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Visitors to James Madison's Montpelier Estate Irked Over 'Woke' Makeover

A view of Montpelier

Montpelier, home of President James Madison (Skpgarts | Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Saturday, 16 July 2022 02:56 PM EDT

Visitors going to the historic home of the fourth U.S. President, James Madison, who is also known as the "father of the Constitution," may be in for a disappointment following a "woke" renovation that highlights slavery more than the founding document Madison helped write.

"First off, the tour is expensive. But the worst part were the gross historical inaccuracies and constant bias exhibited by the tour guide," a Tripadvisor user said in an August 2021 review of Madison's Montpelier mansion in Virginia. "This is a historic house owned by James Madison, who probably did more to bring the US Constitution to life than any other person. And given the times and his economic status he owned slaves. Both are worthy of discussion, but not at all the balance we got on this tour. Constant discussion of slaves, including a genetically disproven story that one of them had a child by him. This being a historic location, even handed and fact-based discussion is needed, or the experience is a poor one. Cannot recommend and even wonder why even preserve the main structure at all."

The renovation of the historic site came because of a $10 million grant from The Carlyle Group founder David Rubenstein, according to a 2014 Philanthropy News Digest report.

"We are delighted to have an opportunity to take this project to the next level," Montpelier Foundation President Kat Imhoff told the Digest at the time. "With this gift we will be able to continue refurnishing James and Dolley Madison's home with the same degree of authenticity achieved in the architectural restoration, and by reconstructing the South Yard, we can give visitors an opportunity to learn and discuss the American paradox of slavery while putting Madison's life at Montpelier in context."

According to the White House website, Madison was one of the key authors of the U.S. Constitution, arguing heavily for the document's ratification, saying it was not "the off-spring of a single brain," but "the work of many heads and many hands."

He was also one of the writers of the Federalist Papers and served as the fourth president from 1809 to 1817, which included the War of 1812 and the burning of the White House during that conflict.

According to a New York Post report Saturday, however, the renovation of the home shifted the focus from Madison's role of political leader, Constitution author and president to that of being a slave owner.

Exhibits available in the only three rooms in the mansion the public can visit consist of videos about racism, slavery and the connections to those by the former presidents.

"I was kind of thinking we'd be hearing more about the Constitution," one baffled dad told the outlet when The Post visited the president's home this week. "But everything here is really about slavery."

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Visitors going to the historic home of President, James Madison, who is also known as the "father of the Constitution," may be in for a disappointment following a "woke" renovation that highlights slavery more than the founding document Madison helped write.
madison, president, constitution, rubenstein, woke
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2022-56-16
Saturday, 16 July 2022 02:56 PM
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