tv President James Madisons Life Career CSPAN April 29, 2021 8:01pm-8:54pm EDT
influential women in madison's life her book on the fourth president first published in 2014. is james madison a life reconsidered the society of the four arts in palm beach, florida hosted this 50 minute lecture. i'll put it down for me and then it has to come down a little more for dr. cheney. welcome history lovers. good morning. i am thrilled you're here and i'm particularly happy to welcome students from the palm beach day academy fifth grade and their teachers. and students and also students from palm beach atlantic university and faculty. thank you for being with us this after all is about the future.
dr. cheney has focused much of her life. on teaching children american history so that the next can generation learn from the past? but before i introduce her we had a surprise guest fly in from wyoming last night and i would like dr. cheney's husband of 52 years. -- cheney to please stand up vice president cheney thank you so much for coming. it means a lot to me in a lot too lynn. well i'm honored to introduce this morning's distinguished speaker and when i called her last year to invite her she said gay. am i the only speaker who hasn't won a pulitzer prize?
i said yes, but you're the only speaker who was chairman of the national endowment of the humanities for seven years. and you're the only speaker who was second lady of the united states of america for eight years. if you google dr. cheney, you will be blown away by all of her awards and accomplishments. but as always i'm not going to list all of that. i expect you to do that. but while she was head of neh, she published american memory a report that warned about the failure of schools and institutions of higher learning to transmit accurate knowledge about the past to future generations. she said quote a system of education. that fails to nurture memory of the past. deny students a great deal one
of the most successful series she funded when she was there was the civil war series by ken burns, which we all loved. but she said any age is a difficult place to be and some projects were good and some were not. dr. cheney has authored 15 books. her most recent james madison a life reconsidered is a masterful insight into one of the physically smallest of the founding fathers, but one with the most towering intellect. and certainly the one with the most fun wife. i asked her what she most liked about madison and she said gay. i am fascinated by people who work hard. she is an example of that as well. she compared him and i want to quote she compared him to mozart. both were geniuses who with their greatest works changed forever the way people think
she's currently working on a book about the virginia dynasty, washington jefferson madison and monroe that will be out in about two years but fascinates her is it for the first 36 years of our of our republic with the exception of four short years of john adams the virginia dynasty was in power. of the 15 books. she has written five of them are history books for children. and we have bought them for all of our grandchildren and i've read them over and over with the grandchildren who love them and i'll just mention a few because you want to purchase them. america a patriotic primer celebrates the ideas that are our country and one of my favorites a is for abigail tells us about the accomplishments of women in america. and of course the one that i love the most is when washington crossed the delaware and it
tells about the general washington leading his ragtag army across the frozen river christmas night and his surprise attack on the enemy in trenton. it teaches children about courage. heroism and dedication to your dreams. she was also a baton twirler as a child. she required hours of discipline and practice and she was known across the state of wyoming as flamboyant because herbatons were sometimes set a flame at both ends. in 1954. she was wyoming's junior champion and in 1956. she won the state chase senior champion meadow. i asked her if she'd be willing to show us a few of her tricks. she said you couldn't pay me enough. although i've heard that she still might do it for a big charity that's willing to give a lot of money to the charity.
lynn vincent met young -- cheney in natrona high school now the vice president told me that his father was choosing between two jobs one was in casper, wyoming one was in great falls, montana. he said, you know gay if we had gone to great falls montana. i would have met lynn. she would have met another fella at high school fallen in love and married him and he would have become the vice president. dr. cheney wrote that natrona high school was the most beautiful building in wyoming and the most beautiful building in casper. the second most beautiful building was the carnegie library which opened in 1910. she said by the time i started going there some 40 winters of hot water heating had worked to combine the scent of varnished wood with the slightly acidic
odor of aging books to create a wonderful smell. one that was unique in my experience. in the 1950s. it was a haven for kids like lynn vincent who loved books? this was a different time back in the 1940s and 50s and a lot of us in this audience can relate to it. i remember too. teens and kids were free to run around come and go and their parents didn't even know where they were or worry. there was no pervasive fear of computers or cell phones blaring something ugly from around the country or the world. there was a feeling of optimism. when i was the region at mount vernon, and i invited dr. cheney to come as the second lady to talk to 350 students constitutional day, september 17th. as you know, it's the day that celebrates the adoption of the american constitution.
