This summer is a great time to visit James Madison’s Montpelier, where the Constitution was written. A new exhibition on slavery opened at the estate in June. Here are eight more reasons why you should go.
- Weekend/day trip: Montpelier is located in Orange, VA, a great day trip option from nearby DC.
- Perfect for history buffs: It’s also close to Mount Vernon and Monticello, other prominent Presidential sites – and being the home where the Constitution was written, perfect for those looking to brush up on their amendments.
- Been to Monticello or Mount Vernon? Despite its proximity to Mount Vernon and Monticello, Montpelier is very different. It’s shifting from being strictly an old Presidential house to an institution that represents the ideals of freedom and civil rights Madison outlined in the Constitution, especially now with today’s political and social issues.
- See a new side to our founding era and slavery: Montpelier’s new exhibit will be different from others on the topic as it tells the full story of those enslaved at Montpelier – history books tend to focus on slavery through a labor function, but Montpelier will talk about how slaves there where mothers, daughters and brothers with intricate families, social communities, and owned tools and clothes.
- Hear the unique perspectives of descendants of those enslaved at Montpelier: Sometimes history can seem far away especially difficult topics like slavery. We’ll be featuring stories in the exhibit of living descendants of those enslaved there to help people connect the past to the present.
- Science nerd? You can observe – or even participate in an archaeological dig. Montpelier has a public archaeology program where anyone can help can dig up artifacts that people who lived and were enslaved on the property owned (here is a video). They have already dug up a lot of artifacts that will be on display for the first time like coins, tools, etc. that will be on display at the exhibition.
- The views are amazing: take in the sights with your history and snap some photos for Insta and SnapChat. The Annie duPont formal garden at Montpelier incorporates many of the perennials in the early duPont garden – many varieties of bearded and Japanese iris, Day Lilies, and Peonies – along with other plant materials common to the period.
- This is the birthplace of the constitution: Liberty, democracy, and the ideas that inspired a nation and changed the world come alive at Montpelier. Gain a deeper understanding of one of our country’s most influential documents, and the man who inspired its creation.
Tickets are only $20 for adults, $7 for children, and includes a tour of the mansion.