James Madison, father of the Constitution, held more than 300 slaves. Yet he stated in 1787: “We have seen the mere distinction of colour made in the most enlightened period of time, a ground of the most oppressive dominion ever exercised by man over man.”
A groundbreaking exhibition at Madison’s bucolic Virginia plantation Montpelier uses slavery to connect the past to the present through the lens of the Constitution, and honestly examines the paradox that is America’s founding era.
As the PBS News Hour reported in the above video, “Montpelier…, is beginning to share a rich and rarely told side of its history by shedding light on the lives of the people who were enslaved there. A new exhibit offers insight on the factors that cemented slavery in the Constitution, and stories told by living descendants.”