James Madison's Montpelier

Montpelier is a property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

This glorious 2,650-acre estate in Orange County, Virginia, was the lifelong home of James Madison—“Father of the Constitution,” architect of the Bill of Rights, and fourth U.S. president. Madison shared Montpelier with his beloved wife Dolley, whose political and social flair inspired the title “First Lady.”  Montpelier’s history begins with settlement by James Madison's grandfather in the 1720s, and includes slaves who worked and lived on the plantation, Civil War soldiers who encamped on the property, and a freedman's family who lived and farmed here after Emancipation.

Ownership of Montpelier was transferred in 1984 to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in accordance with the wishes of the property’s last private owner, Mrs. Marion duPont Scott. The Trust established The Montpelier Foundation, an independent non-profit organization, which assumed full financial and administrative responsibility in 2000.

The Montpelier Foundation derives its purpose and inspiration from James Madison. Montpelier staff are dedicated to making Mr. Madison's home a window into his life and legacy, a place of education where visitors, scholars, and educators can explore Madison’s vital role in the creation of the American nation. Today, James Madison’s Montpelier inspires continuing public engagement with American constitutional self-government by bringing to life the home and contributions of James and Dolley Madison.

The Montpelier Foundation created its Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution in 2002. As America’s premier constitutional training center, the Center offers world-class on-site and online educational programming. The Center’s goal is to enable the public to expand its knowledge and understanding of the Constitution.  Through online and on-site programs held at Montpelier, the Center inspires participation in civic dialogue, improves the public’s understanding of the founding principles of the United States, and enables citizens to deepen their understanding of and participation in our democracy.

To learn more, visit www.montpelier.org.


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