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Presidential Founders

A navigational guide to materials related to the U.S. Presidential Founders at The Huntington Library

James Madison

Centennial exposition of American presidents. Jay T. Last Collection.James Madison material can be found in multiple locations in the Huntington Library.

James Madison correspondence with Alexander James Dallas, 1815-1816

James Madison correspondence with Alexander James Dallas, 1815-1816 contains political correspondence between Madison and Alexander James Dallas, who was Madison’s Secretary of the Treasury, Acting Secretary of War, and Acting Secretary of State at various points in this time period. Letters in the collection discuss a variety of concerns including the organization of a peacetime military establishment; economic and financial affairs, including the Second Bank of the United States; U.S. relations with Great Britain, France, Russia, Algeria; and an astronomical observatory. Correspondence also pertains to relationships with Native Americans following the War of 1812, especially in Michigan territory (see letters from May 1815). See the collection’s catalog record for more information and link to the finding aid.

Call number: mssMD

L. Dennis Shapiro collection 

In addition, three James Madison items can be found in the L. Dennis Shapiro collection. Note: the Shapiro collection is restricted—it is available only with curatorial approval and requires extended retrieval and delivery time. Contact the library for more information.

Call number: mssShapiro

Single manuscript items

There are a number of single manuscript items in the Library’s collections that document James Madison’s life and career from 1787 to 1830. The bulk of Madison items is correspondence to politicians and statesmen that discusses government and fiscal policies; foreign relations, including:

An item regarding the Tripolitan War

Call number: mssHM 22918

The Aaron Burr conspiracy

Call number: mssHM 25460

The University of Virginia; and the Madison family (land grant)

Call number: mssHM 1855

Search Summon Discovery using the subject terms below in quotes to find records for individual items.

  • Madison, James, 1751-1836 – Correspondence.
  • Madison, James, 1751-1836 -- Autographs (manuscripts)

Individual items in other collections

There are also numerous individual Madison items in other archival collections held by the Library, including:

James K. Polk papers

  • Note on U.S. Congress, 1790, May 14 (HM 28824)

Call number: mssPolk

Hiram Barney papers

  • James Madison appointment to Aaron Hassert, 1812 May 22 (HB 3)

Call number: mssHB

Rufus King papers 

  • James Madison letters to Rufus King: 1801 July 23 (RK 317), 1801 July 27 (RK 318), 1801 July 28 (RK 319), 1801 June 30 (RK 316), 1801 October 27 (RK 320), 1802 February 25 (RK 321)

Call number: mssRK

William Eaton papers  

  • James Madison letters to William Eaton: 1794 May 20 (EA 353), 1802 August 22 (EA 354), 1803 April 14 (EA 356), 1806 March 1 (EA 358)
  • James Madison extract of letter from Secretary of State to James L Cathcart 1803 April 9 (EA 355 A&B)
  • James Madison letter to Richard Harrison, 1804 February 11 (EA 357)

Call number: mssEA

R.A. Brock collection and papers

  • James Madison and Theodorick Bland letter to Thomas Jefferson, 1780 December 13 (BR Box 66 (1))
  • James Madison letter to Samuel Greenhow, 1813 November 2 (BR Box 69)
  • James Madison letter to General Assembly of Virginia, approximately 1817 March 1 (BR Box 66 (1))

Call number: mssBR Boxes 1-397

Image Credit: P.J. Hitchins and Comp., Centennial exposition of American presidents, priJLC_POL_002675, Jay T. Last Collection. Gift of Jay T. Last, 2005.