tv QA CSPAN August 16, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT
about those organizations is that we do see a relationship informally in the data between strength of christian organizations and educational freedom. i do find that states that have, for instance instance there's a measure in the literature about the republican party and the stronger that is the more likely the state will have school choice in the more liberal their home school was meaning the more relaxed their homeschool laws. i thought that was interesting. as i said, there should be copies of this on the table outside as you exit. you can play with the data at freedom of the 50 states that working make your own chart. with that let's think our speakers. [applause]
college law school professor mary sarah builder discusses madison's hand which takes a critical look at the notes james madison wrote during and after the convention of 1787. >> mary sarah builder, you have a book out called madison's hand : revising the constitutional convention. what's it about. >> it's a biography of the notes , of madison's notes notes and madison was the only framer who we know of who took complete notes that summer. the book argues that the notes were written in their entirety the summer they wrote the constitution but madison's record is the most important account of that summer. >> when did you get this idea? >> guest: i thought i would write a narrative, a story of
what it might've been like from madison's perspective and as i began i began to investigate the notes and read them, i realized there were a lot of mystery. things were quite how i had expected them to be and as i spent a lot of time with the notes and really wonderful access at the library of congress, it became evidence that this most important document wasn't really what we thought it was. >> host: where are the notes at the library of congress and how hard was it for you to see them? >> guest: they are in a big ball to the library of congress and you need special permission. most people don't need to go that far. you can see them on the library of congress website and the library has a wonderful website with many other documents including madison's notes notes. for this book, it was important to look more carefully at the notes, and so after looking at it for about two years, the library decided i could go down and see it. i kept my notes behind, my hands
behind my back the entire time and only they touched them. >> host: why did that take two years? >> guest: i think they don't want everyone who is just a regular person to wander in and see it. madison's notes are considered a national treasure. they're actually labeled as a top treasure treasure and the library is very cautious about it. after a while i think they decided that some of the questions i raised about the notes were probably worth investigating but it took them a little while to be persuaded of that. >> host: what did the vault look like? where is it in the library, and where did you actually look at the notes? >> guest: that was actually the best part of the project. some of madison's letters they hold in the reading room and if one is very careful to explain why you don't need microfilm, you can go in the reading room and you go inside the inter-sanctum of the library, library, down the elevator, around the corner through two large doors and passed the vault
where they hold everything. then inside a conservation lab, one of the things i was very interest did in was in seeing whether the pages matched, whether the watermarks look the same. one of the things the library and i did is we put all the pages on a little table with light on it that allows you to see the watermark on the pages. >> had you not been able to see them in the flesh so to speak, what difference would it have made regarding what you are able to write. >> guest: a lot of my book is based on old-fashioned textual evidence so i was pretty confident even without looking at the actual paper but the paper really helped to confirm a lot about what i had sort of suspected, particularly important was the notes, madison took the notes on sheets of paper and he folders those
sheets in half. he writes on the front, across the middle, onto pages and then on the back. at some point he sewed all these little pieces of paper together into a manuscript. one of the wonderful things we noticed that we were down there was the last quarter of the manuscript, the holes he had sewn didn't match with the earlier ones. this confirmed my suspicion that the very end of the manuscript had been written later. you can't see that on the microfilm. it was really wonderful to see that in person. >> host: how did you spend looking at the notes? >> guest: we looked pretty facts because the library didn't want you to be very long. i think i was there for maybe an hour one time or two hours and then again another time. but the library was just wonderful, they took some extra images for me, they took a number of watermark images, they keep all that for probably anyone to look at now but it was really wonderful.
it's a wonderful group of people >> host: how long has those notes been about library of congress? >> after madison died in the late 1830s he left his papers to dolly madison, his wife and she sold them to congress. he had thought they would be worth an enormous amount of money, congress didn't didn't think they were worth so much money so finally friends of his in congress agreed to by the papers. they sent those papers to washington along with the notes. for a long time they were in the state department library and then the state department eventually moved them over to the library of congress itself. originally they were in a big volume and they've since been disassembled. >> host: when were the notes first made public? >> guest: not until 1840 after his death. when they were published they were published as madison had left them, he had carefully
prepared a revised copy of the notes, he wanted them published in the middle of a collection that included all of his letters to famous people and so when the government first published them they publish them in three volumes along with a lot of his other papers. >> host: what credentials did you bring to this whole project and was that part of the reason why the library eventually said, on in? >> guest: i'm a lawyer by profession and also have my phd in american history and i think one of the things that the library new was that i had written about madison before, i had written about madison as a law student and in doing so have look through some of the libraries material actually arguing that something had been catalogued was a missing manuscript of jefferson so they finally decided i wasn't a complete not. >> host: where did you get your under graduate degree?
