Due Nov. 2nd
On the midnight of March 16, 1751, Nelly Conway Madison- James Madison
Sr.’s wife gave birth to their first child, James at her stepfather’s plantation in King
George County, Virginia.
James grew up on another family plantation along the
Rappahannock River, in which he witnessed first hand on a day to day basis, the coming
and going of farmers and marketers anxious to buy and sell tobacco and goods from
In a sense, coastal Virginia knew Liverpool, Bristol, and London better than it
knew Philadelphia or Charleston (Ketcham, 11).
There are few documented accounts of James Madison’s childhood, but the
majority of the known information derives from his fathers’ account book.
didn’t often mention his son in the accounts, outside of the events of him being sent out
to buy clothes for their slaves, or out to buy farming supplies.
James probably heard
plenty of bickering about the poll tax, land tax, and parish levies from his father
throughout his entire childhood, since it fills up a decent amount of the things mentioned
in his account book. The family was rather wealthy, with successful businessmen from
His father was a self-educated man, who mastered reading and writing and
was quick to teach his son all he knew at an early age.
After the family bought a mansion
in 1760, there were accounts of James Sr. paying schoolmasters schillings for a one-room
schoolhouse type of education.
He was indeed wise beyond his years; around the age of
eight he was writing poetry that was influenced by the bible that ended up being
published in his later years (founding fathers, 17).
In 1762, he enrolled in a very well regarded school in King and Queen County,
Virginia, which was headed by Donald Robertson, who found a special interest in James
and even paid for his tuition.
From there he went to the College of New Jersey, which is