and her talk captivated the students. she in turn invited the entire board to come to the vice president's mansion and as you know, it resides on the us naval observatory grounds, and the ladies were deeply appreciative of the talk. she gave us the tour she gave us and all we learned from her. when i spoke to her a week ago i said what's something you do? we might not know? she said well every day i do the daily miriam webster vocabulary quizzes on my ipad. i didn't even know they existed but ever since i've done it every morning a fascinating fact is the people in their 60s and 70s score higher than those in their 30s and 40s. as our second lady of the united states dr. cheney lived at the highest level of national life but she remained what she grew up to be in wyoming.
a curious hard-working scholar down to earth great fun a beautiful and brilliant woman the colonists george will calls her lynn is the really indispensable cheney. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome dr. lynne cheney. you're taller than i am. well, thank you for that. nice. welcome and let me thank gay. or that terrific introduction i got to get a printed copy text so you can you know, read it a lot. and gave for all the hard worksheet has done and for her creative thinking to put this
wonderful series of speeches together. so gay, thank you, and thank all of you for being here today and for loving the idea of listening to stories about the past. it took me five years to write the book about madison. and that's not an excessively long time. i think if you'd ask your your other presenters, it's a long process. but when you tell someone who isn't a writer it took you five years they're stunned. and after being stunned about how long i spent on the book they're stunned that i spent five years on madison. and i completely loved the time i spent working on it. and i explain that i like madison. because he wasn't a flamboyant character. was reserved and he got things done without making a whole lot of fuss about it. and i think that is an
achievement to be valued the folks who aren't pushing toward the microphone today, but the ones who are just quietly moving ahead and getting things done and boy, he got a lot done. one of the things you will read often if you read about madison is that he was reserved. you know, he wasn't a hail fellow. well met that ran around patting people on the back and and chatting them up. he was so reserved that he sometimes. intimidated people on first meeting and there was a young man named george tucker who described his first meeting with madison this way. the impression made on me was of sternness rather than the mildness and suavity which i later found to characterize them. madison was visiting james monroe when tucker encountered him. and tucker later wrote it's possible that he in monroe were
discussing something very serious and that could have accounted for it. but it was also possible that madison reserved a stern look for strangers. tucker said he never perceived madison that way afterward. now he was not tucker wasn't the only one to note how stern madison could be on first meeting he gave away. nothing to strangers nothing. and it was often observed as well that he was very different in private than he was in public. in private he was witty. known to like madeira and appreciate jokes that weren't fit for the dining room the drawing room. i tried to say it fast because the fifth graders. and once it said his humor left british ambassador utterly scandalized. madison wasn't tall no more than
five six. i said in my book. but as i think about it five six was reported by a man who admired him very much may have exaggerated. five four maybe a little closer to the mark he was a nice looking gentleman. small compact nice looking and he had a receding hairline that he made up for in a very stylish way. he come just here forward into a point like this. now, is there anybody in this audience who watches blue bloods? oh my gosh. okay. good. well, i got -- for sure. on blue bloods there is player named detective danny reagan and if you ever watch blue bloods danny reagan is the one who jumps over a car at least once an episode. he's played by donnie wahlberg.
who as those of you who have watched it might guess. comes his hair exactly like james madison. now if i ever get the opportunity to do casting for someone writing about the founders, i'm going to suggest donnie wahlberg. so madison wasn't physically impressive in the way that the six footers were as gay knows their. six footers, jefferson monroe, washington in particular and i am struck time and again when i read about washington how important his physique. was to his accomplishments when abigail adams first met him and john had told her about, washington. she scolded john. for she said not preparing her for the phenomenon that the general was. i thought the one half was not told me she wrote.
benjamin rush dr. benjamin rush described washington this way there is not a king in europe. that would not look like a valet de sombra by his side. what madison though lacked in stature he more than made up for in brains. his presence as jefferson described it came from a habit of self-possession. which placed at ready command the rich resources of his luminous and discrimination mind. in my book as gay mentioned. i called madison a genius. and this caused some heartburn among some critics. um, i am happy however to to stand ground on that. madison not only saw the world he was born into he saw how it could be different.