>> guest: my phd is from harvard as well as my law degree. >> my last year of law school i had planned to go and be a regular lawyer and a good friend of mine told me that this person was teaching a history of the constitution court at the law school and everybody was going to take it. i didn't know anything but i thought if everybody's going to take it, i will take it to. i was captivated. i had spent all my life in law school learning about the constitution and all the sudden in my last semester somebody was finally explaining to me why it was the way it was. after that i clerked for a federal judge and he said i should go back into a little bit more work in history so i started off in that direction and i really haven't looked back. >> we did have the pleasure of having bernard here but i want
you to tell folks who he is. >> guest: bernard balin is probably the most eminent early american historian. he won the pulitzer prize in every single prize you could win and trained in a number of generations of history. he was important in making it clear how interesting the struggles regarding founding the country were. >> host: what are you doing now? >> guest: i teach full-time at boston college law school. >> host: i want you to set up in a moment, the whole constitutional convention in what happened. back in 2005 he went with us to
the hollow statues at the constitution center in philadelphia and her just a little bit talking about james madison and george washington. >> you are standing next to, even though he's 54 giant,. >> yes this is a giant. >> do you think he's gotten his due in american history? >> i think he has, but the funny thing, once you become president and of course were standing next to the two people in the room who did become president of the united states, you tend to be looked at from the standpoint of the presidential administration. i think james madison's greatest contribution to american history is the work he did in the constitutional convention and then the work he did in the first congress, he served in the first five houses of representatives. the first congress in 1789, he's the one that pushed through the passage of the bill of rights.
>> he said he's comfortable there, tell us what you can in a few minutes about james madison. where was he from and all that. >> guest: is a wonderful place to go visit because when you walk around there, you realize everybody was a lot shorter than you think they are. >> host: except for george washington. >> guest: yes, there's there's a couple people who are tall but it's still not tall by hours standards. he was the eldest son of a prominent person, he held a lot of slaves, his father did. he had left virginia to go to college at what's now princeton and he had served in the virginia legislature and in what we call the confederation of congress, he was born in 1751 so he wasn't really old enough to be a big player in the revolution, madisons time will come with the generation that really helps form the country, not with the generation that fights for independence.
he was quiet, fairly studious. >> what about what he learned that princeton which was, what did he study. >> guest: he studied very quickly, everybody talks about how he tried to get through pretty quickly, he studied political thought, a lot of political thought, the college was very much run by people who were, at that moment interested in scottish enlightenment and interested in european philosophy and madison loved that a lot, although unlike a lot of people he doesn't have enormous notes that he read as a young man. i think there's only one book of commonplace books that he wrote down some things he learned as a young man. a lot of them learned many languages. he's not thomas jefferson though.
