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tv   QA  CSPAN  April 10, 2016 11:00pm-11:59pm EDT

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see a discussion on the future of the european union. >> this week on "q&a," mary sarah bilder looks at the notes that james madison wrote during and after the constitutional convention of 1787. brian: mary sarah bilder, you have a book called "madison's hand: revising the constitutional convention." what's it about? mary: it's the notes of madison's notes and he was the only framer who we know of who took complete notes that summer.
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the book argues that the notes weren't written in their entirety that summer. but madison's the most important account of that summer. brian: where did you get this idea? mary: i thought i would write a narrative, a story of what it has been like from his perspective and as i investigate the notes and read them, i realize there were a lot of mysteries and things weren't quite as i expected them to be and as i spent a lot of time with the notes and wonderful access at the library of congress and it became evident it wasn't what we thought it was. brian: where are the notes at the library of congress? mary: they are in a big vault at the library of congress and you need special permission. most people don't need to go
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that far and you can see them on the website and the library has a wonderful website. for this project, it was important to look at the notes. i could go down and see it. i kept my hand behind my back the entire time and only touched them. brian: why did it take two years? mary: they don't want a regular person to see it. they are considered a national treasure. and the library is very cautious about it. after a while, they decided that some of the questions i raised about the notes were worth investigating. but it took them a while. brian: what does the vault look like, and where is it in the library and where did you look at the notes? mary: that was the best part of the project. some of madison's letters, they
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hold in the reading room and if someone is careful in explaining why, you can use them in the reading room. inside the inner section of the library, down the elevator, around the corner, through two locked doors and past the vault where they hold everything and then inside a conservation lab and one of the things i was interested in was in seeing whether the pages matched, whether the watermarks looked the same and one of the things we did is put the pages on a table with light on it that allows you to see the watermarks. brian: had you not been able to see them in the flesh, so to speak, what difference would it have made what you were a able to write? mary: it is based on contextal
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evidence. but the paper confirmed a lot of what i sort of suspected and particularly important was the notes -- madison took the notes on sheets of paper and folded them in half. at some point he sewed them together into a manuscript. one of the things we noticed, the last quarter of the manuscript, the holes he had sewn didn't match and at the end of the manuscript had been written later. it was a wonderful thing to see that. brian: how long did you spend looking at these notes?
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mary: not very long. we looked pretty fast. i think i was there for an hour one time or two hours and then again another time. but the library was just wonderful. they took extra images for me and watermark images and they take it for anybody to look at. there are a wonderful group of people. brian: how long have those notes been there? mary: after madison died, he left his papers to his wife and she sold them to congress. he thought they would be worth an enormous amount of money. friends of his in congress agreed to buy the papers and they sent those papers to washington along with the notes. for the long time, they were in the state department's library and then moved it over to the library of congress.
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originally they were in a big volume and they have since been disassembled. brian: when were the notes first made public so anybody could read them? mary: not until 1940 and they were published as he had left them. and he had prepared a revised copy of the notes. he wanted them published in the middle of a collection that included his letters to famous people. when the government first published them they published them in three volumes. brian: what credentials did you bring to this whole project was that part of the reason the library said come on in? mary: i'm a lawyer by profession
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and i'm american history and i had written about madison before and as a law student and worked with some of the library's, something that had been cataloged and the missing manuscripts. the library decided i wasn't a complete nut. brian: where did you get the undergraduate? >> i was an english. and my phd. brian: why did you get a phd and a law degree? mary: i had planned to go to be a regular lawyer and a good friend of mine told me that this person was teaching history of the constitution course at the law school and everybody was going to take it. i didn't know. i thought, i'll take it, too. i was captivated and spent my
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time in law school learning about the constitution and someone was explaining to me why it was the way it was. i clerked with a federal judge and he said i should do more work in history and i haven't looked back. brian: we had him here, but i want you to tell folks who he is. mary: bernard balen is the most eminent early american historian, won a pultser prize and trained an enormous number of two generations of historians now and incredibly important in making it clear how interesting the struggles regarding the founding of the country were. brian: what are you doing now? mary: i teach at boston college law school. first year property and american legal history.
