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The emigrant John Madison, a ship’s carpenter, patented land in 1658 near Currioman Bay in Westmoreland County, Virginia.  He was the grandfather of James Madison, the fourth president of the United States.  James was born in adjoining King George County in 1751.  Here begins two mysteries!  First, what was the attraction in Washington Parish, Westmoreland County in the Northern Neck of Virginia to entice the emigrant ancestors of three of our first five presidents to settle within a few miles of each other in this vast wilderness land?  Andrew Monroe in 1650 on Monroe Creek, John Washington in 1656 on Popes Creek, John Madison in 1658 near Currioman Bay.  Except to say that this is a naturally beautiful part of the world and would appear attractive to any wise and sensible emigrant, there so far, is no answer to this perplexing question.

Secondly, what was there in the upbringing of the immigrants’ descendants to inspire them to take leadership roles in the formation of our country and to challenge them to risk all in a fight with powerful Great Britain for our independence?  Again there is no definitive answer, except to suggest that the tobacco plantation lifestyle of the Northern Neck played an important part in forming the character, the honesty, the integrity, and soundness of mind of our Revolutionary leaders.  This subject deserves serious study to find the answer.

James Madison was born while his mother was visiting her parents’ home in Port Conway on the Rappahannock, in King George County, a few miles upriver from Leedstown.

It has been reliably reported that James Madison was tutored, along with James Monroe and John Marshall, by the Rev. Archibald Campbell.  This cannot be confirmed, however, Madison privately tutored and attended Princeton University where he was a classmate of Henry Lee (Robert E. Lee’s father) graduating in 1771.

Madison became a Virginia Delegate to Congress and to the Constitutional Convention.  As a member of Congress he drew up the Virginia Resolution of 1798.  In Jefferson’s administration he served as Secretary of State.  He was then elected to two terms as President.

During the “War of 1812,” Madison was president, James Monroe was Secretary of War, and General J.P. Hungerford and his Westmoreland militia chased the British out of Washington.