tv President James Madisons Life and Career CSPAN July 4, 2017 9:45pm-10:36pm EDT
archived. that's c-span.org/history. next on american history tv, author lynn cheney discusses president james madison's life and career. her book on it president first published in 2014 is "james madison, a life reconsidered." she also previews her up coming book about the four founding fathers from virginia. the society of the four carts in palm beach, florida hosted this event, which was part of the series on the founders. it's an hour and a half. >> i'll put it down for me, and then it has to come down a little bit more for dr. cheney. welcome history lovers.
good morning. i'm thrilled to welcome the fifth grade teachers and students and also stubts from palm beach atlantic university and faculty. thanks for being with us. dr. cheney has focused much of her life on teaching children american history so that the next generation can learn from the past. but before i introduce her, we had a surprise guest fly in from wyoming last night. and i would like dr. cheney's husband of 52 years, dick cheney to please stand up.
vice president cheney. [ applause ] thank you so much for coming. it means a lot to me and a lot to lynne. well, i'm honored to introduce this morning's distinguished speaker. and when i called her last year to invite her she said, am i the only speaker to hasn't won a pulitser prize, i said yes, but you're the only speaker who was second lady of the united states of america for eight years. if you google dr. cheney, you will be blown away by all of her awards and accomplishments. but as always i'm not going to
list all of that. i expect you to do that. but while she was head of neh, she published a report that warned about the failure of schools and institutions of higher learning to transmit accurate knowledge about the past to future generations. she said, quote, a system of education that fails to nurture memory of past denies students a great deal. one of the most successful series she funded when she was there was the civil war series by ken burns, which we all loved. and some projects were good and some were not. dr. cheney has authored 15 books. her most recent "james madison, a life reconsidered" is a masterful insight to one of the physically smallest of one of
the founding fathers but 1 of the most towering intellect and certainly the one with the most fun wife. i asked her what she most liked about madison, and she said, gay, i am most fascinated by people who work hard. she compared him to mozart. both were geniuses. what fascinates her is that for the first 36 years of our republic with the exception of four short years of john adams, the virginia dynasty was in power. of the 15 books she has written, five of them are history books for children. and we have bought them for all
of our grandchildren. and i've read them over and over with the grandchildren, who love them. and i'll just mention a few because you might want to performance them. "america, a for abigail, tells about the accomplishments of women in america. and, of course, the one that i love the most is when washington crossed the delaware and it tells about the general washington leading his ragtag army across the frozen river christmas night and a surprise attack on the enemy in trenton. it teaches children about courage, heroism, and dedication to your dreams. she was also a baton twirler as a child. she was known across the state of wyoming as flamboyant because her batons were sometimes set aflame at both ends. in 1954, she was wyoming's junior champion and in 1956, she
won the state senior championship medal. i asked her if he she'd be willing to show us a few of her tricks. she said you couldn't pay me enough. although i've heard that she still might do it for a big charity that is willing to give a lot of money to the charity. lynn vincent met young dick cheney in high school. the vice president told me that his father was choosing between two jobs, one was in casper, wyoming, one was in great falls, montana. he said, you know, gay, if we had gone to great falls, montana, i never would have met lynn. she would have met another fellow at high school, fall non love and married him and he would have become the vice president. dr. cheney wrote that high school was the most beautiful
building in yoe yeen the most beautiful building in casper. the second most beautiful building was the carnegie library which opened in 1910. she said by the time i started going there from 40 winters of hot water heating had worked to combine the scent of varnished wood with the acidic odor of aging books to create a wonderful smell, one that was unique in my experience n the 1950s, it was a haven for kids like lynn vincent who loved books. in this was a different time in the '40s and '50s. a lot of cuus can relate to it. teens and kids were free to run around and come and go and their #= juj didn't know where t were or worry. there was no pervasive fear of computers, cell phones blaring something ugly from aren't
country or the world. there was a feeling of optimism. i invited dr. cheney to come as the second lady to see 350 students on constitution day september 17th. as you know, it's the day that celebrates celebrates the adoption of the american constitution and her talk captivated the students. she in turn invited the entire board to come to the vice president's mansion and as you know resides on the observatory grounds and the ladies were deeply appreciative of the talk she gave us, the tour she gave us and all we learned from her. when i spoke to her a week ago, might not know? every day do the miriam webster vocabulary quizzes on my ipad.
dinlt know they existed. but ever since, i do it every morning. the fascinating fact is that people in their 60s or 70s or higher than those in their 30s andñi 40s. as our second lady of the united states dr. cheney lived at the highest level of national life. but she remained what she grew up to be in wyoming, a curious, hard-working scholar, down to earth, great fun, a beautiful and brilliant woman. the columnist george will calls her lynn is the really indispensable cheney. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome dr. lynn chainy.
