” IF MEN WERE ANGELS – THERE WOULD BE NO NEED FOR GOVERNMENT”
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.
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.
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 !
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 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.
Many of the buildings have been researched and erected as they once were.
Even though he wrote the Bill of Rights –
He never freed his slaves –
A blemish on his life.
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.
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 – where many dances – parties – were held.
The yard completely level
Lush and green.
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
I hope you like my little trip in words and pictures –
It has been on our bucket list for twenty years now
Our anniversary gift to each other –
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