So much of the early African-American experience relies on a verbal history. A journey that covered free men, indentured servants (along with many white Europeans) , slaves and back again to freedom. A work in progress, The James Madison Museum is still gathering documents, photographs and what few artifacts are available to us to construct a permanent exhibit that tells the story of the African American experience in Orange, Virginia.
Forgotten Patriots of the American Revolution, accomplished through the generosity of Mrs. Margaret Johnston, is our first permanent exhibit. Though not specific to Orange itself, Orange County – as all of Virginia – was part of that great struggle for independence.
As funds become available, the Museum plans to design and install another permanent exhibit that covers the histories and experiences of African-American families in Orange, Virginia.
On October 5, 2013, the Museum added two permanent exhibits to continue our Black History presentation. “Slavery in the Rappahannock Region,” and “Post-Emancipation in Orange, Virginia.”