he's much more pragmatic, he tends to read pretty quickly, he never heard a great library like jefferson, he's a different kind of person. >> what i put on the screen, this is a group of people who are at the constitutional convention and just to show you the ages of some of them, you can talk about them as you see it up on the screen. we have charles who is 29, alexander hamilton is 30, john lansing is 32 governor morris 35, james madison 46 and george mason is 62. >> and you're missing franklin who was in his early '80s. so madison, george mason who's on the screen but also benjamin franklin really had been the movers and shakers of the time of the revolution. george mason certainly was well
known out of virginia for having drafted the virginia bill of rights and was very important. madison is okay with him. ben franklin at the convention drives him crazy. he is in his 80s and he thinks everything should still be like it was in the revolution. madisons competitors a little bit at the convention, the people he has captivated is that young younger group. charles pick me who was a little younger than him drove him crazy. as i read the notes there is a lot of competitor desire for credit and a little jealousy pinckney. after the convention pinckney writes a wonderful letter, not because it's wonderful of what it says but it really puts you back in that moment. he had this enormous handwriting and he writes madison crowing about how he's married and enjoying married life and then a big dig toward madison when he
says but of course you are not married yet. they were quite competitive in some ways. >> you mention in your book, i can't remember the last name, kitty somebody who was pursuing at the convention at only 16 years old. >> guest: he was interested, james madison was interested in kitty flip floyd long before she went to the convention purge she was very young and there are letters where he talks about her with jefferson. a lot of the biographers have really focused on her, i tend to think he was quite enamored by a woman named eliza whose mother ran the boarding house that madison stayed at who had married a person who had been in prison down in new orleans and then died. madison writes a lot of letters to her and my own guess is that he was quite close to her also. >> you tell us in the book that he was 43 when he got married to
dolly madison who is 25 and i was in 1794. i want to show the actual physical room at the independence hall where the convention was held. tell us, when were the dates of that and when were they inside this room. >> guest: so that's independence hall and the delegates met there from may of 1787 through the ends of the convention which was september 17 and the delegates we believe set by state because they voted by state, each state had a vote and the president of the convention was george washington and he would have sat in sort of government the entire situation. >> host: where did james madison sit in that room?
>> guest: we don't know. we know different things about different times. he said he sat up close and we would assume that means he sat with many of the virginians, they needed to vote together and he was very close to people at the beginning of the convention, a very good-looking governor of virginia. you implied that james madison was for openness and a little more transparency but that room was pretty much nailed down when they have their debates. >> guest: one of the things we sometimes forget is that what we take for granted in legislation assemblies is that they be open. that wasn't true the back then. in fact, when when congress opened the senate remain close into the 1790s until public outcry forced them to let them in peer people thought you should have the right to know what congress did and do have this sort of final product but they didn't necessarily yet believe completely that you should be able to watch all of the deliberations as the public.
people would have liked to have known what was going on but i think sometimes the strands have misinterpreted it as if the convention was some kind of wrong secret proceeding. it was pretty much normal. only after the convention when the debates began does america really switch toward the notion that the public has a right to observe the delegates or representatives discussing that. how many delegates were at the convention and how are they chosen? each state sent different people, madison actually wrote the legislation in virginia that said people should be elected and he was elected but conventions, the state sent different numbers of people to philadelphia. i think the number is something like in the 70s are elected, most of that summer there's less than 50 people who are actually in that room. by the end end i think they are down below 40 in terms of who is actually there.
the convention is a much smaller number of people that we sometimes imagine it is a mac i want to put on the screen the breakdown of the ages and it starts with somebody who's 26. we don't don't have their name on the screen but as you can see those between 25 and 29 there were four and eight between 50 and 59, 60 between 65 and then benjamin franklin. yes benjamin franklin is holding up the tail and. >> is that a young group. >> guest: i actually think it's not a young group at all. you know we know they are writing the constitution because we can look back and see it, they didn't really know they were writing the constitution. the year before madison and others had gathered to try to write a constitution and failed miserably, it basically stopped
and they had to say to congress you should have a better convention so we know they're going to write a convention but they don't know that. a lot of them port and people go but it's not clear that it's completely the place to be. my own sense is that's pretty much the age we would expect, huge number of people have political experience and many of them were serving in congress at the same time in many of them have been governors. it's a quite impressive group of people if what you want our people with day-to-day practical political experience. >> host: how did james madison first get in? >> he begins in virginia, he's elected and i think he serves very locally in the beginning but he serves from the virginia legislature. it's during those years that he becomes friends with thomas jefferson and also becomes very much antagonistic to people like patrick henry. he comes to really dislike the virginia legislation during
those years. he felt the virginia legislature was counter to national interest and he's part of a group of people including washington who want the government to move toward stronger national power and they want to be respected by the european company countries and have the revenue sources to pay the soldiers and have commercial regulation, they want all sorts of things and they see the virginia legislature in other state legislatures as working against those interests slowly for this sort of individual interest of each state. >> host: i don't know whether you directly do this but i get the impression that george washington and hamilton are on one side and james madison and thomas jefferson on the other at that time. i'm not sure that's right but could you tell me what's the difference between hamilton and jefferson or hamilton and madison on what they think?