and at age 36 he arrived at the philadelphia convention later known as the constitutional convention full of this idea. intent on creation creating a nation from the 13 states. such as never had been seen before. just four years before they'd thrown off the rule of great britain and went through a rocky time with the art of articles of confederation. but along comes madison, and he is ready to change things. he is ready to make this totally new kind of nation. he imagined a vast republic. where people were sovereign and their fundamental rights respected as nowhere else on earth? now at that time anyone who was thinking about such matters. believed that a vast republic was impossible a little republic. maybe you know one where all the citizens were homogeneous. a little republic might make it.
but one that covered territory as large as 13 states was sure to be pulled apart by all the interests and ambitions of its many inhabitants. that was the idea. that was machiavelli's idea montesquieu's idea that avast republic was impossible and people believe that for a very long time. madison's insight was to perceive that all those different interests and ambitions that other people have been afraid about that in fact those were crucial to a republic survival. clashing viewpoints would keep any one viewpoint even that of a majority from becoming tyrannical. now it is so stunning to read about someone who changed the way people think. and to read further about how important his insight was.
how transformative it was in part because it brought the idea of a republic down to earth. it didn't require a citizenry of self-effacing angels to make it work. it wouldn't be a place where everyone had to stifle his or her ideas and aspirations for the sake of unity. ordinary people could live there and pursue their dreams. because of madison a republic was no longer a distant ideal. but something to which people around the world could expire. bringing the idea of the extended republic to bear at a time when a great nation was to be created. was madison's first act of creative genius? but by no means his last. he more than anyone else would be responsible for the united
states of america as we know it today. his time of great achievement came after years of intense focus deep concentration and nearly obsessive effort. behavior that describes most lives of genius from sir isaac newton to mozart to einstein's let me just give a few examples of how hard madison were in the run-up to the convention in philadelphia and in the convention itself. first of all knowing it was coming up. he began an intense study of laws and constitutions. he'd been interested in this idea since he was in his 20s, but with books that jefferson shipped him from paris where jefferson was our envoy. he began this really intense study. and a relative staying with the madison's i'm smiling because virginia is just one big.
cousinry, i think it was a bernard bayland called it. but he stepped back from this constant socializing that most virginians participated in and started working really hard a relative who came to see him. wrote in his diary that madison came to breakfast at which he ate sparingly. and then would go to his room until a little before dinner. so while everyone else was riding horses and playing whist madison was in his room working. now he knew that washington's presence at the convention could make all the difference. washington was so admired so loved by the american people by this time. that if he were there the convention would have a greater chance of success than if he weren't. so he wrote letter after letter urging the general to attend. he also traveled through a snowstorm a blizzard really to
the confederation congress in new york to be sure that the congress people were on board. and while he was twisting arms there in his own subtle way. he spent hours in aborting house in maiden lane studying the issues that were were bound to come up. he worked really hard. he also left for philadelphia early from new york. in fact, he was the first out of state delegate there. that meant he could greet the other delegates as they arrived and in particular the delegates from virginia. because madison was there early he brought them all together and altogether. they produced the virginia plan which as you all know set the agenda for the constitutional convention. during the convention madison was one of the delegates who spoke most often. and he made crucial critical interventions when the convention was about to write into the constitution.
that congress had the power quote to make war. madison stood up and successfully changed it. to declare war thus making the president commander-in-chief. now if you think about it. we would have not ever done so well. i'm sorry -- to mention this but if all the congressmen were in charge of our war of war it would not have been successful. so this was a really important intervention. while he's speaking and understanding how important it is to get the words just right madison was also taking notes. he sat up at the front of the room and wrote the notes out of who said what in shorthand and then went back to his room at night and transcribed them. now i could go on i could talk about madison central role in getting the constitution ratified.
