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The Papers of James Madison

1 May 1816-3 March 1817, with a supplement, 1809-1815
James Madison. Edited by J. C. A. Stagg, Mary Parke Johnson, Katharine E. Harbury, and Anne Mandeville Colony

BUY Cloth · 824 pp. · 6.125 × 9.25 · ISBN 9780813944364 · $115.00 · Jun 2020

The final volume of the Presidential Series covers Madison’s last ten months in office, during which he maintained a busy schedule despite taking the longest summer vacation in all his time in Washington. Foreign policy was dominated by crises with Spain and Algiers. Negotiations with Great Britain continued over trade access and the implementation of the Treaty of Ghent. On the home front, new treaties were negotiated with Indian nations on the frontier, and Madison issued several proclamations on the sale of public lands. The Treasury Department negotiated an agreement with leading banks to restore specie payments, laying the foundation for a uniform system of currency. Before returning to Washington for his final meeting with Congress, Madison wrote a sketch for a biography that never appeared. After delivering a farewell address to the nation, Madison concluded his public service with a controversial veto on his last day in office.


The volume contains Madison's brief autobiography, his final annual message to Congress, numerous documents related to treaties with Native Americans, pardons and commutations, and his veto of a bill to construct roads and canals that he thought exceeded congressional powers. It also includes memorials from individuals, organizations, and states that lauded Madison's leadership during a time of peril, as well as letters expressing Madison's own excitement about retiring to private life.

Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.


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