>> you're taller than i am. well, thank you for that nice welcome. and let me thank gay for that terrific introduction. i got to get a printed copy, dick, so can you read it a lot. and gay for all of the hard work she's done and for her creative thinking to put this wonderful series of speeches together. so, gay, thank you. and thank all of you for being here today and for lofving the it took me five years to write the book about madison. that is not an excessively long time. i think if you ask your other presenters, it's a long process. but when you tell someone who isn't a writer it took you five years, they're stunned. and after being stunned about how long i spent on the book, they're stunned that i spent five years on madison.
and i completely loved the time i spent working on it. and i explain that i like madison because he wasn't a flamboyant character. he was reserved and he got things done without making a whole lot of fuss about it. and i think that is an achievement to be valued. the folks who are not pushing toward the microphone today are the ones that are just quietly moving ahead and getting things done and, boy, he got a lot done. one thing you will read is he was reserved. he wasn't a hail fellow, you know, ran around patting people on the back. he was so reserved that he
there is a man named jornlgd r george walker who described his first meeting with madison this wafrment the way, the impression made on me was calmness. madison was talking to james monroe when tucker encountered him. tucker later wrote it's possible he and monroe were discussing / 1hz#jñf0yc" accounted for i. but it was also possible that madison reserved a stern look for strangers. tucker never perceived madison that way afterwards. he was not tucker was not the only one to note how stern madison could be on first meeting. he gave away nothing to strangers, nothing. and it was often observed adds well that he was very3#::
public n private, he was witty, known to like madira and appreciate jokes that weren't fit for the dining room, the drawing room. i tried to say it fast becausest fifth graders. once it said his humor left a british ambassador utterly scandalized. madison wasn't tall. no more than 5'6" i said in my book. but as i think about it, 5'6" was reported by a man who admired him very much and may have exaggerated. 5'4" maybe a little closer to the mark. he was a nice looking gentleman. small, compact, nice looking. and he had a receding hairline that he made up for in a very stylish way. he combed his way forward and to a point like this. now is there anybody in audience that watches "blue bloods."
oh, my gosh. player named detective danny regan. and if you ever watch "blue bloods," danny rig r reagan is the one that jumps over a car at least once an episode. he's played by donnie wallberg who as those of who you watched it might guess, combs his hair exactly like james madison. now if i ever get the opportunity to do casting for someone writing about the founders, i'm going to suggest donnie wallberg. and i'm struck time and again when i read about washington how
important his physique was to his accomplishment. when abigail adams first met him and john had told her about washington she scolded john before she said not preparing herself for the phenomenon that general was, i thought the one half was not told me, she wrote. benjamin rush, dr. benjamin rush described washington this way -- there is not a king in europe that would not look like a valet by his side. what madison, though, lacked in stature, he more than made up for in brains. his presence as jefferson of self possession which placed at ready command the rich resources of his discriminating
mind. in my book as gay mentioned, i called madison a genius. this caused some heart burn among some critics. i'm happy, however, to stand my ground on that. madison not only saw the world he was born into, he saw how it could be different. and at age 36, he arrived at the philadelphia convention later known as the constitutional convention, full of this idea. and intent on creating a nation from the 13 states such as never had been seen before. just four years before they had thrown out the rule of great britain and went through a rocky time with the articles of confederation. but along comes madison and he is ready to change things. he is ready to make this totally new kind of nation. he imagined a vast republic.
