James Madison was tired. For three years the U.S. had fought the British Empire, witnessed the burning of its own capital and come close to being defeated by its former colonial masters. But by the summer of 1816, the War of 1812 was over, the British had left and the U.S. was in the process of rebuilding itself. And for President Madison, it was time for a break. His term was winding down and he was not seeking re-election, so he slipped out of the capital to head back to his home in Montpelier Station, Va. He left Washington in June and didn't return until October, a nice five months in the countryside. For someone who became known as the "Father of the Constitution," helped found a nation and then led that nation through one of its most trying times, can you blame him?