>> guest: at the beginning of the convention madison, washington and hamilton are all on the same side at least according to what i think in thomas jefferson is in france because he serving as the ambassador and he's been there since 1784. he won't he won't show up again until 1789 in the united states. jefferson is basically offscreen for the entire convention. madison and, along with people like james wilson, governor morris, alexander hamilton, they all want a strong national government. they all go to the convention looking for a strong national government. at that time, the people who are opposed to them aren't jefferson and those people. the people who are worried our people from small states like new jersey or connecticut who think a strong national government where elective power is held by big states like virginia, they think they will be swallowed up so madison's foes foes at the convention are
people from small states initially. there are three people that did not vote for that constitution. you write a lot about them in your book and you can see that on the screen he went on to be vice president for him. then you have george mason and randolph and mason are from virginia. why didn't they send the constitution? >> guest: people disagree about why they didn't sign. randolph drove madison crazy. he drove madison crazy. randolph was young, good-looking, gives the opening speech and madison's very close to him and then randolph suddenly goes off on his own thing we should have a president so randolph sometimes is with
madison and sometimes isn't, kind of goes back and forth and it's extremely irritating to madison. at the end, randolph decides that he's not comfortable with the government. george mason said the government is too powerful and he wants a bill of rights and there's no bill of rights and so george mason refuses to sign. jerry was sign of sort of an iconoclast and hard to pin down what he actually believed about anything, but it's true at the convention that some of the things he complains about he worried about the power that was given to the sovereign states about slavery and he worried about national power. the three of them refused to sign. edmund randolph was back to virginia and pretty soon decides that he's for the constitution so he really went back and forth a lot. in all of your research, who is your favorite character?
>> guest: my favorite, in terms terms of a character you'd always pick ben franklin because he had more one-liners than anybody else. i think for myself out of this book, governor morris came across as the most interesting. he's the the only person at the convention who speaks passionately about slavery, there are speeches that madison records in which morris basically says we are going to have a divide between the north and the south over the slavery issue. he's quite remarkable in that regard. >> he's 35 when he is there. then he has a missing leg. we know how that happens. >> guest: he like to tell various different stories about them and certainly the other delegates told a lot of stories about him. he was one of the people who was sort of, people love to tell a
story that he had jumped off a second-story window and that's how he got his peg laid but i think it involves a carriage accident. he's just a wonderful person. he doesn't fit the modern politics. he was very much against slavery but he was intrigued by what wealth would do. one of the most interesting moments at the convention is when he gives a speech arguing that the wealthy will be so likely to run american politics that we ought to divide the two houses into the wealthy and the not wealthy and then everybody would at least know what the wealthy people were doing. so he is quite an interesting thinker. >> host: if he could have gotten exactly what he wanted in the house of representatives or the senate what would he have gotten ...
>> guest: it was similar to what the british government had over the american colonies. madison wants a far more nationalistic system than we can every imagine. it is only because he loses that we have the system that we have today. c-span: he loses in what way? >> guest: he loses the great fight and he is committed to get the senate to not have equal representation, he loses that and tries for weeks to build different coalitions to win both hous houses. no state every being represented as a state and madison loses that. at a crucial moment, he thinks
he can link the three large states with the three states that are slavery, south carolina, georgia, and north carolina and suggests that the congress be bicameral embedding slavery into the nation and he loses that also. he left the convention quit disappoi disappointed. c-span: you write about a man who was here 21 years ago talking about james madison. you don't agree with him on some things. let's listen to what he said back then. >> it is not an effort we can imagine he was making. he made elaborate preparations and in the course of doing so he
looked in the history of confederacy and wished he could find out more about that and give them a chance to create the new government and that came along and he thought we, his prosterity, would be interested in having better records than he had himself. he not only took it on himself to play a vigorous role in the proceedings of the constitutional convention but even while doing that he took shorthand notes of the proceedings and when he went back to his ruling house at night he spent a good part of the time writing shorthand notes out into long hand. c-span: you said in the book he didn't know shorthand. >> guest: that is pretty much the standard story of the notes and what madison, when the notes were published, what dolly madison said had happened. my book argues that is not true.