now at that time, anyone thinking about such matters believed that a vast republic was impossible. a little republic maybe, you know, one where all the descends we citizens were a little homogenous but one that covered territory as large as the 13 states was sure to be pulled apart by all the interest and ambitions of its many inhappen tant -- inhabitants. that was the idea. that a vast republic was impossible and people believed that for a very long time. madison's insight was to perceive that all those different interests and ambitions that other people had been afraid about that in fact
those were crucial to a republic survival. lashing viewpoints would keep any one view point, even of that a majority from becoming t tyrannical. it is amazing to read about someone that changed the way people think and read further about how important his insight was, how transformtive it was in part because it brought the idea of a republic down to earth. it didn't require a citizenry of self-effacing angels to make it work. it wouldn't be a place where everyone had to stifle his or her ideas and aspirations for the same of unity. ordinary people could live there and pursue their dreams it is
something that people around the world aspire. bringing the idea much the extended trouk be extended republic to bear at a time when a great nation was to be created was madison's first act of creative genius. but by no means his last. he more than anyone else would be responsible for the united states of america as we know it today. his time of great achievement came after years of intense focus, deep concentration, and nearly obsessive effort. behavior that described most lives of genius, isaac newton to mozart. let me give you an idea of how hard he worked on the runup to the convention in philadelphia. he began an intense study of
laws and constitutions. he'd been interested in this idea since he was in his 20s. but with books that jefferson shipped him from paris or jefferson was an envoy, he began this really intense study. and a relative said with the madisons vashgs madisons, virginia is one big cousinry. but he stepped back from this constant socializing that most virginians participated in. and he started working really hard. a relative who came to see him wrote in his diary that madison came to breakfast at which he ate sparingly and then would go to his room until a little before dinner. so while everyone else was riding horses and playing games, madison was in his room working. now he knew that washington's
presence at the convention could make all the difference. washington was so admired, so loved by the american people by this time that if he were there at the convention would have a greater chance of success and if he weren't so he wrote letter after letter urging the general to attend. he also traveled through a snowstorm, a blizzard really to the confederation congress in new york to be sure that congress people were onboard. he worked really hard. he also left for philadelphia early from new york. in fact, he was the first out of state delegate there. that meant he could greet the other delegates as they arrived and in particular the delegates from virginia. madison was there early. he brought them all together and
all together they produced the virginia plan which as you all know set the agenda for the constitutional convention. during the convention, madison is one of the delegates who spoke most often and he made crucial, criticalibilial interventions. which the convention was about to write off into the contusion and they had the power to make war, madison stook up and successfully changed it to declare war. thus making a president commander in chief. now if you think about it, we would have not ever done so well, i'm sorry, dick, to mention this if, all the congressmen were in charge of our war, of war, it would not have been successful. so this was a really important intervention. while he's speaking and understanding how important it
is to get the words just right, madison was also taking notes. he sat up at the front of the room and wrote the notes out as who said what in shorthanded and then went back to his room at night and transcribed them. i could talk about his central role in getting the constitution ratified, working at breakneck speed to put out the federalist, madison described this effort as having to get the papers to the printer while the printer still working on the last ones. he wrote 40 essays. it was an magz accomplishment. i could also cite work as a leader. add the bill of rights to the constitution. so i think that mad soin's genius was a product of hard
work. it was like mozart and newton and einstein. 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration to quote thomas edison. and like mozart, einstein and edison, james madison changed the world. when he was well, he was very, very well. traveling 1,000 miles through new york with lafayette. travel tloug th traveling through that blizzard to new york, indeed getting from montpelier to philadelphia was quite a challenge. his trips were over roads that wouldn't be called roads today. he often traveled in the rain.
i'm struck by how often it was muddy on those roads. and one time it was worse than that. he was forced to dismantle his carriage, take the whole carriage apart over a swollen pond and then he had to swim his horses across. so this is an extraordinary amount of energy to spend if you're sickly. now it's true that madison had the gastrointestinal problems that plagued almost everyone in the 18th century. this is a time, remember, when people believed that illness was caused by bad air and doctors didn't wash their hands. but in addition to the common ailments of the day, madison suffered from what he calls sudden attacks which he described as somewhat resembling epilepsy and suspending the
intellectual functions. madison's most influential biographer described these attacks as epileptic hiss takra. epileptic hysteria. in fact, madison's description fits today's understanding of epilepsy. his sudden attacks may well have been complex partial seizures which leave the affected person conscious but with his or her comprehension and ability to communicate impaired with the intellectual function suspended as madison said. such attacks lasted minutes and may leave the affected person tired and confuse ford a short time after but they're not necessarily disabling. nor do they prevent exertion. madison was lucky enough when
terrible things were described, prescribed for epilepsy, mercury, for example, madison was lucky enough to encounter doctors who told him to exercise. what a modern thing to think. it's often recommended to day for people who suffer from epilepsy as he rode and walked over the hills of the virginia piedmont, he became bitter, ready to take 1,000 mile journey with lafayette or to hold office. now i find research like this fascinating. i could happily spend days reading 18th century medical manuals. they make me feel very lucky that we aren't prescribing the same remedies to day. but when you're writing a book, you have to ask yourself, is what you're doing important? does it offer insight into the person you're writing about? and in madison's case, i believe it does.
