Called the "Chief Architect of the Constitution," he wrote many of the Federalist
Papers which helped convince States to ratify the Constitution.
He introduced the First Amendment in the first session of Congress.
This was James Madison, born MARCH 16, 1751.
At the onset of the War of 1812, President James Madison proclaimed a Day
Prayer, July 9, 1812, stating:
"I do therefore recommend...rendering the Sovereign of the Universe...public
homage...acknowledging the transgressions which might justly provoke His
divine displeasure...seeking His merciful forgiveness...
and with a reverence for the unerring precept of our holy religion, to do to
others as they would require that others should do to them."
The next year, on July 23, 1813, Madison issued another Day of Prayer, referring to:
"religion, that gift of Heaven for the good of man."
Beginning with the French Revolution in 1789, Napoleon gained prominence with his military prowess till he controlled most of Europe.
In 1805, Napoleon's navy was defeated at the Battle of Trafalgar, giving Britain
mastery of the seas.
In 1812, Napoleon invaded Russia with nearly 500,000 men, and six month later left
Russia with less than 50,000.
Napoleon abdicated, April 6, 1814, and was exiled to the Island of Elba.
This freed up British forces, which were sent to control Lake Eire and invade
New York, New Orleans and Washington, D.C.
On August 24, 1814, a force of 4,500 British soldiers marched toward Washington, D.C.
In a panic, citizens hastily evacuated. Dolly Madison is credited with saving the Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington by having it cut out of its frame.
Her carriage was riding out of the city as British Admiral George Cockburn was
Admiral Cockburn entered the White House, ate dinner, then set it on fire.
He had British soldiers sit in the Congressmen's chairs and hold a mock Congress.
When he asked who was in favor of burning the Capitol, they yelled, "aye," and
proceeded to torch the Capitol, the Treasury, the Patent Office, the Library of
Congress and the Navy Yard.
Suddenly, dark clouds rolled in, wind and thunder grew into a "frightening roar,"
and lightning began striking.
A tornado touched down sending debris flying, blowing off roofs, knocking down
chimneys and walls on British troops.
Two cannons were lifted off the ground and dropped yards away. Violent winds slammed both horse and rider to the ground.
The book, Washington Weather, recorded British Admiral George Cockburn exclaiming to a lady:
"Great God, Madam! Is this the kind of storm to which you are
accustomed in this infernal country?"
To which the lady replied:
"No, Sir, this is a special interposition of Providence to drive our enemies from our city."
A British historian wrote:
"More British soldiers were killed by this stroke of nature than from all the firearms the American troops had mustered in the feeble defense of their city."
As British forces fled, torrential rains fell for two hours, extinguishing the fires.
They marched back to their ships with difficulty on roads covered with downed trees only to find two ships blown ashore and others with damaged riggings.
On September 1, 1814, Madison wrote:
"The enemy by a sudden incursion has succeeded in invading the capitol of the nation...During their possession... though for a single day only, they wantonly destroyed the public edifices...
An occasion which appeals so forcibly to the...patriotic devotion of the American people, none will forget...
Independence...is now to be maintained...with the strength and resources
which...Heaven has blessed."
Less than 3 months later, Madison proclaimed a National Day of Public
Humiliation, Fasting & Prayer to Almighty God on November 16, 1814, stating:
"The two Houses of the National Legislature having by a joint resolution
expressed their desire that in the present time of public calamity and war,
a day may be recommended to be observed by the people of the United
as a day of public humiliation and fasting and of prayer to Almighty God for
the safety and welfare of these States, His blessing on their arms, and a
speedy restoration of peace...of confessing their sins and transgressions,
and of strengthening their vows of repentance...
that He would be graciously pleased to pardon all their offenses...I have
deemed it proper...to recommend...a day of...humble adoration to the
Great Sovereign of the Universe."
Two weeks after the War ended, Madison proclaimed a National Day of Thanksgiving & Devout Acknowledgment to Almighty God, March 4, 1815.