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Montpelier was home to President James Madison, Father of the Constitution and Architect of the Bill of Rights, and Dolley Madison, America’s first "First Lady."
It was here at Montpelier where James Madison shaped the ideas that would become the U.S. Constitution. For six months Madison sat in his upstairs library, where he meticulously studied past forms of governments and organized his thoughts into what he believed were the ideal principles for a representative democracy. Madison’s ideas would become the “Virginia Plan,” and later the framework for the Constitution.
The Montpelier estate features the mansion, garden, historic buildings, exhibits, archaeological sites, and forests trails. Spend an hour or two—or a full day with family and friends—strolling the grounds, picnicking, and learning more about the Constitution, James Madison, and Montpelier.