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brian: i want you to set up, in a moment, the whole constitutional convention and what happened. but first back in 2005, a historian in the house of representatives went with us to the hall of statues at the constitution center in philadelphia. here is a little bit talking about james madison and george washington. >> you are standing next to -- only 5' 4" giant. >> i think he was. but perhaps pretty thing about it, if you become president, we are standing next to two people
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in the room though did proximate cause presidents. you are looking at it and james madison's contribution to american history is the work he did in the constitutional convention and the work he did in the first congress, he served in the first five houses of the house of representatives and the first five houses in 1789, he pushed through the passage of the bill of rights. brian: tell us what you can about james madison, where was he from and all that. mary: when you walk around there, everybody is a lot shorter than you think they were. except for george washington and a couple of people who are tall. but not tall by modern standards. he was from virginia. eldest son of a prominent person. he held a lot of slaves, his father did. he had west virginia to go to college at what is now princeton
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and served in the virginia legislature and then in what we call the confederation congress. he was born in 1751, so he wasn't really old enough to be a big player in the revolution. madison's time will come with the generation that helps form the country not for the country that fights for independence. and he was quiet, fairly studious. brian: what did he study? mary: he studied very 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 european political philosophy and madison loved that a lot, although a lot
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although a lot of people -- he doesn't have enormous amount of notes of what he read. only one book of commonplace books where he wrote things down. a lot of them learned many languages. he isn't thomas jefferson. madison is much more pragmatic and reads pretty quickly and never held a great library like jefferson. brian: this is a group of people and you see it up on the screen. it's -- we have charles pinkney who was 29.
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mary: you are missing franklin who was in his early 80's. so madison. george mason and benjamin franklin had been the movers and shakers at the time of the revolution. and george mason had the well-known out of virginia for having drafted the virginia bill of rights and very important. madison was ok. ben franklin drives him crazy and he is in his 80's. madison's competitors a little bit at the convention, the people he has captivated is that younger group. charles drove him crazy. there's a lot of competitive desire for credit, a little jealousy with pinkney.
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and pinkney writes this letter and puts you back in this moment. he had enormous handwriting and writes madison and croge how he is enjoying married life and of course you are not married yet. and he and madison were quite competitive. brian: you mentioned in your book, kitty somebody, he was pursuing at the convention who was 16 years old. mary: james madison was interested in kitty floyd long before he went to the convention. she was very young and he scored out the letters where he talks
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about her with jefferson. a lot of the people have focused on her. i tend to think he was interested in a woman from a boarding house, who married and then died. and madison writes a lot of letters to her and my own guess is he was quite close to her. brian: you tell us he was 40 when he got married to dolly who was 25. 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? mary: that is independence hall. and the delegates met there from may of 1787 to the end of the convention, which was september 17. and the delegates we believe sat by state because they voted by state, each state had a vote
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and the president, who was of the convention, was george washington, would have sat in sort of governing the entire situation. brian: where would have james madison sat? mary: he said different things at different times. presumably he sat up close. one would assume he sat close with the virginians and they voted together. he was close to randolph. brian: you imply that madison was for openness and transparency and that room was nailed down. mary: one of the things we
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forget, what we take for granted, general assemblies wasn't true back then. in fact, when congress opened, it was closed when public outcry. people thought you should have the right to know what congress did and to have the final product, but they didn't necessarily have the belief completely to watch the deliberations. people would have liked to have known what was going on but historians have misinterpreted it as if the convention was a wrong secret proceeding. it was normal. when the ratification debates began did america switch towards the notion that the public has the right to observe the delegates or representatives. brian: how many delegates and how were they chosen? mary: madison wrote the legislation in virginia that said people should be elected and then he was elected. the states sent different numbers of people to
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philadelphia. i think the number is like in the 70's are elected. in that summer, there are less than 50 people who are in that room, and by the end in the low 40's as in terms of who are there. brian: i want to put on the screen and it starts with somebody who is 26. we don't have their names but you can see those between 25-29, there were four. mary: franklin holding up the tail end there. brian: is it a young group? mary: i don't think it's a young group. we know they are writing the constitution. they didn't know they were writing the constitution.
