787-8) and the introduction (1789) in the First Federal Congress of the amendments that became the Bill of Rights. Other documents relate to the freedom of religion, a cause to which Madison was passionately devoted, and to the burning of Washington, D.C., by the British in 1814--perhaps the major embarrassment of Madison's political career. Also included is family and autobiographical information written in Madison's hand.

Discover!Connecting Kids: You can continue to enjoy the richness of the Library's collections by going to this suggested link that will be of special interest to kids and families!

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