madison wrote notes during the day. rough notes and abbreviations and twice a week he tried to copy them over and vaguely remembering what happened. my book argues that the great speeches turn out to almost always have been given on saturdays because on sunday madison didn't have to go to the convention and had had plenty of time and a good memory. he could write-up what happened the day before. many people might have said wonderful things at the convention but if it happened on a thursday much less likely to know about it. c-span: how many people took notes? >> guest: in ten sets of note by various people at the convention and then there are some other people who said they took notes but we never found them. charles pinky said he had notes. you would get a lot of money if you found them today.
madison's notes looked the most complete because they covered every single day. everybody else has notes that are erratic or incomplete. in part that is because madison, i argue madison was taking the notes as a political diary for himself, and also for jefferson who was in paris. he got very sick and busy but then two years later when jefferson is coming back from paris, madison scurries and tries to complete them. c-span: where are the ten other people? >> guest: the ten other sets of notes? scattered all over the united states at various libraries. we have notes by rufus king in new york and the alexander hamilton notes are at the library of congress. one of the great things about digital wen websites and large of libraries and a group of people are working very hard to try to get more of those on the
web so ordinary people have access to them. c-span: did you get to see the alexander hamilton notes? >> guest: library told me look at the at the microfilm. i quit while i was ahead. i had a lot of access to james madison and that is who the book is about. c-span: how many other notes did you read? >> guest: i read all of them. they are all collected in a volume done in 1911 by max soran. but i didn't look at all of them. one thing i hope the book produces is a lot of work on people looking at these other notes and seeing to what degree those notes were written years later or revised. c-span: you talked when we covered an event of yours in philadelphia at the constitution center i think you talked about the portrait when he was 32 years old and we will put it on the screen. it is charles wilson's portrait. why is this of interest to you? >> guest: i love this portrait.
there is debate over whether it is done when the library of congress stated which is the early '80s or represents hip as a younger man. i am going the library until it is proven differently. but it shows the way he looks and one thing that is clear is he looked small, and shy and quite young. this is the part of him i am most sympathetic to. i look a lot younger than i am possibly. so living your life as a small, young looking person gives us an insight into his personality. c-span: what does it done to you? people thinking you are younger than you am. >> guest: i think i had an enormous advantage writing this book. a lot of people who work on the framers are men and because these people are so interesting it is very easy and seductive to slip into thinking what if i had been there and who would i have been like.
but women were excluded from the entire proceedings so it was helpful. i had a little distance i think is quite helpful as a historian. c-span: so give us the environment you are in and, you know, here is a book and we have no idea what you went through. give us the number of years you were working on and where did you do your research. >> guest: i started working on it eight years ago which seems a long time ago. i had two little daughters and didn't think i would have to take any research trips which turned out to be completely wrong. i worked in my office at my work but a lot was done at my kitchen table. i have a tiny house and butcher block table and listened to my daughter's records. c-span: how hold are your
daughters? >> guest: they have 10 and 18. they think i should write a book for kids about the constitution that has penguins in it. c-span: what was the hardest part of doing the actual research? >> guest: i think the hardest part of the book is the book tells the story of the manuscript not being what we thought and chronlogically trying to think about what madison was encountering at the time. keeping those two narratives straight was tricky for a while. and i wanted to book that is not hat long. i know people like really long. but i like books in print and they can get heavy if you carry it around so i wanted the text under 250 pages and worked hard to get it that way. c-span: you made some people mad with this book.
i didn't see a lot but i don't know if you know this person. gordon loyd from pepperdine. this is a book that claims it has no thesis but it is presenting a way of reading primary text. by the end the author leaves the reader with the thought there is no primary madison textt worth considering on its own terms. intenti intentionally or not this book encourages americans to doubt the founding and inching people toward the idea the countries was ill founded. >> guest: i disagree that. i think one of the things the book tries to show is how remarkable it was to be in filled that summer and how they were not magicians and how much they struggled to figure out the right answer for the country.