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the year before, madison and others had gathered in annapolis to try and write the constitution and failed miserably. the constitution stopped and they had to say to congress, you need to have a better constitution. a lot of important people go, but it's not clear that it's the place to be. my own sense is that is the age we would expect. huge numbers of those people have political experience. many of them were serving in congress at the same time. many of them were governors. it is an impressive group of people. you want with people with day-to-day political experience. brian: how did james madison get into politics? mary: he begins in politics and
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he serves locally but he serves in the virginia legislature and it's during those years that he becomes friends with thomas jefferson and also becomes very much antagonistic to people like patrick henry and the lees in virginia. he begins to dislike the virginia legislature. he felt that the virginia legislature was counter to national interest. madison is part of a group of people who want the government to move towards national stronger power and want to be respected by the european countries and pay the soldiers off and want commercial regulation and want all sorts of things and see the virginia legislature and other state legislature as working against those interests solely for the sort of individual interests of each state. brian: i don't know whether you
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directly do this, but i get the impression that george washington and hamilton are one side and madison and jefferson are on the other side. i'm not sure that's right. what is the difference between hamilton and jefferson and what they think. mary: madison, washington and hamilton are on the same side and jefferson is in france and serving as the ambassador to france. and he won't show up until later in the united states. jefferson is off screen and madison and washington along with james wilson, governor morris, alexander hamilton, they want a strong national government.
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they go to the convention looking for a strong national government. and the people opposed to them aren't jefferson and those people, the people who are worried, people from small states like new jersey or connecticut who thinks a strong national government and held by big states by virginia will be swallowed up. madison is exposed at the convention. brian: in that same room, and we have some video to put on the screen, there are three people that did not vote for that constitution and you write a lot about them on your book and you can see, you have jerry from massachusetts who went on to be vice president and then in the middle, you have randolph and on the right, george mason and randolph and mason are from virginia, why didn't they sign the constitution? mary: people disagree about why they didn't sign.
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and he drove madison crazy. randolph was young and good-looking and madison is close to him. randolph is saying we should have a president who is three presidents. randolph is with madison and sometimes not with madison and goes back and forth and that is extremely frustrating. george mason said the government is too powerful and wants a bill of rights and no bill of rights and george mason refuses to sign -- and he was an i con particular class and what he believes about anything but true at the convention what he complains about, he worried
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about the power that was given to the southern states and worried about national power, so the three of them refused to sign. randolph goes back to virginia and he decides he is for the constitution and argues in favor of ratifying. brian: who is your favorite character? mary: well, in terms of a character, ben franklin. he had more one-liners. i think for myself, governor morris came across as the most interesting. he was the only person at the convention who speaks passionately about slavery. speeches that madison recorded in which morris basically says we are going to have a divide between the north and the south over the slavery issue. he is a remarkable person. brian: he is 35 and then is a missing leg. do we know how that happened? mary: he liked to tell different
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stories and certainly the other delegates told stories. he was one of the people who was sort of a little bit of a hero and he got his peg leg but i think it involved an accident. he thought we ought to divide the two houses into the wealthy and not wealthy and everybody would know what the welty people were doing and so he is own
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quite interesting thinker. brian: if james madison could have gotten what he wanted in the house of representatives and senate, what would he have done? mary: he wanted strong power and senate to be based on proportional representatives and i think most shocking to many people, he wanted congress to be able to veto all the laws of the the states. it's the word that is called a negative and we don't have that word anymore. but it was very similar to what the british government had over the american colonies. madison wants a far more national system. and he loses that we have the system that we have today. brian: he loses in what way? mary: he is committed to get the
