Papa’s World – James & Dolly’s – MONTPELIER



Those words were spoken by the man –

who framed the Constitution –

And was the Architect of ” THE BILL of RIGHTS ” !

James Madison – President – of the United States –

And perhaps the most famous first lady that ever lived – Dolly Madison.

James and Dolly Madison
As she called him.

We celebrated our belated anniversary –

by taking a day trip to Orange Va.

Where a few miles outside of town –

sits the estate of MONTPELIER –

Still on its original 2600 acres granted by the King of England.

First Lady Dolly Madison –

actually knew and talked to the first 13 Presidents

Having met Lincoln when he was a young man in the crowd !

She performed the duties of FIRST LADY for 16 years –

Eight with her husband and eight with Jefferson as he was a widower.


Built at the beginning of the 1800 ‘s – and later added on to –

with drawings by James good friend Thomas Jefferson –

It is truly one of the best preserved homes of the early presidents.

I have visited Washington’s –


and Jackson’s homes –

along with Lee’s home in Arlington

And this home in my opinion – is the best preserved.

Almost 95 % of the furnishings have been returned or obtained –

After James death and in the 1840’s –

Dolly sold almost everything and moved to Washington D.C.

They still are receiving pieces – one or two per month –

THOUSANDS of items were sold and now are back at the mansion.

Table and tea set

This table and tea set were used daily by Dolly and James –

I find it remarkable that they have found almost all of it !

The house itself – the floors do not make any noise when you walk

Nor is there a musty smell –

When in the basement – you look up at the flooring

So well preserved !

This bed is in a interactive room – you actually can lay down on it !

All the bricks were made on site –

there is a list of materials James bought from Jefferson

who had them made.


Sitting at his desk in the upstairs room –

James Madison wrote ” THE BILL of RIGHTS “

While daily for hours using this view out the window to inspire him.

The grounds are just awesome

The woods around the estate are

and have been preserved for over 220 years

One of the biggest tracts of OLD GROWTH anywhere –

With miles and miles of walking trails.

Reconstruction of the buildings is on going

Many of the buildings have been researched and erected as they once were.

A view of the slave quarters with Montpelier in the back ground

Even though he wrote the Bill of Rights –

He never freed his slaves –

A blemish on his life.

Paul Jennings book
Paul Jennings was his personal servant
Very emotional

It is a shame that our fore fathers –

who crafted our great nation

Could not or would not – make all equal.

Although he left no descendants –

they had no children –

I find it ironic – that to this day –

The masters have passed beyond –

Yet the enslaved descendants –

Still survive and return –

To honor their forbearers

To the place they served.


The gardens – walled in – offer a respite – a place to rest in the shade.

The Garden
Sherry – was afraid of the bees !
Steps back to the gate
Sherry and Tom

A quiet place to relax in the shade –

You can just imagine – the guests – children – walking through here.

The trees are old and huge –

The level “GREEN” where parties and dances were held.

The back of the house from “THE GREEN”

The back of the house – where many dances – parties – were held.

The yard completely level

Lush and green.

To the front and cemetery

Back to the front and down the hill –

sits the family plot with over 100 burials

Back in those days – no grave stones existed.

It was all done from memory –

The first to be buried was his grand father

around 1724 !

He was poisoned by his slaves

One was hanged – two were flogged with 25 lashes.

In the mid 1800’s – after the death of Dolly –

she was brought back and laid to rest by her husband

Markers were then put in

and through research

The graves were marked

Some – they do not know

View from the front

I hope you like my little trip in words and pictures –

It has been on our bucket list for twenty years now

Tom & Sherry

Our anniversary gift to each other –

Thank you for reading PAPA’S WORLD

If you would like to read more – just type in the following

formy email

For HEALTH ( Sherry is a certified Health Coach )

her email

Welcome to PAPA’S WORLD


Orange Va.

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