a hype con dree 5:00 or someone given to hysterical episodes is quite different from someone who has an identifiable ailment and manages to achieve greatly in spite of it. understanding madison's ailment also explains certain things did he and didn't do. he wanted to be a soldier as the revolution was coming on. he wanted to be a rifleman. he was a good shot. he told a friend he could hit the length of a football field with an 18th century weapon. but his military career came to a sudden end when during training he suffered what was likely one of his sudden attacks. madison had suf madison had several chances to go to europe and always turned them down. i just realized a day or two ago, he was the only one who never set foot out of the united
states. medical manuals of the day recommended that people with epilepsy avoid deep water. presumably because a seizure could cause you to fall overboard and drown. that's when jefferson suggested that madison visit him in france. madison declined. writing to jefferson that he had "some reason to suspect that crossing the sea would be unfriendly to a singular disease of my constitution." madison was a long defender, a life long defender of religious freedom and when we try to answer the question of this lecture series proposed how has the past influenced the present? it's his battle for religious freedom that i always think of. the constitution was absolutely essential. that's the ground floor. but this fight for religious
freedom was inspired in part by the treatment of baptist that's he witnessed in virginia when he was a young man. they were arrested, charged with preaching without a license, and thrown in jail by people subscribing to what madison called that diabolical, hell conceived principle of prosecution and he declared in a note religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise. he spoke with authority of a man who knew the misery of being bound to a received viewpoint. probably because he had experienced it firsthand. the standard religious view of the time was that people with epilepsy were lunatics, they were called that. they were the most orthodox
religious people that they were unclean, sinful, even possessed by the devil. it's easy to see him being indignent and free people that exceeded him. he worked with his long time friend whose life long friend thomas jefferson. they worked together in his cause and one of their proudest achievements is the virginia statute for religious freedom. you have been to monticello. he know it's one of the three accomplishments that he put over his grave. jefferson was the author of the statute. and he declared that neither religious nor political leaders had any dominion over the faith of others. punishing people for their religious beliefs or declaring them unworthy of public office was depriving them of advantages
with which they had a natural right. our civil rights, jefferson wrote, have no dependence on our religious opinions any more than our opinions in psychics or geometry. now again, madison and jefferson were on the frontier of thought here. it had long been believed that there should be an established church in the church in a case of virginia. and that religious conformity had to be imposed. but madison and jefferson saw it differently. now the statute failed to pass when they first tried to get it through the virginia assembly. then jefferson went off to paris for five years and while he was gone, madison who was the sharpest politician among the founders, he saw an opportunity and he got it passed. he wrote an xult anlt letter to jefferson in which he declared,
the statute extinguished the ambitious hope of making laws for the human mind. his high regard for the statute has been shared by generations. martin marty who is much admired thee loathian called the statute, and i quote, "an ethical shift in the western world's approach to relations between the civil and religious fears. by dividing them with the state on one hand and church on the other, vthe virginia statute isa hin hinge between the ages." i think when we're on this sidest change the founders accomplished, it's hard to realize it because they had become so much a part of our lives. well, madison made many decisions. but perhaps the wisest was marrying his wife. it was out walk ong a spring day
in 1794 and he caught sight of her and was instantly smitten. this happened regularly to men who saw dolly. she was nearly 5'8," a shapely figure, black hair, blue eyes and a startling pale complexion which she learned to shield from the virginia sun. she came from a quaker family which had not for her been a good fit. this is my favorite storey. a quaker matron recalled during an effort to convince dolly much the seriousness of life, the young girl first smiled and then afterwards fell fast asleep. the 26-year-old dolly was recently widowed. her husband john had died in a yellow fever epidemic the year before madison saw her.