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senate to have not have equal state representation. he loses that. and trying to build coalitions to win both houses being proportional representation. no state having been represented and madison loses that. he cares so much about this and tries to build a political coalition and thinks he can link the three large states, virginia, massachusetts and pennsylvania with the three smaller states. and south carolina, georgia and north carolina and suggests that the congress be bicameral, embeding slavery into the nation. and so he loses that also. but he left the convention quite disappointed. he was happy there was a
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constitution but saw a lot of things were not necessarily how he would have liked them. brian: you write about a man who was here 20 years ago. you don't agree with him on some things. let's listen to him. >> and modern confederists and wish he could find out more of those. a chance to create a new government came along and thought this would be interesting. and better records than he had himself. and to play a vigorous role in the proceedings of the constitutional convention, but while doing that, he took
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shorthand notes of the proceedings and when he went back to his rooming house at night, he spent a good time writing those shorthand notes into longhand. brian: you say he didn't know shorthand. mary: lance is a great historian and that's what dolly madison said. that is not true. madison didn't know shorthand. he wrote his notes during the day in abbreviation and twice a week, he tried to copy them over vaguely remembering what had happened. my book argues that the great speeches have been given on saturdays, because on sundays, madison didn't have to go to the convention and had a good memory. but many people may have said wonderful things happened at the
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convention, but if it happened on a thursday, much less likely we know about it. brian: how many people took notes? mary: we have notes by various people at the convention and there are other people who said they took notes but we never found them. charles said he had notes and would get a lot of money. but madison's notes look the most complete because they covered every single day. everybody else has notes that are erratic or incomplete and that is because -- i argue that madison was taking notes for a political diary and jefferson who was in paris. i suggest he did not finish them that summer, he got very sick and busy. and when jefferson is coming back from paris, madison sort of scurries and tries to complete them. brian: where are the 10 others? mary: scattered all over the united states over various libraries.
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we have notes by rufus king that are in new york. the alexander hamilton notes are down in the library of congress. there are all sorts of various notes. one of the great things about a group ofraries is people are working hard to get more of those up on the web. brian: did you see the acres dar hamilton notes? >> they said look at the micro delim film. >> i had access. brian: how many of the other notes did you read? >> i read all of them and all collected in volume done in 1911, but i didn't look at all of them. one of the things i hope the book produces is people looking at these notes to see what degree those notes were written later or revised.
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brian: when we covered an vent of yours, i think you talked about the portrait when he was 32 years old and put it on screen so you can see it. why is this of interest to you? mary: i love this portrait. there is some debate over whether it's done when the library of congress dates it to the early 80's. or whether it represents him as a younger man. on this i'm going with the one, library until it's proven differently. i think it shows them the way he looks. one of the things it looks, he is small and shy and quite young. this is the part of him i'm most sympathetic to. and look young, too. and living your life as a small young-looking person, gives us insight into his personality.
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brian: people are thinking -- mary: people think i am a lot younger they are not i am. i had an enormous advantage, a lot of people who work on the early framers are men. and because these people are so interesting, it is seductive to slip into thinking, what if i had been there? but of course, women were excluded from the entire proceedings. for me that was really helpful. i had a little distance that i think was quite helpful as an historian. brian: so give us some -- the environment you're in and here's a finished book and have no idea you went through and what did you do all your research? mary: i started working on it about eight years ago, which seems a long time ago. i have two little daughters and i thought i wouldn't have to take any research trips which turned out to be completely wrong. at that time, i work a lot in my office at my work but a lot of it was done at my kitchen table.
