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        Three Presidents - Monroe, Madison, Jefferson

        Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe, the third, fourth, and fifth presidents of the United States, collectively led the country for 24 consecutive years. They also lived within 30 miles of each other in Virginia and were best friends. Interviews, as well as archival material, document the lives, homes, politics, and friendships of three presidents.

        Three Presidents Intro - 1

        The intertwining lives of three central Virginia men who went on to be President---Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe---are described by archaeologists, historians, gardeners and curators of their landmark homes, Monticello, Montpelier and Highland.

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        James Monroe's Highland -2

        Highland was the home of James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States. It is located near Charlottesville, Virginia. It is adjacent to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home.

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        Mt. Pleasant Site - 3

        Mount Pleasant is one of the earliest plantations in the Piedmont area of Virginia. It was settled by Tidewater settlers expanding into the Piedmont and Western parts of Virginia. At Mount Pleasant, we have a look not only at the early Madison life but also a look at early life in the Piedmont.

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        James Madison's Montpelier - 4

        James Madison studied and read about various forms of government that have been recorded throughout history. Out of that he drew up the Virginia Plan which formed the basic framework of the US Constitution. He did that at Montpelier.

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        Thomas Jefferson's Monticello - 5

        Thomas Jefferson began construction of the first Monticello in 176 9. Then he went to France and saw the new buildings. When he returned, he decided to greatly expand and remodel Monticello based largely on some of the ideas he had seen in Paris.

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        Slavery and Three Presidents - 6

        Over Thomas Jefferson’s life, he held over 600 people in bondage. President Madison had as many as 100 slaves. Their slave holdings were larger than average. With their ideas of freedom for all, the history in this area still fuels debate today.

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        Death of Three Presidents -7

        Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. James Monroe died 5 years later on July 4, 1831. James Madison died on June 28, 1836.

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        Three Presidents - View

        Jefferson’s east view was toward Richmond, Williamsburg, the ocean, France and England. On the other side, he looked toward the westward expansion. The three presidents sat in the middle of the past and the future and tried to figure out what they would make of it.

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