his working at breakness next speed with hamilton to put out the federalist a series of essays defending the constitution. madison described this effort as having to get the papers to the printer while the printer still working on the last ones. he wrote i think it was 40. essays in 23 days. i may have those numbers wrong, but it was just an amazing amazing accomplishment. i could also cite his work as a leader to add the bill of rights to the constitution. but i think i have made the point that madison's genius like most genius was a product of hard work. it was like mozart's and newtons and einstein's genius. 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration to quote thomas edison and like mozart newton einstein and edison james madison changed the world. it's hard work makes another point as well.
he was often ill leading many historians to say he was sickly you come across that again and again. that he was even a hypochondriac. but when he was well, he was very very well. traveling a thousand miles through new york with lafayette. traveling through that blizzard to new york indeed simply getting from montpelier to philadelphia was quite a challenge. his trips were over roads that wouldn't be called roads today. he often traveled in the rain. i'm struck by how often it was muddy on those roads and one time it was worse than that. he was forced to dismantle his carriage take the whole carriage apart. make three trips with it in what he called something like a boat. over a swollen pond and then he had to swim his horses across. so this is an extraordinary
amount of energy to spend if you're sickly. now, it's true that madison had the gastro. intestinal problems that plagued almost everyone in the 18th century. this is a time. remember when people believe that illness was caused by bad air. and doctors didn't wash their hands. but in addition to the common ailments of the day madison suffered from what he called sudden attacks. which he described as some what resembling epilepsy. and suspending the intellectual functions madison's most influential biographer describe these attacks as epiloid epileptoid hysteria. now he was writing in a time when freud was very influential but epileptoid hysteria. in fact madison's description
fits today's understanding of epilepsy. his sudden attacks may well have been complex partial seizures. which leave the affected person conscious but with his or her comprehension and ability to communicate impaired. with the intellectual function suspended as madison said such attacks last just minutes and may leave the affected person tired and confused for a short time after. but they are not necessarily disabling nor do they prevent exertion? madison was lucky enough. when terrible things were described for prescribed for epilepsy mercury, for example madison was lucky enough to encounter doctors who told him to exercise. what a modern thing to think it's often recommended today for people who suffer from epilepsy. as he rode and walked over the hills of the virginia piedmont.
he became fitter. ready, or to take a thousand mile journey with lafayette. or to hold high office now i find research like this fascinating i could happily spend days reading 18th century medical manuals. they make me feel very lucky that we aren't prescribing those same remedies today. but when you're writing a book you have to ask yourself. is what you're doing important. does it offer insight into the person you're writing about? and in madison's case, i believe it does. the hypochondriac or someone given to hysterical episodes is quite different from someone who has an identifiable ailment and manages to achieve greatly in spite of it. understanding madison's ailment also explains certain things. he did and didn't do he wanted to be a soldier as the
revolution was coming on. he wanted to be a rifleman and he was a good shot. he told a friend that he could hit an eight inch target at the distance of 100 yards, which is the length of a football field. and this is with an 18th century weapon. but his military career came to a sudden and when during training, he suffered what was likely one of his sudden attacks. madison had several chances to go to europe. and always turn them down. i just realized a day or two ago the first five presidents. he was the only one who never set foot out of the united states. medical manuals of the day recommended that people with epilepsy avoid deep water presumably because a seizure. could cause you to fall overboard and drown. that's when jefferson suggested that madison visited him in france madison decline. writing to jefferson that he had
quote some reason to suspect that crossing the sea would be unfriendly to a singular disease of my constitution. madison was a long defender a lifelong defender of religious freedom. and when we try to answer the question that this lecture series proposes how has the past influenced the present? it's his battle for religious freedom that i always think of the constitution was. absolutely essential that's sort of the ground floor, but this fight for religious freedom. was inspired in part by the treatment of baptists that he witnessed in virginia when he was a young man. they were arrested charged with preaching without a license and thrown in jail by people subscribing to what madison called that diabolical hell conceived principle of persecution. at age 22 in a note as angry as