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i have a tiny house and my daughters took music lessons. brian: how old are your daughters? mary: 10 and 13. they think i should write a book about the constitution that has penguins in it. brian: what was the hardest part? mary: the book tells a story of the fact that the manuscript, this national treasure isn't what we thought but trying to cronnolingically think what was madison thinking at the time and keeping those two straight was -- chronologically inc. about, what was madison and countering at the time. and keeping those two narratives straight was tricky for a wild. and i wanted a book that was not
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that long at the end of the day. i know people like long books but i like books in print and it can be heavy if you carry them around. i wanted the actual text to be under 250 pages and i worked hard to get it that way. brian: you made some people mad with this book. i didn't see that. i don't know if you know this person, gordon lloyd. from pepperdine university. i will read one paragraph and ask your reaction. this is a book that claims it has no these is but presenting a read of reading primary text. mare meyer how remarkable it was to be in philadelphia that summer and how much they struggled to try and figure out what the right answer was for the country was. and i went back and read madison's notes and brought it all back to life. all of the hard decisions, the
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compromises, the things that people were uncertain about, you could get back to suddenly. it wasn't all etched in stone. brian: jack endorses your book, but it might be some disagreements. go back to 2014. madison historian. jack: now, i have to point this out. you see a big gap between the top seven or eight lines and the bottom. i have a young colleague at
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boston college, mary bilder is finishing a book about how madison compiled but she has a interesting theory that i find provocative that says madison wrote the second part beginning midway in the page when he is at the convention. this is important to us because it is in this part that he built the argument of federalist 10. the whole argument about action. this is his first draft here. madisonuestion did write this out before the convention or during the question, if you are a working historian this is an interesting question. brian: what do you say? mary: we talk about this last week and i believe very much that the notes that you just showed were partially written in the summer but they were working notes. one of the things madison did is revise. and he went back during the
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convention and after it and added some sort of a new thing this famous idea that becomes part of federalist 10 that the country will become so big that we don't have to over it. he was working that through in the summer. other people, alexander hamilton were interested in that same idea and madison repeatedly at the convention wanted a structural solution, that is he thought there would be factions but wanted the government to do something about it to make sure that the factions wouldn't take over and kept up with different political mechanisms. he thought if the states were out of control, congress need to check them. he had these different ideas and none of them are adopted. when hamilton asked him, madison writes federalist 10 and says, whatever, they are unlikely to be a problem. but i don't think madison believes that. federalist 10 is a little bit like, well, it didn't work out, but hopefully will not go wrong. brian: will you put this in the
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context, when was the first time that people lived on this land wanted to change the way we were governed? mary: at the time of the revolution, the same congress that wrote the declaration of independence also wrote the articles of confederation.
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brian: what year? mary: 1776, 1777 and took the committee a little bit of time. and that constitution, every state, only one branch of government and every state had one vote and there was no judicial branch and no executive branch. and there was a president but the president was just the chair of the committee of congress that sat to run things in case of emergencies when congress wasn't in session. brian: was madison in that group? mary: there are some men in philadelphia in 1787 that did, john dickin son from delaware. but madison got the articles of confederation and wrote notes explaining all the problems with it and what he thought were the problems the states weren't sufficiently controlled. and like lance said, he started reading around to find out bhained of governments worked and jefferson had sent him these two great books and madison read them passing things out and came up with a lot of examples where historically confederations had collapsed and he writes that the only thing that keeps them
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together is jealousy and it is not a great cement. brian: the annapolis convention and madison was very much a part of that, how did he even wind himself in being part of that or proposed such a thing? mary: people debate whether he was a mover and shaker completely behind it. he was a person who thought there should be stronger country. washington was very involved. washington gets the maryland delegates together to try and think about it. brian: what year? mary: 1785 and then he has a mount vernon conference in 1785 i thinking and in 1786 ago to annapolis, not washington but madison goes and hamilton comes down and nobody else shows up and tells congress let's have another convention and they pick philadelphia because the vaians
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-- virginians are going to show in the delegation has to show up. and pretty sure like massachusetts will show up and congress says to everyone we are going to have this big convention and this time you guys try and write a document that fixes some of the problems. the problems of the articles of confederation. brian: are we still british citizens? mary: this is all during the time when the united states is trying to figure out what kind of government does it have. it's not going to have a roil -- royal government or a monarchy. that the kindws of government we have today is going to work. we often forget we are the first country in the world to have this kind of government. brian: a lot of people are watching, eyes glaze over. what in the world are they talking about? when were the federalist papers were written and how many were there and what did they do? mary: so, the federalist papers, incredibly important today. hamilton left the convention. he went back to new york.