i went back and read madison's notes and brought it back to life. all of the hard decisions, the comp compromises and the things people were uncertain about you could get back to. c-span: jack ray cove is somebody you know and he endorses your book but i guess there might be disagreements there. let's go back to 2014. here is a historian jack rye coat. >> i have to point this out. on the right-hand side you see a gap between the top 7-8 lines at the bottom. i have a young colleagues named mary sarah bilder who is a legal historian finishing a book called "madison's hand" which is about how madison compiled notes. she has an interesting theory i don't accept that says madison wrote the second part beginning
midway on the page in the summer of 1877 at the convention. this is important to us because it is the argument that we know passed from federalist ten. the whole argument about faction. this is the first draft here. the question is did madison work it out before or during the convention? if you are a working historian is an interesting question. c-span: what do you say? >> guest: jack and i still talk a lot about this. i believe very much that the notes that you just showed were partially written in the summer but that they were working notes. one of the things madison loved to do is revise what he thought and he went back during and after the convention and added a few thing. he thought this famous idea that becomes part of federalist ten that simply the country will be so big we don't have to worry about a fraction taking over. i argue, which is a little
different than what jack argues, is that he was working that through in the summer. other people governor morris, alexander hamilton, were also interested in the same idea and madison repeatedly at the convention wanted what i called a structural solution. that is he thought there would be factions but wanted the government to be able to do something about it, to make sure the factions wouldn't take over. he kept coming up with different political mechanisms. so he thought if the state got out of control congress should be able to check them. he had all of these different ideas and none were adopted. when hamilton asked him to write the federalist project with him madison writes this essay, federalist 10, and sort of just says whatever, unlikely to be a problem. but i don't think madison really believed that so i think federalist 10 is a little like well it didn't work out but
hopefully nothing goes wrong. i think he had hoped to solve the problem. c-span: would you put all this into context? when was the first time people that lived on the land wanted to change the way we were governed? >> guest: at the time of revolution the same congress that wrote the declaration of independence wrote a governing document known as the articles of confederation in 1776-1777. it took the committee a little time. that is our first constitution and that constitution there was only one branch of government and every state had one vote in that branch of government. no judicial or executive branch. there was a president but the president was the chair of the committee of congress that sat to run things in case of an emergency when congress wasn't in session. c-span: was madison in that group?
>> guest: madison didn't work with the articles of confederation. there were some men like john dickins from delaware was one orphthem. but madison thought the articles of confederation was terrible and wrote notes explaining of the problems and he thought the problems were the states were not sufficiently controlled. so like lance vaning said he started to read around, to figure out what kind of governments worked and jefferson sent him two great encyclopedias and madison read those and came up with examples with confederations historically collapsed and he writes the only thing that kept confederations together was jealousy and jealousy is not a great cement for the country. c-span: how did he find himself in the middle of proposing such a thing or being involved in it? >> guest: people debate whether
or not he was the mover and shaker behind it but be thought there should be a stronger country. washington was very involved. washington gets the delegates together to try to think about it. c-span: what year? >> guest: 1785 and in 1786 madison goes to annapolis and hamilton comes down but nobody else shows up so they tell congress let's have another convention and this time they pick philadelphia largely because the virginians are going to show up and the entire pennsylvania delegation has to just wake up in the morning so they will have the pennsylvania delegation and they are sure people like massachusetts will show up. congress says we will have this big convention and this time you guys try and write a document that fixes some of the problems. c-span: are we still british citizens at that time?
