The Honeymoon Years (1797-1801)

Research & Collections

In 1797, James Madison, Jr. and his new wife, Dolley Madison, returned to Montpelier to retire from public life.  They added on a 30' duplex addition to the mansion and, ultimately, the grandiose portico.  The surrounding landscape, however, remained dominated by the Georgian influences that his father envisioned.  For close to four years James and Dolley stayed at Montpelier and enjoyed their new life with entertaining and managing the plantation.   James' first retirement would only last until 1801 when he became Secretary of State during Thomas Jefferson's presidency.