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he knew there was going to be a terrible fight over whether or not to approve or ratify the constitution in new york and decided to write newspaper editorials working through all the reasons that people should ratify that convention. he asked john jay and governor morris and governor morris turned him down and madison was like the third choice and madison agrees with hamilton to write these papers. and he and hamilton madly wrote these papers. hamilton had the whole plan laid out and he writes about congress and they wrote incredibly quickly. they were very influential in work new york and less influential there.
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so one thing historians debate at the time how influential were these editorials outside of new york. what is clear, since then, people have decided that they nicely sum up many of the ways that people in general at the time of the framing the constitution was a good idea. brian: over what time were they written? there are 85 of them. mary: fall of 1787 and done by the following year. i'm not sure exactly. brian: i want to run some video, the curator, i think her name is mary picard, at the buffalo central library and this is talking about the federalist papers but keep in mind that thomas jefferson was in paris during all this. let's watch this.
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>> this was one of thomas jefferson's three copies. so it has unique insubscription and the first one, to the honorable mr. jefferson from his obedient servant john jay. and then next, stewart. a present for mr. jefferson. so, thomas jefferson gave his copy to the scotch philosopher and mr. stewart writes, i was told by mr. jefferson that the greater part of the papers in this collection were written by mr. madison. mary: that is a wonderful book that they have there. at the time they were published anonymously, but lots of people in the know suspected it, but madison sends some of them down to washington and sends like, hint, hint, you'll know who writes this.
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and after they became 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 written some of them and madison said i wrote some of them. for many years, historians disagree. nowadays they agree on the essence. but some of the ones in the agreeing were written together. ryan: check these numbers out. i looked it up and i do not remember what the source was, but hamilton 51, madison 26. mary: hamilton wrote most of those in the beginning before he -- madison -- joined on. and madison wrote five before he writes his great essay number 37, which is about the album spacing me constitution.
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wholeen madison writes a lot about congress, the house of representatives and senate. and finishes and hamilton writes almost the rest. and it was hamilton's idea. so, most of them are hamilton. madison wrote the part he was interested in. jay writes a few and gets sick. brian: 18, 19 and 20 are supposedly collaborations between madison and hamilton. mary: right. and even federalist 10, which people think is so famous is a pair up with federalist nine which introduces a problem of how you govern a large territory hamilton clearly wrote federalist nine and madison copied over. first attempt and probably he was racing for time. brian: in federalist 10, which we talk about so much, i don't
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think they use the word special, but it is interest. what do you think madison would think today or hamilton if they look at this is happening to this country? mary: i do not think a lot of it would surprise them. they would be sad that things had not worked out better, but they would not be surprised. they were fascinated with politics and one of the things they constantly worried about was the sense that all of politics involves the struggle between ambition and greed and greater motive and you are always trying to balance those things off. you were always trying to make a government that would somehow work even though you would know that human beings were deeply flawed and people who wanted political power were often motivated by not always the right reasons and ex deer and -- madison and hamilton particularly would not be surprised in some ways because a lived through the 1790's after
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jefferson comes back after the country is almost divided between jefferson and madison and hamilton and adams and washington on the other and the country almost divides in the 1790's with people accusing each other of all sorts of things. brian: did madison change his views about the states versus the national central government? mary: jefferson comes back in the fall of 1789. at first, jefferson is even friendly with him. and jefferson later wrote that it took him a while to get his feet on the ground and shouldn't be blamed for things. the things he did early on. but as jefferson stays longer in the country, he begins to think that while he was gone, everyone had become very interested in a monarchical government. and so he hears everybody who wants national power and strong executive as wanting to create a
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monarchy again and people like john adams who sounded things like it was wrong. john adams once the president to be his supreme excellency and everybody to have titles. and in that moment, jefferson and then madison again tollway, arguing that the country is turning into something that is like a monarchy. saying, no one wants a monarchy, but madison joins jefferson and out of them comes the early republican party. brian: that's not the current republican party? mary: the same word but it's not politically science, if you work it out, it is not the same group of people. they use the word republican. jefferson was not incredibly important in terms of bhained of -- what kind of political
