Trial of the Constitution(1845-1865)

Research & Collections

Following the death of James Madison in 1836, increasing debts forced Dolley Madison to sell the property in 1844. By the time of the Civil War, the Carson brothers were in ownership and the eccentric bachelor brother, Frank Carson, in residence. He would bear witness to the thousands of troops that intermittently occupied Montpelier's property during the period within which the document that James Madison had forged would be tested.  These encampments left an indelible on the property and would forever change the lives of African Americans in the region.