by Charles P. Pierce
Political commentator Charles Pierce reflects on efforts to update the visiting experience at James Madison's Montpelier estate to better address the work and lives of enslaved people there.
SOURCE: CBS News
Montpelier was the Virginia home of James Madison, father of the Constitution and architect of the Bill of Rights. The plantation was also home to generations of slaves. Now, descendants have a chance to get in touch with their roots.
SOURCE: The Washington Post
With the help of a $10 million gift from philanthropist David Rubenstein, the Montpelier staff has devoted new attention and resources to tell their story.
ORANGE, VA.- The Montpelier Foundation today announced findings from new archaeological excavations at the lifelong home of James Madison – Father of the Constitution, Architect of the Bill of Rights, and Fourth President of the United States. Discovered by teams of professional archaeology staff, students and visitors participating in special “Archaeology Expeditions,” two newly revealed subfloor pits provide an initial footprint for field slave quarters on the Montpelier landscape.“Montpelier is unique among archaeological sites in the United States with regards to our ability to recreate and visualize the experience of enslaved life,” said Matthew Reeves, Ph.D., Director of Archaeology and Landscape Restoration at James Madison’s Montpelier. “Because the fields have lain fallow since Madison’s time, the sites we are discovering are virtually undisturbed. We are meticulously documenting available evidence from the sites so we can begin to reconstruct the farm in a way that will authentically represent the complexity of life on the plantation.”...
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