James Madison lithograph
- James Madison lithograph
- 19th Century Prison Reform Collection
- Gilbert Stuart pinxt.; W. Ball on stone
- ca. 1840
- Hartford, Connecticut: D.W. Kellogg
- Work Type:
- Auburn Prison.
Prisons > New York (State) > Auburn.
- Fourth President of the United States, James Madison reveals some early post-Revolutionary conceptions of criminal and social justice. Although he ultimately supported the Auburn System, Madison was considerably less reformist in other ways. Having grown up on a slave plantation, he came to view the institution as a necessary part of the Southern economy even though he was worried about the political instability of this dependence. Madison also proposed that apportionment in the United States Senate be determined by the sum of each state's free and slave populations, which eventually led to the adoption of the Three-Fifths Compromise. Believing former slaves would not assimilate well into Southern society, he suggested they establish their own African colonies in the late 1780s. By the 1830s, he became president of the American Colonization Society which founded the settlement of Liberia for former slaves. Madison did, however, favor an immediate end to the importation of slaves at the Philadelphia Convention, though the final document barred Congress from interfering with the international slave trade until 1808. In 1805 Joseph Bradley Varnum-- also included in this exhibit under "Mr. & Mrs. J B Varnum address"-- submitted a Massachusetts Proposition to amend the Constitution and Abolish the Slave Trade. The amendment was tabled until 1807 when he became Speaker of the House and it moved through Congress, passed by both houses on March 2, 1807. President Thomas Jefferson signed it into law on March 3, 1807. Unlike Madison's more conciliatory position, Varnum was a long-time opponent of slavery and argued in 1798 for the incorporation of the Mississippi Territory as a free state. Although he was not actively involved in the prison reform movement, Varnum's relationship with Governor Enos T Throop suggests the complex web of social reform linking these two movements. Setting Madison and Varnum side-by-side highlights the range of political opinion stretching this complex web of reform.
- Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
- Archival Collection:
- James Madison letter and lithograph, #6456
- Box Number:
- Folder Number:
- The content in the 19th Century Prison Reform Collection is believed to be in the public domain by virtue of its age, and is presented by Cornell University Library under the Guidelines for Using Text, Images, Audio, and Video from Cornell University Library Collections [http://hdl.handle.net/1813.001/CULCopyright]. This collection was digitized by Cornell University Library in 2017 from print materials held in the Rare and Manuscript Collections, with funding from a Digital Collections in Arts and Sciences Grant to Katherine Thorsteinson. For more information about these volumes, please contact the Rare and Manuscript Collections at firstname.lastname@example.org. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item.