Senior Associate Editor David B. Mattern Retires, February 2018
After 30 years of outstanding contributions to the Papers of James Madison, senior associate editor David B. Mattern has chosen to retire and enjoy life outside the project. Hired as an assistant editor for the final volume of the Congressional Series, David then transferred to the Secretary of State Series and over the years was promoted to associate editor and senior associate editor. In 2009 he published the first volume of the Retirement Series, which he championed and directed up until his retirement. David also served as the project's second-in-command, assisting our editor-in-chief in management and personnel matters. His many publications outside the project include James Madison's "Advice to My Country" (1997) and The Selected Letters of Dolley Payne Madison (2003). We will miss his wealth of knowledge, fluent French, sense of humor, and general good nature, and we sincerely wish him all the best in his new life.
Photo credit gratefully given to Philip F. McEldowney, UVa Librarian for Middle East and South Asia Studies, 8/2018.
The American Homefront, 1812-1815
J. C. A. Stagg's essay, "The American Homefront, 1812-1815," was published in The Routledge Handbook to the War of 1812, edited by Donald R. Hickey and Connie D. Clark (New York, 2016), a collection of 19 essays on numerous aspects of the War of 1812. Professor Stagg's essay considers the question of whether and how the conflict "reshape[d] pre-war patterns of culture, economic activity, politics, and social structure in ways that produce[d] significant and long-lasting change."
Associate Editor Mary A. Hackett Retires, October 2015
After 28 years editing the Secretary of State Series of the Papers of James Madison, associate editor Mary A. Hackett has taken a well-deserved retirement to pursue other life goals. We will miss her wealth of knowledge about early-19th-century international affairs, her Spanish translation skills, and her insight, sense of humor, and dry wit. We wish her all the best in her new endeavors.
A Companion to James Madison and James Monroe
Madison Papers editor-in-chief J. C. A. Stagg, senior associate editor David B. Mattern, and associate editor Mary A. Hackett contributed essays to A Companion to James Madison and James Monroe (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013).
This volume in the Blackwell Companions to American History series, edited by Stuart Leibiger, features 32 essays "from leading academics" that explore the "achievements of two of America's most accomplished statesmen." Contributors "consider various aspects of the lives and legacies of [Madison and Monroe], synthesiz[ing] the latest findings, and offer[ing] new insights based on original research into primary sources." This volume also "addresses [popular] topics . . . such as Madison and slavery." (Wiley copy)
The Journal of Military History
In October 2012, The Journal of Military History published two pieces by J. C. A. Stagg: an article entitled "United States Army Officers in the War of 1812: A Statistical and Behavioral Portrait," and a book review of The Encyclopedia of the War of 1812, ed. Spencer C. Tucker. Additionally, Dr. Stagg's War of 1812: Conflict for a Continent is reviewed in this issue by John R. Grodzinski.
1812: A Nation Emerges
J. C. A. Stagg contributed an essay, "James Madison's America," to this illustrated volume which accompanies the National Portrait Gallery exhibition of the same name (Smithsonian Institution, 15 June 2012 through 27 January 2013). The volume was published in May 2012 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
"Marking the two-hundredth anniversary of the [War of 1812], this book explores how the United States was transformed and unified by the individuals who took part . . . . It also provides an overview of the battles, the negotiations for peace, the aftermath . . . and the great commercial, industrial, and cultural expansion that followed, transforming the United States into a world power" (jacket copy).
The War of 1812: Conflict for a Continent
The War of 1812: Conflict for a Continent, by Madison Papers editor-in-chief J. C. A. Stagg, became available for purchase on 24 April 2012 from Cambridge University Press.
"This book is a narrative history of the many dimensions of the War of 1812—social, diplomatic, military, and political—which places the war's origins and conduct in transatlantic perspective. The events of 1812-1815 were shaped by the larger crisis of the Napoleonic Wars in Europe. In synthesizing and reinterpreting scholarship on the war, Professor J. C. A. Stagg focuses on the war as a continental event, highlighting its centrality to Canadian nationalism and state development. The book introduces the war to students and general readers, concluding that it resulted in many ways from an emerging nation-state trying to contend with the effects of rival European nationalisms, both in Europe itself and in the Atlantic world." (Cambridge University Press copy)
Named a Cambridge Book Club selection, The War of 1812: Conflict for a Continent will be discussed on Facebook, Twitter, and by Dr. Stagg in book readings and signings through June 2012 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of this pivotal event in American history.
The Papers of James Madison Digital Edition
The Papers of James Madison went digital, 28 April 2010, with the online alpha prerelease of the seventeen Congressional Series volumes through ROTUNDA, the digital publishing wing of the University of Virginia Press. These volumes, part of the American Founding Era collection, are available on a subscription basis.
In addition, preliminary transcriptions of over 9,000 as-yet-unpublished Madison documents are available for free through the ROTUNDA Founders Early Access project. These documents were prepared and reviewed by the staff of Documents Compass, a program of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, but have not yet been reviewed or annotated by Papers of James Madison staff.
