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Showing posts with label Jim Crow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jim Crow. Show all posts

Monday, January 21, 2013

Montpelier Part II of II -- Graves and Slaves

The Madison Family Cemetery, complete with iron gate nameplate, brick walls and obelisk markers.  Madison's grave is seen past the gate.
James Madison's grave with Dolley's behind it.

Quite different is the slave cemetery.  No markers exist and the sparse grounds give little indication of the existence of graves.
This is the grave of an unidentified slave.  It's hard to see it here, but the only indication is a slight depression in the earth.

As much as the Founding Fathers spoke out about all men being created equal, this didn't seem to stop them from owning some of these 'equal' people; Madison was no different. 

He is said to have been against slavery, writing in a Letter to R. H. Lee, July 17, 1785,  "Another of my wishes is to depend as little as possible on the labour of slaves." 

He additionally wrote in a Letter to Robert J. Evans,  "[I]f slavery, as a national evil, is to be abolished, and it be just that it be done at the national expense, the amount of the expense is not a paramount consideration."


That being said, although he was described as a 'kind' master, this certainly does not change the fact that he WAS a master and did own human beings who existed to do his bidding.

This railroad station and Post Office sits right outside Montpelier.  Of note  is the  presence of two waiting rooms, one for Whites, and a much smaller version for Coloreds.  The station dates to the Jim Crow era of 1910. 

Portions of the tracks are not used anymore and are slowly being reclaimed by nature.
Nearby Esso station.
Sign marking the station stop.