anything he ever wrote. he declared. religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise. he spoke with the authority of a man who knew the misery of being bound to a received viewpoint. probably because he had experienced at first hand. the standard religious view of the time was that people with epilepsy were lunatics? they were called that? they by the most orthodox religious people that they were unclean sinful and even possessed by the devil it's easy to understand madison being indignant about such notions and determine to free people from having to exceed to them. he worked with his long time friend his lifelong friend. thomas jefferson they work
together in this cause and one of their proudest achievements is the virginia statute for religious freedom. if you have been to monticello, you know, it's one of the three accomplishments that jefferson put on the center taff over his grave. jefferson was the author of the statute. and he declared that neither religious nor political leaders had any dominion over the faith of others. punishing people for their religious beliefs or declaring them unworthy of public office. was depriving them of advantages to which they had a natural, right? our civil rights jefferson wrote have no dependence on our religious opinions anymore than our opinions in physics or geometry. now again, madison and jefferson were on the frontier of thought here. it had long been believed that there should be an established
church in the anglican church in the case of virginia, and that religious conformity had to be imposed. but madison and jefferson saw it differently. now the statute failed to pass when they first tried to get it through the virginia assembly. then jefferson went off to paris for five years and while he was gone madison, who was the sharpest politician among the founders? he saw an opportunity and he got it passed. he wrote an exultant letter to jefferson in which he declared. that the statute had extinguished forever. the ambitious hope of making laws for the human mind. madison's high regard for this statute has been shared by generations. martin marty who is a much admired theologian. called the statue and i quote an ethical shift. in the western worlds approach
to relations between the civil and religious fears fears. by dividing them with the state on one hand and the church on the other. the virginia statute is and martin marty's words a hinge between the ages. i think sometimes we're when we're on this side of the change that the founders accomplished. it's hard to realize it because they have become so much a part of our lives. well madison made many decisions, but perhaps the wisest was to marry dolly payne todd. he was out walking on a spring day in 1794. when he caught side of her and was instantly smitten. this happened regularly to man who saw dolly. she was nearly five eight of shapely figure. she had black hair blue eyes and a startlingly a pale complexion which she had learned to shield the virginia sun. she came from a quaker family,
which had not for her been a good fit. she was inclined for the gayities of the world one quaker woman wrote and this is my favorite story a quaker matron recall that during an effort to convince dolly of the seriousness of life. the young girl first smiled and then afterward fell fast asleep. the 26 year old dolly was recently widowed. her husband john had died in a yellow fever epidemic the year before madison saw her. and so had her three month old, baby. leaving her with a son who was two and his name was pain todd. madison who was 43 now dolly's 26 in madison's 43. i don't want you to miss that. turn to aaron burr, you know, this is sort of the one big cousinary thing even when you're not related in 18th century in
the 18th century united states everybody new everybody. he turned aaron burr because he and burr had gone to princeton together. and he arranged in introduction. dolly was thrilled at the prospect. she wrote to a friend. thou must come to see me thou must come. aaron burr is bringing. i love this line the great little madison to see me this evening. dolly where mulberry satin and yellow glass beads to greet james in her parlor. and four months later, they were married. now i am of the conviction that political wives political spouses generally can't really do much to help their husbands or wives careers. it's a good thing if a political spouse behaves herself or himself. and stays out of trouble. but as a general rule unless they are rich. political spouses don't do much
to forward their spouses ambitions. now of course for every rule, there's an exception and in this case as you'll guess it was dolly. she had an artless way of entertaining or it seemed artless. she invited women as well as men to their house on f street in the new city of washington. she included federalists as well as republicans. while james was chatting genuinely with one or two guests dolly was talking to everyone. as one guest reported she was very amiable and exceedingly pleasant and sensible in conversation. she also served southern comfort food, which was an advantage. she particularly liked to serve ham surrounded by mashed cabbage. now a spouse could entertain its way today, or at least some spouses. as -- will be glad to tell you i have not mastered the art of cooking.
