“they seek to co-opt the father of the Constitution to tell their warped tale of American evil”
James Madison’s foundation, destroyed from within
For more than two decades, the Montpelier Foundation has restored the estate of founding father James Madison and won widespread praise for honoring his legacy without shying away from the role of slavery in the plantation’s history. It has been seen as a model landmark of American historical pride and education.
And all that could be lost if the radical activists who have pulled off a coup on the foundation board, and who aim to topple America’s other founding museums and memorials, succeed. For them, the nation’s founding is a more sinister event, and they seek to co-opt the father of the Constitution to tell their warped tale of American evil.
For now, self-proclaimed “termites,” aided by a sympathetic media and discredited organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, have riven the foundation, put its financial health at great risk, and even flirted with a United Nations-aided land grab of the region around James Madison’s Montpelier by designating it one large UNESCO heritage site.
Dozens of documents obtained by the Washington Examiner and interviews with many involved with the foundation’s inner workings paint a clear picture of exactly how this was carried out.
Madison himself has a conflicted record on slavery. He agonized for his whole adult life about how, in practical terms, to end slavery, and he avidly pursued several sincere but doomed schemes for widespread manumission, but he never freed his own slaves.
The foundation, for its part, was formed in 1998 to restore Madison’s famous estate and use it to promote public understanding of the Constitution that Madison did so much to shape. It also has been at the vanguard of studying and honoring the lives and contributions of enslaved communities.
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