Hello, dear Family, Friends, and Fellow Madison scholars,
It is with great joy that I announce again the significance of two days in the Madison annual celebrations list:)
Yesterday was the 218th anniversary of the wedding of James and Dolley Madison:)
James Madison was 43 and Dolley Payne Todd was 26 when the two of them married in Harewood Virginia (what is now in West Virginia), at Dolley’s sister Lucy Payne Washington’s big stone home. Madison had formally courted Dolley for four months after they met in Philadelphia May of 1794. Both lived in Philadelphia at the time, Madison a member of the House of Representatives and Dolley a widow living with her mother in a boarding house. Senator Aaron Burr gave the official introductions, and for James Madison it was love a first sight. He proposed to Dolley just before the summer began and as he nursed an ailing Frenchman stuck at Montpelier, he awaited Dolley’s reply. She was sick with malaria in North Carolina over the summer, but soon Madison received her answer: yes! Their marriage would last 42 years, and within those years the development of love would be so mutual between them that it still remains a beautiful mystery to this day:)
The second annual celebration we applaud is Constitution Day, Sept. 17th, of which JMU will be honoring tomorrow and Montpelier on Saturday, Sept 22nd:) In fact, I’ll be AT Montpelier all day for this celebration! YAY!
Sept. 17th, 1787, was, as we well know, the day that the delegates from the Continental Congress came together one last time from the separate 13 states and put their names to the document in Independence Hall that has now for over 200 years become the blueprint, the foundation of our democratic-republican nation. Madison was among these men. That time in Philadelphia, four months in the summer’s excruciating heat debating and shaping a government, would go down as perhaps the most remembered of James Madison’s achievements (among many). It was his hard work and devotion in particular that won him the title years later “The Father of the Constitution” because his mind was the power house behind The Virginia Plan, the document that became the skeleton of what the Constitution, essentially. Though, in his own words, Madison would reply, “You give me a credit to which I have no claim in calling me ‘the writer of the Constitution of the United States.’ This was not, like the fabled Goddess of Wisdom, the offspring of a single brain. It ought to be regarded as the work of many heads and many hands.” On Constitution Day, Sept. 17th, we remember those delegates in Philadelphia and recall the importance of the Constitution to our nation. I particularly celebrate James Madison and attribute in his honor that without him, we wouldn’t have our nation:) Our nation of Liberty and Learning! Thank you, Mr. Madison! Thank you, to all those delegates who labored so hard 224 years ago! We love the United States of America!
God Bless you all and do take care!
Most Sincerely, I am Yr. Obt. Srvt. and Fellow Madisonian, with Esteem,
President James Madison
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” – Matthew 6:21
“Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives,” – James Madison
“Let me recommend the best medicine in the World; a long journey, at a mild Season, thro’ a pleasant Country, in easy stages,” – James Madison
“Always look forward; Look back and you will fall over. And don’t ever quit, no matter what people will say. I started with the firm conviction that when I came to the end, I wanted to be regretting the things I had done, not the things I hadn’t. When you reach the top, that’s when the climb begins,” – Michael Caine