>> guest: no, this is long after the revolution. this is during the time when the united states is trying to figure out what kind of government it has. not a royal government or monarchy but nobody knows the kind of government we have today is going to work. we often forget we have the first country in the world to have this kind of government. c-span: we were talking about federalist 10 and a lot of people watching eyes glaze over thi , what in the world are they talking about. when were the federalist papers written, how many were there and what did they do? >> guest: the federalist papers incredibly important today. alexander hamilton left the convention. he went back to new york and there was going to be a terrible fight over whether or not to radicalize the constitution and he decided to write newspaper editorials working through all
the reasons people should ratify the convention. he asked john jay and governor morris and morris turned him down and jay got sick so madison was the third choice and madison adegrees with hamilton to write these papers -- agrees. hamilton had the whole plan laid out, madison writes about congress that is what he is interested in, and they wrote incredibly quickly and they were influential in new york and sent to virginia and republished but we think less influential there. one thing historians debate is at the time how influentials were the editorials outside of new york. what is clear is since then people decided they very nicely sum up many of the ways that people in general at the time of the framing thought the
constitution was a good idea. c-span: there are 85 of them. over what period of time were they written? >> guest: i think hamilton begins in the fall of 1787 and i think they are mostly done by the following year but not sure about the exact dates. c-span: this is amy pickard, curator of books at the buffalo central library and this is talking about the federalist papers. but i want everybody to keep in mind thomas jefferson was in paris during all of this. let's watch this. >> this was one of thomas jefferson's three copies that was sent to him while he was in paris. it has unique inscriptions and the first one reads for the honorable mr. jefferson from his obedient servant john jay. and next, a president for mr. jefferson.
so thomas jefferson gave his copy to stewart, a scottish philosopher and mr. stewart writes i was told by mr. jefferson the greater part of the papers in this collection were written by mr. madison. >> guest: that is a wonderful book they have there. at the time they were published anonymously but lots of people in the know suspected they were madison and jefferson's and madison sends some to washington and friends sort of hint-hint you will know who writes this. and afterwards as they became increasingly famous, washington used to say they were important, madison and hamilton disagreed over which ones they wrote and after hamilton's death it was discovered that hamilton said he had written some of them and madison said no, i wrote some of
them. so for many years there were some historians disagreed on. even today. nowadays most historians agree on most of the essays but some of the ones in the beginning were written by both together. c-span: check out these numbers. i looked it up and i don't remember the sources. hamilton, 51. madis madison, 26. >> guest: hamilton wrote most in the beginning before madison joined on and madison writes only five before he writes the great essay 37 which is about the problems facing the constitution. and then madison writes a whole bunch about congress, about the house of representatives, he gets to the senate and senate didn't interest him all that much. finishes the senate and hamilton goes on and writes almost of the rest. it was hamilton's idea so most are hamilton and madison wrote
the part he was interested in. jay writes a few and gets sick. c-span: 18, 19 and 20 are collaborations between madison and hamilton. >> guest: and even federalist 10 is paired with federalist 9 which introduces the problem of how do you govern a large territory and hamilton clearly wrote pralist 9 and madison cop ad over stuff from the convention to do federalist 10. it was his first attempt and he was probably racing for time. c-span: in federal 10 they use the record interest. what do you think madison would think about today if they looked at what happened to the country? >> guest: i think a lot would not surprise them. i think they would be sad the thing hasn't worked out better but they were fascinated with politics and one thing they
constantly worried about was the decent that all of politics involved the struggle between ambition and greed and greater motive and that you were always trying to balance those things off. you were always trying to make a government that would somehow work even though you knew human beings were flawed and people who wanted political power were motivated by not always the right reasons. and madison wouldn't have been surprised because they lived through the 1790's after jefferson comes back and the country is divided between jefferson and madison on one side and hamilton, adams and washington on the other. and the country almost divides in the 1790s with people accusing each other of all sorts of things.
