As our nation’s Founders designed their plan for a more perfect union, they understood that the success of a modern republic would require more than a political document like the Constitution. From their study of history, the Founders had learned of the pitfalls of republics before this one. They concluded that even the Constitution alone could not curb individual selfishness. They believed that virtues were necessary for sustaining the American experiment. Their fervent prayers were an integral part of the birth of our nation.
Our Nation’s Godly Heritage
Georgia – The 4th State to Join the Union
On July 5, 1775, the Provincial Congress of Georgia stated:
A motion was made and seconded, that this Congress apply to His Excellency the Governor, by message, asking him to appoint a day of Fasting and Prayer throughout this Province, on account of the disputes subsisting between America and the Parent State, which being unanimously passed in the affirmative.
On July 7, 1775, Governor James Wright responded affirmatively to the Provincial Congress, although he did not consider their meeting to be constitutional.
Presidential Quote of the Week
James Madison (1751-1836), 4th President of the United States
A watchful eye must be kept on ourselves lest while we are building ideal monuments of Renown and Bliss here we neglect to have our names enrolled in the Annals of Heaven.
- November 9, 1772, letter to his friend William Bradford
James Madison, Jr. was born in March 1751 at Belle Grove Plantation near Port Conway, Virginia. He grew up as the eldest of twelve children. The family were tobacco planters. He received his early education at the nearby Innes plantation, learning mathematics, geography and modern as well as ancient languages. He became especially proficient in Latin. At age 16, he began a two-year course of study in private tutoring preparing him for college. He enrolled at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton), and after graduating there he remained on to study Hebrew, political philosophy and law. He gained admission to the bar.
As a young lawyer, Madison defended Baptist preachers arrested for preaching without a license from the established Anglican Church. He persuaded Virginia to give up claims to northwestern territories, including modern-day Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and part of Minnesota, to the Continental Congress which then created the Northwest Territory.
Madison was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates and then was a delegate to the Continental Congress. Together with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay he wrote the Federalist Papers. Madison is often acknowledged to be the “Architect of the Constitution.” He and Patrick Henry are often credited for a large part of the Bill of Rights amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
During the Jefferson Administration, Madison was the U.S. Secretary of State. In 1808, he was elected the 4th President of the United States. The War of 1812 and the Second Barbary War both occurred during his presidency. Both Louisiana and Indiana were added as States during his terms in office.
When Madison left office, he retired to Montpelier, his tobacco plantation in Virginia, not far from Jefferson’s Monticello. He died there a few years later, the last remaining Founding Father, and is buried in the Madison Family Cemetery at Montpelier.
Madison was married to Dolley Todd who had one son, John, from a prior marriage. James Madison was known to regularly lead his household in the observance of family devotions. He was an adamant defender of religious liberty. He was most probably a Presbyterian.