Even if you are an expert, chances are that your idea of James Madison is highly skewed. He gets almost no credit for his most important accomplishment; two of his supposed chief achievements were less important than many think; he opposed another before he was for it; and he tried to reel one in after he cast it out.
Subject: Political History
The historian Irving Brant, who wrote a six-volume biography of James Madison, once complained about his subject’s modest place in America’s historical memory. “Among all the men who shaped the present government of the United States of America, the one who did the most is known the least.” In a modest effort to redress this Madisonian neglect, here are five things we should all know about America’s fourth president.
Luther Hodges was the 64th Governor of North Carolina (1954 to 1961). He also served as United States Secretary of Commerce from 1961 to 1965. Hodges was known for his role in creating Research Triangle Park.
A North Carolina native, Hiram Rhodes Revels was the first African American to serve in the U.S. Senate and in U.S. Congress
Josephus Daniels was a prominent journalist and newspaper editor from North Carolina. He purchased the Raleigh News and Observer in 1894 and became a leading “New South” political commentator. He was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson to serve as Secretary of the Navy during World War I. He later served as ambassador to Mexico under President Franklin Roosevelt.
B. Everett Jordan, born in 1896, served in the United States Senate from 1958 until 1973. Before his work in politics, Jordan managed his family’s textile business, Sellers Manufacturing Company Jordan was appointed to fill Senator Kerr Scott’s seat after his death in 1958, serving in several different committee until he lost reelection in 1973. He passed away from cancer in 1974.
Born on May 16, 1891, in Beaufort County, North Carolina, Herbert Bonner served for nearly 25 years in the U.S. Congress. As a representative of the state’s First District, Bonner sought to create jobs via federal programs for his constituents. Bonner also chaired the Committee on Election of President, Vice President, and Representatives and the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries. Bonner passed away after his fight with cancer on November 7, 1965.
During the Whig Era of North Carolina politics in the 1830s, several groups, politicians, and citizens promoted anti-slavery sentiment. One such politician was North Carolina Supreme Court Justice William J. Gaston who wrote two opinions that favored both slaves and black freedmen in the 1830s. The two cases, State v. Will (1834) and State v. Manuel (1838), became hallmarks of the antebellum anti-slavery movement.
Robert Vance and Samuel Carson, two North Carolina natives and politicians, dueled on November 5, 1827. Although the General Assembly had outlawed the practice of dueling in 1802 after the Stanly-Spaight duel of 1802, Vance and Carson agreed to settle a political dispute with pistols. During the duel, Carson shot and wounded Vance who died a day later. Although Carson became somewhat of a pariah in North Carolina, he later helped create the Republic of Texas.
Born in Caswell County, Bedford Brown grew up on his family farm and later attended the University of North Carolina. Brown served in the North Carolina House of Commons and Senate before his service in the U.S. Senate (1829 – 1840). After his resignation, Brown worked on his family farm at Rose Hill.