c-span: did madison change views about state versus the natural central government? >> guest: when jefferson comes back in the fall of 1789, at first jefferson isn't friendly and he later wrote it took a while to get his feet on the ground so he should not be blamed for things later on. as jefferson stays longer, he starts to think while he was gone everyone became interested in a government. jefferson reads everybody who wants national power and strong executive as wanting to create a monarchy again. there were people, like john adams, who said things that sounded a little bit wrong. john adams wants the president to be, you know, his supreme excellencey and everybody needs a title. in that moment, jefferson and
madison pull away arguing the country is turning to have something that looks like a monarchy. washington keeps saying nobody really wants a monarchy but madison does join jefferson in worrying about this and out of them comes the early republican party. c-span: that is not the current republican party? >> guest: no, the same word but it is not political science. it doesn't work out to be the same group but they use the word republican because the idea of republican was important in terms of what kind of a political government you had. they didn't believe in democracy and thought a republic where people at the bottoms votes were filtered through more enlightened wise counselors. c-span: not sure this is the right word but how did you protect yourself when you wrote
the book from having a lot of people after it was written saying you have no idea what you are talking about? >> guest: people have been quite interested in the book. i talked a lot about the book as i was writing it. a number of very important historians have been incredibly generous with their time and working it through. i think one of the things that really became clear as i wrote the book was the story of the book was plausible. in the end the book argues why would madison carefully taken notes all summer instead of creating a government? the story i tell is madison was taking notes the way everybody does; to keep track of things to himself and explain to jefferson what happened and he gets so busy he stops taking notes and goes back to try to create a better record later on. that is a more plausible story
than the notion he sat there, somehow participating at the time while taking these quite elaborate notes. c-span: you get a time sequence here. in september of 1787 the convention is over. >> guest: right. c-span: he lives to be 85 years old until 1836. >> guest: yup. c-span: during the time from 1787-1876 how much does he spend on these notes and when? >> guest: i argue he finishes the manuscript in 1789 and borrows the official journal from washington elicitly. c-span: where is that today? >> guest: it is at the national archive on fold 3 i think. he borrows it, finishes it off, revises it and fixes it up and cleans it up for jefferson, and
jefferson makes a copy. i argue the manuscript looks like it does today by the end of the 1790s. in 1796-1797 madison puts the manuscript aside and he and jefferson are going to become presidents and they don't think about it for a long time. it is only after madison retires from the presidency in the late 1810s he goes back and starts thinking about publishing his manuscript and starts again fixing it up a little bit. madison worried most of his life about other people with notes. he know he kept track of who at the convention was still alive. one of his problems was two of the people who had pretty good notes. the secretary, william jackson, and rufus king, live a long time. and madison gives up saying i am going to publish them. when he got near the end of his
life, politics had changed again. he said he regretted the 1790's. jefferson regrets the 1790's, ad adams regrets the 1790's. as old men they look back at this period where the political world got so out of control and they all sort of feel bad about it. and madison then also was sort of flabbergasted, i think by the fact that young men from the south particularly come and visit him. they all want him to vouch that their side, the states right side, the highly sectional side, was the true side and madison won't do that. as he got older and into his 80s i think he began to worry again about sort of what legacy he was going to leave. c-span: does madison have any friends besides jefferson? >> guest: he was closest to jefferson.
i think once he married dolly madison he was exceptionally close to her and sort of moved into a circuit of people that she runs. he was very close to james monroe who eventually becomes another president. if you go down to montpelier they have a wonderful tour you can take at montpelier and they show the dining room there and talked about how they loved entertaining people and entertaining people with whom they didn't agree so they had lots of lively political discussions down there. c-span: you said he was unmarried and became sick and he wasn't a collector. he loved politics and the revolution ended only four years earlier. he loved politics. i can go on and on. >> guest: right. c-span: how sick was he and how did he live to be 85? >> guest: he perceived himself
to be sick. you can read lots of people every biography of madison has a different degree about what actual kind of sickness he had and that is something that people debate. i don't think it matters what kind of sickness he had. he believed he got sick easily. he does seem to be getting sick under stress. but he never seemed to be terribly, terribly ill. he was the only person in the generation, not the only, but the few people that never went abroad. he never goes to england or france. in some ways he lived a kind of quite life. but it is not surprising he lived a long time. his father lived a long time and his mother lived i think to be 97. she dies, i don't know, eight years or nine years before he does. so it was in his genes. he had good genes. c-span: didn't travel but was secretary of state for eight years?
>> guest: he wasn't a big trafshler at all. -- traveler. a lot of historians think about whether it was a secret trip to build political interest. they wrote in their letters they felt a lot better after their trip north. gue c-span: our guest is a lawyer and teaches at boston college. her book is called "madison's hand" all about the notes from the constitutional convention and our guest name is mary sarah bilder. we thank you very much. >> guest: thank you very much. ...