A Birthday Discovery for Dolley

Montpelier Staff

In the early nineteenth century, many fashionable men and women including Napoleon Bonaparte, Henry Clay, Queen Charlotte of England (wife of George III), and Dolley Madison dipped snuff. The nicotine stimulant made from ground tobacco leaves was typically stored in a small highly decorated box made of silver, tortoise shell, or other decorative material. 

Montpelier Has Your Weekend Plans Covered

Montpelier Staff

Looking for something to do this weekend? Montpelier has your ticket for family fun!

The We the People Journey

Montpelier Staff

The Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier runs both the District of Columbia and Virginia We the People programs. Both the DC and Virginia teams competed at the recent 2012 We the People National Finals, which tests students on their knowledge of the Constitution. 

Field Slave Quarters Excavation Begins

Montpelier Staff

The Archaeology team has begun its excavations at the quarters for field slaves, located just below the visitor center.  We are searching for the remains of the homes for farm slaves who lived in this area from the late 1700s-1844.  Back in 2002, when we were planning for the construction of the visitor center, we located a very well preserved farm complex dating back to the Madison era.

Historic Garden Week: “The spring advances – The flowers are blooming – the trees changeing green.” – Dolley Madison, April 1818

Montpelier Staff

April 21-28, Montpelier will celebrate the Garden Club of Virginia’s Historic Garden Week along with sister historic sites and landmarks across the commonwealth. The Orange County Tour, entitled “Mr. Madison’s Neighborhood,” includes stops at James Madison’s Montpelier,  Somerset Plantation, Mayhurst Inn, and Woodley.

Celebrating Battleship

Montpelier Staff

In honor of the 74th anniversary of Battleship’s victory at Aintree and the long legacy of the duPont family at Montpelier, a collection of additional notable duPont objects are now on display in the William duPont Gallery at the Montpelier Visitor Center.

A New Reason to Hike with a Smartphone

Montpelier Staff

The vision of forest sustainability, as imagined by James Madison at Montpelier, stood in contrast to the wanton resource extraction he observed in the early 1800s.  Today, those same forests have not only recovered, they are sustainably managed and boast the Commonwealth of Virginia’s first smartphone tree ID trail.

Montpelier Mythbusters: Dolley Madison’s Easter Egg Roll

Montpelier Staff

One of the most oft-repeated yet ill-cited pieces of Madison lore suggests Dolley Madison instituted the famous Easter egg roll on the White House lawn. When the tale appeared in published monograph, it was often paired with such qualifying phrases as “according to tradition” or “as the story goes.” 

Happy Birthday, Mr. Madison!

Montpelier Staff

On March 16, we celebrated a very special birthday at the home of the Father of the Constitution! Montpelier welcomed friends from all over to celebrate James Madison’s 261st birthday!

Metal Detectorists Help Montpelier Discover Slave History

Montpelier Staff

This past week twelve metal detector experts from Minelab Americas attended a week-long metal detecting program to help archaeologists search for plantation sites across the property.  The program also provided the participants an opportunity to learn about how archaeologists use metal detectors to discover and define archaeological sites.

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