James Madison is a character in Hamilton and the 4th President of the United States. He serves as an antagonist for a majority of Act 2. He is a friend of Thomas Jefferson and is portrayed by Okieriete Onaodowan.
James Madison's first appearance in the musical (besides "Alexander Hamilton") is at the end of Act One, when Aaron Burr is telling the audience about how Alexander Hamilton exceeded expectations and wrote 51 essays for The Federalist Papers, and mentions that Madison wrote twenty-nine of the eighty-five essays ("Non-Stop").
After Thomas Jefferson returns from France after a long break, Madison greets him and pleads with him to help in the political struggle he is going through. Madison claims that Hamilton's financial plan was a heist of power, given to the government. ("What'd I Miss"). Thomas Jefferson promptly confronts Hamilton in a cabinet battle and in an argumentative manner reminds him that he will need congressional approval before the plan goes through. Madison agrees and comments that it would be difficult without his and Jefferson's agreement ("Cabinet Battle 1").
Traits and Personality:
Madison in the musical is portrayed as much more reserved and quiet than Jefferson. Madison is also shown to be holding a handkerchief throughout act two. This is a reference to the real life Madison's delicate health and many illnesses.
Madison suffered from a number of seizures that were categorized as being epilepsy, although have since been re-diagnosed as epileptoid hysteria At this time, he also had depression and hypochondria. James Madison goes on to become the 4th President of the United States. It is briefly mentioned in the end, in the song Who lives, who dies, who tells your story, when Burr mentions him as President Madison.