Follow the War of 1812 in “real time” at the Blog of 1812

Montpelier News

Perhaps the principle highlight of  James Madison’s presidency was the aptly named War of 1812. Often referred to as “America’s Second War for Independence,” the war was the new nation’s struggle for sovereignty. Locked in a long and difficult clash with Napoleon, the British attempted to hinder the growth and prosperity of their former colony, and prevent the United States from colluding against them with the French. 

The Countdown Begins

Montpelier Staff

Here at the home of the Father of the Constitution a countdown to a highly anticipated anniversary is underway. One month from today, Montpelier will celebrate the Constitution’s 225th birthday!

Top Things to Do At Montpelier This Weekend

Montpelier Staff

You survived the first three days of the week and are taking on Thursday with full force. As noon approaches, your mind begins to drift. Suddenly you realize the weekend is coming.  You get a burst of energy and conquer one more task on your list, relishing the prospect of two days away from the grind. Your mind goes into planning mode. What will you do this weekend?

Original Cockburn Side Chair Returns to Montpelier

Montpelier Staff

Montpelier is excited to announce our exhibit of a significant chair with James and Nelly Madison Sr. provenance. This rare ca. 1773 Cockburn side chair is on loan from the James Madison Museum in Orange.

Montpelier in the Palm of Your Hand

Montpelier Staff

What’s the hottest download at the Apple App Store? The James Madison’s Montpelier Tour App of course! From the more than 500,000 mobile apps available, Apple Computer each week chooses just a few of the most interesting and intriguing to feature in the iPhone App Store. This week, Apple has chosen the newly launched “James Madison’s Montpelier” tour app as one of the featured apps.

July 12 marks the anniversary of Dolley Madison’s death

Montpelier Staff

One hundred and sixty-three years ago today, Dolley Madison died at approximately 10:15 in the evening, “at peace with the world & it with her.” According to James Madison Cutts, Dolley’s nephew, America’s first First Lady “expired without an effort & without apparent pain.”1 Dolley was the last surviving member of the founding generation, living as a widow for thirteen years after the passing of James Madison.

“Nothing more than a change of mind”

Montpelier Staff

On the services of this illustrious man it is unnecessary to dwell; for what American does not know the parts which James Madison acted in the public Councils of his Country? And what Virginian needs to be reminded of the unrivalled force of his tongue and his pen in defending her most cherished principles?1

Archaeology at Madison’s Quarter for Field Slaves

Montpelier Staff

The James Madison University field school has had a fantastic run at revealing the secrets of the quarters for field slaves just below Montpelier’s Visitor Center.  We have opened up close to 50 units and are slowly developing an idea of how this set of homes was laid out. 

Save the Date: the War of 1812 Is Coming!

Montpelier Staff

This year marks the bicentennial of the War of 1812, also known as “Mr. Madison’s War.” Two hundred  years ago, this war tested our young nation. President Madison proved the United States could go to war without depriving citizens of their constitutional rights.

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.