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New Schedule: Beginning May 30, many Smithsonian museums will return to their normal operating hours, open seven days a week, including the National Portrait Gallery. We’re excited to welcome you! 

James Madison

James Madison
John Reich, 1768 - 1833
James Madison, 16 Mar 1751 - 28 Jun 1836
1814-1815; completed after the 1809 date on medal
7.6 x 7.6 x 0.3cm (3 x 3 x 1/8")
James Madison: Male
James Madison: Law and Law Enforcement\Lawyer
James Madison: Politics and Government\State Legislator\Virginia
James Madison: Politics and Government\Congressman\Continental congressman
James Madison: Politics and Government\President of US
James Madison: Politics and Government\Cabinet Member\Secretary of State
James Madison: Literature\Writer\Essayist
James Madison: Politics and Government\US Congressman\Virginia
James Madison: Politics and Government\Statesman\Signer of Constitution
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Betty A. and Lloyd G. Schermer
Restrictions & Rights
Object number
Exhibition Label
President George Washington began the practice of presenting peace medals to Indian chiefs on such important occasions as the signing of a treaty or a visit to the capital. By the time of Madison’s presidency, the Indians considered the medals an essential part of negotiations. In May 1812, John Mason, head of the Office of Indian Trade, ordered new Madison medals after learning that several chiefs would be visiting Washington. He did not want to give them leftover hollow Jefferson medals, knowing they preferred the solid ones the British gave out. Mason engaged John Reich, assistant to the chief coiner at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, to cut the dies and strike the medals. Finally, on December 17, 1814, twelve silver medals of three different sizes arrived in Washington. The largest, pictured here, was given to the most important Indian chiefs.
James Madison 1751–1836
John Reich (1768–1833)
Plata, 1814–15; acuñada después del año 1809 que aparece en la medalla
Galería Nacional de Retratos, Instituto Smithsonian, donación de Betty A. y Lloyd G. Schermer
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery