ORANGE, Va. (AP) — Experts at former President James Madison’s Virginia estate are searching for the burial grounds of slaves who worked there.
The Washington Post reports that a team led by James Madison University geophysicist Shane McGary is using ground-penetrating radar and other techniques to identify the gravesites of Montpelier’s enslaved population.
More than 100 slaves lived at Montpelier at the time of Madison’s death, but little is recorded about their lives. The apparent gravesites a few hundred yards from the mansion are marked with indentations and some scattered headstones but were otherwise forgotten.
Members of the DuPont family, who owned the estate during much of the 20th century, recall kids playing with bones that turned up in the fields.
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Montpelier also is working to restore slave quarters on the site.
Information from: The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com