- Series 1. General Correspondence and Related Items, 1723-1859
- Series 2. Additional Correspondence and Related Items, 1780-1837
- Series 3. Madison-Armstrong Correspondence, 1813-1836
- Series 4. Autobiography, ca. 1751-1829; Legal Documents, 1779-1852
- Series 5. James Madison's and Thomas Jefferson's Notes on Debates, 1776-1788
- Series 6. Miscellaneous Manuscripts, ca. 1763-1836
Making up the bulk of the collection, the General Correspondence series contains letters received, drafts of letters sent, and items enclosed with the correspondence. All items are arranged chronologically.
Letters received, drafts of letters sent, and items enclosed with the correspondence. Materials in this series were restored to the Madison collection in 1958, after Senator William C. Rives had used them in his Madison biography. All are arranged chronologically.
Copies of letters written by James Madison to Secretary of War John Armstrong, and a few letters written by John Armstrong and others.
The first sub-series contains Madison's brief autobiography. Material in the second sub-series relates to the estate of Madison's father, James Madison Sr., and contains a copy of the younger James Madison's will. Also included are items documenting the purchase of Madison's papers.
- 5a - Jefferson's Notes on Debates in the Continental Congress, June 7-August 1, 1776.
- 5b - Madison's Original Notes on Debates in the Confederation Congress, 1782-1783--and copies of letters, 1780-1788
- 5c - John C. Payne's Copy of Madison's Original Notes on Debates in the Confederation Congress--and copies of letters, 1780-1788
- 5d - John C. Payne's Copy of Jefferson's Notes on Debates in the Continental Congress June-August 1776
- 5e - Madison's Original Notes on Debates in the Federal Convention, 1787
- 5f - John C. Payne's Copy of Madison's Original Notes on Debates in the Federal Convention, 1787
This series has six sub-series. The first sub-series contains notes sent by Thomas Jefferson to Madison in a letter dated June 1, 1783, which is filed by date in Series 1. The second sub-series, 5b, contains Madison's notes taken during the Confederation Congresses of 1782-83 as well as copies of some letters. Following these sub-series are John C. Payne's copies of these items. A further sub-series contains James Madison's notes from the Federal Convention of 1787, the gathering that framed the Constitution of the United States. John C. Payne also copied these notes and those follow in a separate sub-series. James Madison had requested that Payne copy these notes so that all necessary corrections could be included.
Includes James Madison's book manuscript "A Brief System of Logick," prepared while he was a student at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). Notes on the Articles of Confederation, exports and navigation, natural history, and the developing federal government; a Madison family tree; and Madison's copy of Alexander Hamilton's observations on the federal government are all presented in this final series of the Madison Papers' online presentation.