he likes to say that during the first couple years of our marriage. i pretended as though i knew how to cook and he pretended as though he liked it. but entertaining fellow office holders, which is basically what dolly was doing. is not an effective thing to do today. it's not important in the way. it used to be. in madison's day republican office holders decided who the republican nominee for president would be now generally speaking the life of a congressman in the 18th century in the new city of washington was pretty miserable. there was nothing to do besides go to your boarding house where the other congressman lived. well, there were a few things there was one place. i puzzled over this for a very long time where you could go and watch rope dancers. now i wondered what that could be. i think i think i have concluded
that was people on a tightrope. that's my best thought. but the congressman as i say eight and slept in boarding houses on capitol hill. and one member described it as living like bears. brutalized and stupefied from hearing nothing, but politics morning tonight. all of this made an evening at the madison house particularly welcome. and it shined a light on madison's warm and personable side. he became the nominee for president in 1808. was sworn into office in 1809 and moved into the white house with the remarkable dolly. she had open house every wednesday anybody could come. and she seemed to understand that she was part of the entertainment. her choice of dramatic clothes never fail to impress one outfit that i am particularly struck by.
was a robe of pink satin trimmed with ermine. a white and velvet satin term turbine with ostrich plumes and a crescent in front gold chains around the waist and wrists. she was probably to maybe three inches taller than james without a turban, but this outfit probably made her a foot taller. and she didn't seem to mind and neither. did he? but the idyllic time did not last the british were at war with france and decided that it would help them if they shut down us trade with france. and they needed they needed more sailors. so they started stopping american ships and taking off board putting into their navy anybody they suspected of not being an american. now because of course many people in the united states had
come from england they were often taking american citizens. i heard that i read someplace that one of the devices for deciding whether you're an american or not was to ask you to say the word peas. and if anyone said pays they took him right away. now the idea of our citizens being seized was of course very objectionable. and in june of 1812 congress declared war and madison became the first president to carry the nation into war under the constitution. now we often hear about the glorious victories at sea in that war such as the victory of the uss constitution. the 18 pound balls that the british ship gurriere fired at the constitution seemed to bounce off his sides which would lead to the ship being called old iron sides.
within 30 minutes of trying to take down the constitution the british surrendered. but there are humiliating losses on land. and then the biggest humiliation of all the british marched on washington and burned it. now you can still see the burn marks in the capital of the united states as well as in the white house. but i happen to be in the capital with queen elizabeth when she was visiting the united states and we were being toured around by really excellent guides and this guide pointed out, you know, right here you can see where the evidence of the british having burned the white house here were some, you know, big big pieces of wood and they had ash on them. and queen elizabeth, i'll never forget said well, you did the same thing to york. now york is toronto today and indeed we had set some fires in york. so the british have not quite gotten all over.
this is john here. so there were these humiliating losses on land but that's not where the war ended. madison sent a peace mission to gant and it succeeded in bringing a war to a close. and then andrew jackson won a great victory over the british at the battle of new orleans. it sometimes been said that jackson's victory didn't mean anything since the treaty had already been signed. but to the contrary it showed that the united states could be as powerful on land as well as at sea. there were also showed that free speech could survive in wartime. despite being sorely tried by americans who condemned the war and even talked of secession. madison never wavered in his commitment to free speech he proved. that a republic could defend itself and remain a republic still.
perhaps the highest praise that madison received came from john adams who had not always admired, virginia. madison's administration adams wrote acquired more glory and established more union then all three of his predecessors washington adams and jefferson put together. what a wonderful compliment. i was thinking that you might like to know a little bit about some of the people that i felt. obliged to leave out of the speech since it would have gone on and on forever. and one of the people of these are women for the most part though not always they they do tend to get pushed a little bit aside and the history of the early republic. but one of the women was madison's grandmother. her name was francis madison. and i first became interested in her because of a note she wrote when madison was a child and
they were all living together. her note look like a shopping list and at the top of it it said for an epilepsy. the 18th century medical books that i so much enjoy taught me that some of the items on her list gentian root saffron camphor. were thought to be good for breaking a fever which suggests that madison may have had fever related seizures as a child. they are not regarded as epilepsy today, but can be part of a syndrome. federal seizures as a child epileptic seizures as an adult. well francis was quite a woman. and the more i learned about her the more interesting i found her. she and her husband were the first to move the first of their family to move to the virginia piedmont. and not long after they moved there. it was the frontier. he died. poisoned by a slave the records
say and running the plantation fell to her. she had to learn the details of growing tobacco when to plant the seeds when to move the plants when to top them when to cut the leaves. how long to cure them. and when the time came to pack the tobacco into hogs heads transport to market. francis carved her name on each one of the barrels this is a remarkable instance of a woman forwarding herself, and she should have she had made the tobacco in those barrels. her orders from london merchants were what might be expected from a tobacco grower. she ordered axes a hydrometer a pair of boots. but while she did the work of a man on the virginia frontier, she also upheld her eras standards of womanhood. fabric for dresses was among her orders.