and so had her 3 mo-month-old m baby leaving her with a son who was 2 and his son was payne todd. madison who was 43, now dolly is 26 and madison 43, i don't want you to miss that, turned to erin burr, this is the one big kuzry thing even with you're not related in the 18th century of the united states, everybody knew everybody. he turned to aaron burr because he and burr had gone to princeton together and he arranged an interduction. dolly was thrilled at the prospect. she wrote to a friend, now must come to see me. thou must come see me, aaron burr is bringing -- i love this line, the great little madison to see me this evening. dolly wore mull berry satin and yellow glass beads to greet james in her parlor and four months later they were married.
now i am of the conviction that political wives, political spouses generally can't really do much to help their husband's or wife's career. it's a good thing that a political spouse behaves him or herself and stays out of trouble but as a general rule, unless they are rich, political spouses don't do much to forward their ambitions. now, of course, every rule there is an exception and in this case as you'll guess, it was dolly. she had an artless way of entertaining. it seemed artless. invited women as well as men to their house on f street in the new city of washington. she included federalists as well as republicans. while james was talking with one or two guests, dolly was talking to everyone. as one guest reported, she was very friendly and exceedingly
president anlt and sensible in conversation. she also served southern comfort food which was an advantage. she particularly liked to serve ham vounldsurrounded by mashed cabbage. now a spouse to entertain this way today or the least some spouses and dick will be glad to tell you i have not mastered the art of cooking. he likes to say that during the first couple years of our marriage i pretended as though i knew how to cook and he pretended as though he liked it. but entertaining fellow office holders is what dolly was doing is not an effective thing to do today. it's not important in the way it used to be. and in madison's day, republican office holders decided through the republican nominee for president would be. now generally speaking, life of a congressman in the 18th century in the new city of
washington was pretty miserable. there was nothing to do besides go to your boreding house where the other congressmen lived. there were a few things. there is one place i puzzle over this for very long time, you could go and watch dancers. now i wondered what to could be. i think i have concluded that with people on a tight rope. that's my best thought. but the congressmen ate and slept in boardinghouses on capitol hill and one member described it as living like spares. brutalized and stupfied from hearing nothing but politics morning tonight. all this made an evening at the madison house particularly welcome and it shined a light on madison's warm and personable side. he became the nominee for president in 1808.
sworn into office in 1809. and moved into the white house with the remarkable dolly. she had open house every wednesday. anybody could come. and she seemed to understand that she was part of the entertainment. her choice of dramatic clothes never failed to impress. one outfit that i'm particularly struck by was a robe of pink satin trimmed with velvet. a white and velvet turn inwith ostrich plumes and a crescent in front, gold chains around the waist and wrists. she was probably two, three inches taller than james without a turbin but this outfit made her a foot taller and she doesn't mind and neither did he. but the time did not last. the british were at war with france. and decided it would help them
if they shut down u.s. trade with france and they needed more sailors. so they started stopping american ships and taking off board and putting it into their navy anybody they suspected of not being an american. now because, of course, many people in the united states had come from england, they were often taking american citizens. i heard that -- i read some place that one of the devices for decide wlg you were an american or not is to zou say the word peas. and if anyone said pays, they took them right away. now the idea of our citizens being sieged was, of course, very objectionable. and in june of 1812 congress declared war. and madison became the first president to carry the nation into war under the constitution.
