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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chess pieces found during excavations at 4th US President's Orange County estate

Chess blog for latest news and trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

James Madison, Jr. (March 16, 1751 – June 28, 1836) was an American politician and political philosopher who served as the fourth President of the United States (1809–1817) and is considered one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

Hi everyone,

Here is some quintessential news from Orange, VA. USA Today, in an AP report, says: archaeologists have unearthed a couple of pieces of history at James Madison's country estate: portions of two pawns from his chess set!


Montpelier officials think the pieces are likely from the same set that Madison and Thomas Jefferson used in their frequent matches during Jefferson's visits. Archaeologists recently discovered the pawns during an ongoing excavation at the fourth president's Orange County estate. Montpelier archaeology director Matthew Reeves called the pieces a treasure that reflects Madison's intellectual pursuits and social life.

The fragments of pawns provided enough detail for researchers to determine what Madison's chess set looked like. Curators then bought an identical, authentic 18th-century ivory chess set, which now is on display in Madison's home.

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