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Mr. Madison's Room and Mr. Madison's War

Mr. Madison's Room
In honor of James Madison’s 241st birthday in March, Montpelier’s curators unveiled the newly refurnished “Mr. Madison’s Room,” the space where Madison spent his last years, crippled with arthritis, and the room in which he died in 1836. Restored furnishings give visitors a glimpse into the small study off the dining room and his library where Madison reclined in a lit à la Polonaise, close to his books and friends. Visitor accounts tell of Madison joining in the dinnertime conversation from this room when he was too ill to join his guests. Buffon prints, newspapers, maps, and pedometer serve as a reminder of Madison’s continued interest in natural history and scientific experimentation.

A Young Nation Stands: James Madison and the War of 1812
On June 18, 1812, President Madison formally signed a declaration of war against the United Kingdom of Great Britain. Only three decades removed from the United States’ first war of independence, the War of 1812 promulgated and tested the basis of the Constitution, and required Madison to work within the limitations of power he so strongly advocated early in his political career. The Joe and Marge Grills Gallery will feature a rotating exhibit of artifacts associated with the War of 1812, including rare letters, newspaper articles, pamphlets, and related ephemera that shed light on James Madison’s unique role as wartime president.

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James Monroe: Madison's Proxy Shopper

In 1795, the newly married James Madison requested of James Monroe, U.S. Minister to France, that he acquire "many articles of furniture at second hand, [that] may be had in Paris, which cannot be had here of equal quality, but at a forbidding price." Among other furnishings, Monroe sent Madison a lit à la polonaise, or a polonaise bed, with corresponding bed curtains.


Massachusetts Pamphleteer Critiques "Mr. Madison's War"

Pamphleteer and Federalist John Lowell (1769-1840) of Massachusetts wrote a criticism of Madison's declaration of war entitled "Mr. Madison's War." Lowell considered the war an unjust and offensive undertaking. The pamphlet's title is the first known use of the phrase "Mr. Madison's War."