now we often here about the glorious victories at sea in that war. such as the victory of the uss constitution, the 18 pound balls that the british ships fired at the constitution seemed to bounce off its sides which would lead to the ship being called old iron side. within 30 minutes of trying to take down the constitution, the british surrendered. but there are humiliating losses on land and then the biggest humiliation of all, the british march on washington and burned it. now can you still see the burn marks in the capitol of the united states as well as in the white house. but i happen to be in the capitol with queen elizabeth when she was visiting the united states and we were being toured around by really excellent guides. and this guide pointed out, you know, right here you can see
where the evidence of the british having burned the white house. here were some big, big pieces of wood and they had ash on them. and queen elizabeth, i'll never forget said, well, did you the same thing to york. now york is toronto today. and, indeed, we had set some fires. so the british have not gotten over this. is john here? so there were these humiliating losses on land. but that's not where the war ended. andrew jackson won a great victory over the british at the battle of new orleans. it's been said that jackson's victory didn't mean anything since the treaty had already been signed. but to the contrary, it showed that united states could be as powerful on land as well as at
sea. we're also showed that free speech could survive in wartime. despite being tried by americans who condemned the war and even talked of succession, madison never wavered in his commitment to free speech. he proved that a republic could defend itself and remain a republic still. perhaps the highest praise that madison received came from john adams who had not always admired virginia. madison's administration, adams wrote, acquired more glory and established more union than all three of his predecessors. washington, adams, and jefferson put together. what a wonderful compliment. i was thinking that you might like to know a little bit about some of the people that i felt obliged to leave out of the
speech since it would have gone on and on forever. and one of the people, these are women for the most part, they do tend to get push add side in the history of the early republic, but one of the women was madison's grandmother, francis madison. i first became interested in her because of a note she wrote when madison was a child. they were all living together. her note looked like a shopping list. and at the top of it it said, for an epilepsy. the 18th century medical books that i so much enjoy taught me that some of the items on her list, root, safrin, camfor were thought to be good for breaking a fever which suggests that madison may have had fever related seizures as a child. they are not regarded as epilepsy today but can be part of a syndrome. seizures at a child, epileptic
seizures as an adult. francis was quite a woman much the more i learned about her, the more interesting i found her. she and her husband were the first to move the first of their family to move to the virginia piedmont and not long after they moved there, it was the frontier. she died poisoned by slaves, the records say. and running the plantation fell to her. she had to learn the details of going to back up, when to plant the seeds, when to move the plants, when to top them, when to cut the leaves, how long to cure them. and when the time came to pack the tobacco into hogs head for transport to market, francis carved her name on each one of the barrels. this is a remarkable instance of a woman forwarding herself and she should have. she had made the tobacco in those barrels. her orders from london merchants
were what might be expected from a tobacco grower. she ordered axes, a pair of boots. but while she did the work of a man on a virginia frontier, she also upheld her era's standards of womanhood. fabric for dresses was among her orders. as were two good stays size small. now i may be more interested in grandmothers than i should be. but as i said, from aen sis wan the woman. another woman, i wouldn't call her quite a woman, but she was important to history, her name is kitty floyd. now kitty was 15 years old, a round faced young woman. she lived with her family in the same boardinghouse that madison and jefferson did. and madison, 31, noticed that.
31, he fell in love. now i shouldn't make too much of the age difference because in the 18th century, 15 or 16 as kitty was about to be was considered a perfect age to marry. so madison 31 fell in love with her. this was 1783 when 15 was considered quite a marriageable age and madison wanted to marry her. jefferson took up his cause. i lot of idea of these two friends interacting this way. he went to talk to kitty and to play up madison's case and he wrote to madison and said, i think i got it fixed. well, it turned out not. jefferson was always the optimist. kitty had seemed ameanable but then she and her family traveled to new jersey and madison waited to hear from her about the upcoming wedding and he didn't hear. and he didn't hear. and so finally he got a dear john letter.
he poured his hurt and his heart out to jefferson who gave him great advice. he told him, the world will present many other resources of happiness. and you possess many within yourself. en that and thiscy manyist fafrment firmness of mind and unintermitting occupation will not long leave new pain. in other words, throw yourself into your work. and that is exactly what madison did. kitty went on to marry a medical student. his name was william clarkson and he later became a clergyman. kitty was a spend thrift n a will her forge wrote that he had given kitty and her husband considerable sums of money and attractive land but the father complained all is spent and gone. he ordered his son nicholas having cut her out of his will, he ordered his son nicholas to give her $70 a month.
now it's quite possible to think that disappoint the as madison was, prostart was the better for the breakup e was about to enter the most consequential lives of his life and they were lonelier without kitty and they were probably more productive and if you will pardon me for reading history backwards, i would also like to observe that had madison married kitty floyd, there would have been no dolly madison. so i've done my best to get the women into the story. and they have fascinating stories as well. but i just want to thank all of you for being here today. thank gay again. the president of montpelier is here today with us today. i really appreciate all the great things that have been done to montpelier. i would recommend that you visit it and see the evolution of
marianne scott dupont and a very wealthy woman, she was married to randolph scott for a while bought montpelier and enlarged it and covered it with pink stucco. so the challenge at monlt pillier is get it back to what it might have looked like, what it looked like when the madisons were here and the effort is remarkable. so thank you, montpelier. thank you, gay, for arranging this, and thank all of you for being here. thank you. before we begin, i just want to again acknowledge and thank the former vice president of the united states dick cheney for come together program today.