at Montpelier

Montpelier, VA–I am getting ready to sleep on the property of Montpelier, James Madison’s house. His Georgian/Federalist mansion is at the top of the nearby hill, overlooking horse fields and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Past his Greek temple “folly” and through some old-growth woods, you get to the guest house where I am staying. Tomorrow, colleagues and I will be discussing civic education in the very place where the Constitution was conceived–and about 100 field and household slaves labored to support the man who wrote it. On this spring night early in the 21st century, all is quiet.