as were too good stays that means corsets size small. now i may be more interested in grandmothers than i should be but as i say francis francis was quite a woman. another woman. i'm not sure i would call her quite a woman, but she was important to history her name is kitty floyd. now kitty was 15 years old. a round face young woman she lived with her family in the same boarding house that madison and jefferson did. and madison 31 now noticed that 31 fell in love now. i shouldn't make too much of the age difference because in the 18th century 15 or 16 is katie kitty was about to be was considered a perfect age to mary. so madison 31 fell in love with her, this was 1783 when 15 was considered quite a marriageable
age and madison wanted to marry her. jefferson took up his cause and i loved the idea of these two friends interacting this way. he went to talk to kitty and to play at madison's case and he wrote to madison and said i think i've got it fixed. well, it turned out not you know, jefferson was always the optimist. kitty had seemed amenable but then she and her family traveled to, new jersey. and madison waited to hear from her about the upcoming wedding. and he didn't hear and he didn't hear until finally. he got a dear john letter. he poured his hurt and his heart out to jefferson who gave him great advice. he told him. the world will present many other resources of happiness. and you possess many within yourself. then this is my favorite firmness of mind and unintermitting occupations. will not long leave you in pain.
in other words throw yourself into your work and that is exactly what madison did. kitty went on to marry a medical student. his name was william clarkson. he later became a clergyman. and kitty was a spendthrift. in a will her father wrote that he had given kitty and her wife and her husband considerable sums of money and attractive land but the father complained all is spent and gone. he ordered his son nicholas having cut her out of his will he ordered his son nicholas to give her $70 a month? now, it's quite possible to think that disappointed as madison was. posterity was the better off for the breakup. he was about to enter the most consequential years of his life. and they were lonely or without kitty. and they were probably more productive. and if you will pardon me for reading history backward. i would also like to observe
that had madison married kitty floyd there would have been no dolly madison. so i've done my best to get the women into the story and it they have fascinating stories as well. but i just want to thank all of you for being here today. thank gay again cat imhoff. who's the president of montpelier is here with us today. and i really appreciate all the great things that have been done to montpelier and i would recommend that you visit it. and see the evolution marion scott dupont, or maybe it's mary and dupont scott in any case a very wealthy woman. she was married to randolph scott for a while. bought montpelier and enlarged it and covered it with pink stucco. so the challenge at montpelier has been to get it back to what it might have looked like to what it looked like when the madison's were here and the effort has been remarkable. so thank you montpelier.
thank you gave for arranging this and thank all of you for being here. weak notes this month. we're featuring american history tv programs as a preview of what's available every on c-span 3 former vice president and us senator walter mondale died on april 19th at the age of 93. friday we start a night of programs featuring mr. mondale with a conversation from 2015 with former president jimmy carter. this was part of a tribute to mr. mondale hosted by the university of minnesota's humphrey school of public affairs. watch friday beginning at 8pm eastern and enjoy american
history tv every weekend on c-span 3 here the constitutional convention began in 1787 in philadelphia virginia's james madison and george mason found themselves on opposing sides regarding key components of the document. next a reenactment of a debate between the two men as they argue about issues from the bill
of rights to slavery hosted by the colonial williamsburg foundation. this is an hour. well, hello and welcome to the great constitutional debate right here at colonial williamsburg harris and i teach constitutional law at lincoln memorial university in knoxville, tennessee. today we have a real treat for you. we're going back to the time when the constitutional was ratified and we're going to talk about some of the great debates that occurred during that ratification process, but first, let me set some historical context. in 1776, you'll recall we had our declaration of independence, but don't mix that document up with the constitution. there are two very different things and both important. but today we're focused on the constitution. indeed these two documents were separated by 11 years from 1776 to 1787. we had no rl