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Explore the Constellation

Enslaved at Montpelier


Regarded as the “Father of the Constitution,” James Madison wrote elegantly about freedom and liberty. But he and his wife Dolley enslaved more than 100 people at Montpelier, their tobacco plantation near Orange, Virginia. Montpelier’s enslaved community included not just those enslaved by the Madisons, but others enslaved by James Madison’s siblings and extended family members. It also included enslaved and free Black people living on neighboring plantations.