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government you had. they did not believe in democracy, the a thought a republic where people at the bottom had votes filtered through wise counselors. brian: how did you protect yourself when you wrote this book from having a whole of people saying you don't have an idea what you are talking about? in other words, the historian world that you live in. mary: people have been quite interested in the book. i talked a lot about the book when i was writing it, a number of important historians were generous with their time in working it through and one of the things that became clear as i wrote the book is that the story of the book was plausible, that is in the end, the book argued why would have madison taken notes all summer instead of working on writing a
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government, creating a government? the world i write about is a world where everybody takes notes, to keep track of things for himself and explain to jefferson and he gets so busy and stops taking notes and tries to create a better record later on. i think in many ways, that's a more plausible story for people than the notion that he sat there somehow participating at the same time or taking quite elaborate notes. brian: to get a time sequence here. in september of 1787, the convention is over. mary: right. brian: he lives to be 85: -- he lives to be 85 -- years-old brian: he lives to be 85 years old until 1836. during the time from 1787 to 1836, 10 years after adams and jefferson die, how much does he spend on these notes and when? mary: i argue that he finishes the manuscript in 1789 and borrows the official journal from washington because washington wasn't supposed to give it to anybody.
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brian: where is that today? mary: the official journal is with the national archives. he borrows it and finishes it off and starts revising it to sort of fix it up for jefferson. jefferson makes a copy. i argue that the manuscript looks like what it does today on the pages by the end of the 1790's. , 1790 seven, madison probably puts the manuscript aside. he and jefferson are going to become presidents and they do not think about it for a long time. so it is only after madison retires from the presidency in the late 18-teens that he does 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
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and we know he kept track of who at the convention was still alive. one of his problems one of the people who had pretty good notes, the secretary william jackson and rufus king live a long time also. and eventually madison just gives up and says i'm going to publish them posthumous way. -- posthumously. at the end of his life, politics had changed again. he said he regretted the 1790's. jefferson was regretting the 1790's. as old men, they all look back on things. this time where the political world got out of control and they've deal bad about it. by the fact that young men from the south come and visit him and all want him to vouch that their side, the states' rights side was the true side and madison won't do that. and as he got older and got into his 80's, he began to worry about what legacy, he was go to go leave.
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brian: did madison have any friends besides jefferson. mary: he was closer to jefferson. and once he married dolly madison, he was exceptionally close to her and moved into a circuit of people that she ran. he was close to james monroe who becomes another president and if you go to month pellier there is a wonderful -- montpelier and there is a wonderful dining room, they loved entertaining people with whom they didn't agree. so they had lots of very lively political discussions apparently down there.
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brian: some of the things you say. he tended to become sick. he was not a collector. more than anything, he left politics. the revolution had ended officially only four years earlier. i could go on and on. how did he live to be 85-years-old? i remember reading about how sick he was. mary: he perceived himself to be sick and you can read every story about madison has a different agree of what kind of actual sickness he had. that is something people debated. i don't think it matters what kind of sickness he had. he seems to have gotten sick under stress. but he never seemed to be terribly, terribly ill. he was one of the only -- not the only -- but one of the only people in that generation but one of the few people who never went abroad. he never goes to england or france. in some ways, he lived the kind
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of quiet life. but not surprising he lived a long time. his mother and father lived a long time. his mother i think live to be 97. she dies eight or nine years before he does. so it was in his jeans. genes. brian: he was secretary of state for eight years. mary: he was not a big traveler and takes a trip with jefferson to go up north to new england when they are single and a lot of historians and whether that was a secret trip to build political interests or not but they wrote in their letters, they felt a lot better. brian: our guest is a lawyer and teaches at boston college. her book is called "madison's hand: revising the constitutional convention". all about the notes from the constitutional convention. and our guest's name is mary sarah bilder. and we thank you very much. mary: thank you very much.
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