For the past two months there has been a flurry of activity behind Montpelier’s Visitor Center. This area hasn’t exactly been clutter-free either. Every day, visitors have seen tents, flags, and archaeologists making exciting discoveries about the Madisons’ stables.
The archaeologists have been hard at work excavating one of the Montpelier slave quarters. After a month-long field school and three expedition programs, we have a lot to show! The Stable Quarter is located between the South Yard (quarters for house slaves) and the Montpelier Visitor Center.
Our knowledge of the Stable Quarter Site (located between the visitor center and the South Yard) continues to grow in leaps and bounds. Last post, we reported we established the slave quarter we were excavating originally was a log structure with a stick and mud chimney based on the single hearth and several clay borrow pits we had located. Since that time we have made two exciting discoveries: a second hearth that has provided the dimensions and potential layout of the structure and 2) a sub-floor pit in front of the large hearth we discovered in August.
A team of curators, facilities and restoration staff, and a fine art specialist worked late into the evening hours on September 17—Constitution Day—to install thirty-four of the thirty-seven prints and engravings listed on an 1836 document entitled “Engravings in the dining room.”
Have you thought about how you will travel to Constitution Day 2012? This week in our continuing series on Montpelier’s September 22 Constitution Day celebration, we will talk about an interesting way to travel to the festivities: the Liberty Ride.
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.
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?
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.