Take a Walk under the Canopy

Join Dr. Matthew Reeves, Montpelier's Director of Archaeology & Landscape Restoration, on a tour of Montpelier's woods to learn about the hidden plantation landscape under the tree canopy. Dr. Reeves will discuss the hidden agricultural sites and slave quarters that were located here toward the end of James Madison’s life (1830s). Evidence indicates that the enslaved people living and laboring at this portion of the plantation potentially left their home during the Civil War to seek freedom at Union Army lines in Culpeper. Learn more about the enslaved community of the East Woods and what they thought about bondage and freedom.

Dr. Matthew Reeves is the Director of Archaeology at James Madison’s Montpelier in Orange, Virginia.  His specialty is sites of the African Diaspora including plantation and freedman period sites, and Civil War. In his 20 years at Montpelier, Reeves has developed a strong public archaeology program known for its citizen science approach to research. At the heart of this program is community-based research with a heavy focus on investing descendant communities in the research and interpretation process and governance of cultural institutions. He has also led the archaeological discipline in devising new ways to engage metal detector hobbyists and archaeological survey through his department’s work locating the living and work sites of the enslaved community across the 2700-acre Montpelier property. These new site discoveries hold the future for Montpelier continuing to tell the story of the enslaved community.

Space is limited - reserve your spot now! Terrain can be rough in areas, so please wear comfortable clothing and shoes and bring a snack.