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Montpelier bringing together slave descendants

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Local,Virginia,History

ORANGE, Va. (AP) — The charitable arm of energy provider Dominion Resources Inc. is giving the Montpelier Foundation funds to an event that will bring together descendants of the slaves who worked and lived on the plantation.

Dominion is providing a $50,000 grant to the foundation that runs the lifelong home of James Madison in Orange for a two-day symposium beginning Friday night.

Officials say the funding made it possible for descendants to come from as far away as Massachusetts and Oklahoma to guide the restoration process of the homes and working places of the enslaved community.

Among the descendants is Rebecca Gilmore Coleman. The Orange County resident's great-grandfather was born a slave there. He was eventually freed and built a cabin of his own near the plantation. The cabin has been fully restored.

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