James Madison is known as the "father of the Constitution." But while he and the convention delegates built the country on paper, slaves were building it everywhere else.

Today, Madison's historic home Montpelier is open to the public. Visitors can explore the mansion, the Madison family cemetery, acres of picturesque hills, and learn more about Montpelier's enslaved community by touring slaves' quarters.

The mansion at Montpelier. All images via James Madison's Montpelier, used with permission. Photo by Pam Soorenko.

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In my American history class, I heard lots of stories about the men who founded this country.

I was taught that men like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison personified the best of what our country had to offer. They saved us from imperialistic rule in order to build a country predicated on freedom.

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