Mansion (1801-1817)

Research & Collections

After serving eight years as the Secretary of State to his good friend, Thomas Jefferson, Madison, Jr. planned to retire back to Montpelier following the second term of office.  What Madison did not expect was to serve another two terms as president of the United States, something that would keep him from his beloved Montpelier for a further eight years.

Planning for his future retirement, in 1809-1812 Madison conceptualized a radical change to Montpelier, shifting it away from the Georgian ideal of his father into the more fashionable Picturesque landscape.  These changes included:

The Montpelier Archaeology Department has, over the course of the past 12 years, investigated many of these sites (click on links above to learn more).

Early 19th century appearance of mansion grounds (Image courtesy of the Institute for the Advancement of Technology in Humanities (IATH), UVa.) Click image to enlarge.

Conceptual Plan of Montpelier Mansion landscape, Clcik image to learn more.