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The Papers of James Madison
1 March–30 September 1809
James Madison. Edited by Robert A. Rutland, Thomas A. Mason, Robert J. Brugger, Susannah H. Jones, Jeanne K. Sisson, and Fredrika J. Teute
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Edited by Robert A. Rutland and Thomas A. Mason

Presidential style is an important attribute for holders of the nation's highest office, but the first volume of James Madison's presidential papers indicate that he was a reserved and unpretentious man concerned more with the substance than the style of the office.

As the 1809 letters show, President Madison was besieged by office seekers and eccentric citizens who expected the chief executive to show concern for their personal problem. Ravenous politicians sought jobs for themselves and relatives. Madison personally answered at length the many testimonials from citizens' rallies and political gatherings.

The domestic side of White House life—the decorating and improvement of the President's House—also forms an important segment of the documentary record.

The multiplicity of presidential concerns revealed in the volume add a new perspective to our historic view of the nation's highest office.

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