Borderlines in Borderlands
Borderlines in Borderlands: James Madison and the Spanish-American Frontier, 1776-1821, by the Madison Papers editor-in-chief J. C. A. Stagg, was published in 2009 by Yale University Press.
"In examining how the United States gained control over the northern borderlands of Spanish America, this work reassesses the diplomacy of President James Madison. Historians have assumed Madison's motive in sending agents into the Spanish borderlands between 1810 and 1813 was to subvert Spanish rule, but ... Stagg argues that his real intent was to find peaceful and legal resolutions to long-standing disputes over the boundaries of Louisiana at a time when the Spanish-American empire was in the process of dissolution. Drawing on an array of American, British, French, and Spanish sources, the author describes how a myriad cast of local leaders, officials, and other small players affected the borderlands diplomacy between the United States and Spain, and he casts new light on Madison's contribution to early American expansionism" (jacket copy).
The Selected Letters of Dolley Payne Madison
The Selected Letters of Dolley Payne Madison, edited by David B. Mattern and Holly C. Shulman, was published in 2003 by the University of Virginia Press.
This "rich selection of [Dolley Payne Todd Madison's] letters ... illuminates the story of the woman widely credited with setting the standard for successive generations of Washington's political women. This collection will prove an invaluable resource in current political and historical circles, where the role founding mothers played—both as supportive family members and as crucial political negotiators—is increasingly recognized and studied. ... From her correspondence as a young adult in late eighteenth-century Philadelphia [through] the letters of her widowhood in 1840s Washington," this volume "provides a detailed view of the life of one of the early republic's most fascinating personalities" (jacket copy).
"Madison Preserved Freedoms While Waging War"
On Madison's 251st birthday, March 16, 2002, J. C. A. Stagg, the editor in chief of the Papers of James Madison, gave a speech at Montpelier, Madison's homestead in Orange County, Virginia, from which this piece was condensed. Seventeen newspapers printed it, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch ("Madison Put Liberty First," July 14, 2002), the Albany Times Union ("Make Madison the Model on Civil Liberties," July 2, 2002), the Detroit Free Press ("Fight for Free Speech Resounds in the Legacy of James Madison," July 3, 2002), the Wilmington Morning Star ("Lessons from the War of 1812," July 4, 2002), the Raleigh News & Observer ("Madison: War and Liberty," July 4, 2002), the Contra Costa Times ("Madison a Good Example of War President," July 7, 2002), and the Charlotte Observer ("Mr. Madison's Example," July 16, 2002).
Two More Articles by Editor-in-Chief J. C. A. Stagg
"The Madison Administration and Mexico: Reinterpreting the Gutiérrez-Magee Raid of 1812–1813," by J. C. A. Stagg, appeared in the April 2002 issue of the William and Mary Quarterly. Here, also, is a second piece by Dr. Stagg on "The Political Essays of William Shaler".
On C-SPAN: The Madisons and the Octagon
On June 29, 1998, Holly Shulman, co-editor of The Selected Letters of Dolley Madison and Research Associate Professor of Studies in Women and Gender at the University of Virginia, appeared on C-SPAN's Washington Journal, along with Eryl Platzer, Director of the Octagon House, to talk about the Madison presidency, the Octagon, and the burning of the White House in August 1814. (After they were burned out of the White House, the Madisons took up temporary residence in the Octagon House.) Ms. Shulman and Ms. Platzer also answered questions submitted by the audience via telephone, fax, and e-mail.
"Spotlight on Our Nation's Founders"
Read this article published in the Spring 1998 issue of the University of Virginia publication Explorations about editing the papers of two of the Founding Fathers, George Washington and James Madison. (Pictured is J. C. A. Stagg, editor in chief of the Papers of James Madison.)
Madison Quote Book
James Madison's "Advice to My Country," published in 1997 by Madison Papers senior associate editor David B. Mattern, is available from the University of Virginia Press.
"A window into the mind of one of our greatest Founders," the volume "is designed as a ready reference to Madison's thought, including his most perceptive observations on government and human nature. This compendium brings together excerpts from his writings on a variety of political and social issues, ranging from agriculture to free trade, from religion and the state to legislative power, from friendship to fashion, from slavery to unity. Madison is widely cited by politicians, lawyers, and judges because many of the issues he wrote about, such as education, trade, and support for the arts, have contemporary relevance. ... With passages cross-referenced to The Papers of James Madison volumes, it [serves] as a guide to investigate Madison's views further" (jacket copy).
Angelica Schuyler Church Exhibit
Madison Papers associate editor Mary A. Hackett transcribed and edited letters from the Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson for the 1996 exhibit "Muse and Confidante: the Angelica Schuyler Church Archive" in the special collections department then housed at Alderman Library, University of Virginia.