Spend the Weekend with the Madisons


During the hot summer months, James and Dolley Madison always left the muggy Washington weather behind to relax at Montpelier, their beloved Virginia estate. This summer, they’re coming home again!

On most Saturdays and Sundays, June through September, you can meet “James” and “Dolley” in the mansion’s South Wing. “Dolley” will be home on Saturdays, 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., and James will be here on Sundays, noon–5:00 p.m. You can find their full schedule on the Montpelier website.

“Mrs. Madison” will chat with guests about her husband’s role in crafting the Constitution. She became an expert on this subject during his retirement when she helped James organize his papers from the Constitutional Convention. In fact, she recently told guests that she enjoys talking about his work as “Mr. Madison…would be constrained by modesty into deprecating his own role. I am not burdened by any such scruples.”

Visitors will find “Mr. Madison” working away at his desk, perhaps penning a letter to his best friend, Thomas Jefferson. He will talk with guests about drafting the Constitution and Bill of Rights, his early life, and his supervision of the Montpelier plantation.

The summer and early fall weekends offer the perfect chance for parents and grandparents to introduce little ones to James and Dolley Madison. Montpelier also has plenty of fun hands-on activities to help children understand history. They can make a biscuit or churn butter at the Hands-on Cooking Demonstration, make their own brick in the Hands-on Plantation Work Tent, or dig for historic treasure at the Kid-Sized Archaeology site.

James and Dolley Madison loved to entertain and would be pleased to see the number of guests that flock to their house each year. Dolley could certainly entertain them all! She once said, “I am less worried here [at Montpelier] with a hundred visitors than with twenty-five in Washington.”

“Mr. and Mrs. Madison” send their regards and hope to see you soon!

Spend the Weekend with the Madisons








Montpelier Staff