A Student of History

May 1, 2012

New 1812 Exhibit at James Madison’s “Montpelier”

Filed under: Early America,Historic Places,Wars — John Maass @ 9:57 am


A special exhibit at James Madison’s home, Montpelier, will tell the story of James Madison’s Presidency and wartime struggle. On June 18, 1812, President James Madison formally requested from Congress a Declaration of War against the United Kingdom of Great Britain. In declaring war, Congress and the President exercised powers granted to them in the United States Constitution. For our young country, only three decades removed from the first war for independence, the War of 1812 tested the ideas put forth in the Constitution, and called upon Madison to abide by the limitations on power he worked so hard to institute.

The exhibit opens June 18, 2012.  Montpelier estate was formed in 1723 when Ambrose Madison, President James Madison’s grandfather, and his brother-in-law, Thomas Chew, were deeded 4,675 acres in the newly opened Piedmont of Virginia. To receive final title, he had three years to clear the land and build a house.

For more than 120 years – from 1723 until 1844 when Dolley Madison sold the property – the Madisons owned Montpelier. Montpelier was the lifelong home of James Madison, Father of the Constitution, architect of the Bill of Rights, and fourth president of the United States. It was here that he read, researched, and thought more deeply about our republican form of government than any other Founding Father.

Today’s Montpelier includes the Madison home; the 2,650-acre gardens and grounds; the Gilmore Cabin: A Freedman’s Farm; the Civil War Trail; the Visitor Center and William duPont Gallery; Museum Shop; Landmark and Demonstration Forests; Madison Family Cemetery; Slave Cemetery; active archaeological digs and lab (including kids’ hands-on archaeology); 1910 Train Depot and segregation exhibit; and the Annie duPont Formal Garden.





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