James Monroe, 5th President of the USA

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James Monroe, President

Birthplace: Monroe's Creek, Westmoreland County, Virginia, British Colonial America
Death: July 04, 1831 (73)
Home of his daughter, New York, New York, New York, United States (Tuberculosis, leading to Congestive Heart Failure.)
Place of Burial: Richmond, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Spence Monroe and Elizabeth "Eliza" Monroe
Husband of Elizabeth (Kortright) Monroe, 5th First Lady of the United States
Father of Eliza Kortright Hay; James Spence Monroe and Maria Hester Gouverneur
Brother of Elizabeth Buckner; Spence Monroe, Jr.; Andrew Augustine Monroe; Col. Joseph Jones Monroe; Margaret E. Monroe and 3 others

Occupation: 5th President of the United States, 5th President of the US (1817-1825); 7th US Sect. of State (1811-1814;1815-1817); 8th US Sect. of War (1814-1815); 12th Governor of Virginia (1799-1802); Lieutenant in Continental Army; Injured in Battle of Trenton
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About James Monroe, 5th President of the USA

A Patriot of the American Revolution for VIRGINIA with the rank of LIEUTENANT COLONEL. DAR Ancestor #: A081100

"The day after Christmas in 1811, hundreds of Virginia’s most prominent citizens thronged into the rickety Richmond Theater. Among the holiday crowd of soldiers, slaves, statesmen, and debutantes were the families of Governor George Smith, Chief Justice John Marshall, and President James Madison. The audience prepared for an evening of comedy and merriment, little supposing when the play began that the evening would end in tragedy. During the second act of “The Bleeding Nun,” a tiny fire kindled behind the scenery, raced to the ceiling timbers, and swallowed the trapped audience in ravenous flames."

“The disaster & grief seem to be universal. None has entirely escaped. Very many years will pass away before the town recovers from the gloom into which it has been plunged.” James Monroe, January 1, 1812.

Wikipedia Biographical Summary:

"...James Monroe (April 28, 1758 – July 4, 1831) was the fifth President of the United States, serving two terms from 1817 to 1825. Monroe was the last Founding Father of the United States, the last one from the Virginia dynasty and the Republican Generation to become the U.S. President. His presidency was marked both by an "Era of Good Feelings" – a period of relatively little partisan strife – and later by the Panic of 1819 and a fierce national debate over the admission of the Missouri Territory. Monroe is most noted for his proclamation in 1823 of the Monroe Doctrine, which stated that the United States would not tolerate further European intervention in the Americas.

Born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, Monroe fought in the American Revolutionary War. After studying law under Thomas Jefferson from 1780 to 1783, he served in the Continental Congress. As an anti-Federalist delegate to the Virginia convention that considered ratification of the United States Constitution, Monroe opposed ratification, claiming it gave too much power to the central government. Nonetheless, Monroe took an active part in the new government and in 1790 he was elected to the Senate, where he joined the Jeffersonians. He gained experience as an executive as the Governor of Virginia and rose to national prominence when as a diplomat in France he helped negotiate the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.

During the War of 1812 Monroe held the critical roles of Secretary of State and the Secretary of War under President James Madison. Facing little opposition from the fractured Federalist Party, Monroe was easily elected president in 1816, winning over 80 percent of the electoral vote. As president, he sought to ease partisan tensions and embarked on a tour of the country. He was well received everywhere, as nationalism surged, partisan fury subsided and the "Era of Good Feelings" ensued. The Panic of 1819 struck and the dispute over the admission of Missouri embroiled the country in 1820. Nonetheless, Monroe won near-unanimous reelection. In 1823, he announced the Monroe Doctrine, which became a landmark in American foreign policy. Following his retirement in 1825, Monroe was plagued by financial difficulties. He died in New York City on July 4, 1831.


James Monroe was born on April 28, 1758, in a wooded area of Westmoreland County, Virginia. The site is marked and is one mile from what is known today as Monroe Hall, Virginia.

Monroe's father, Spence Monroe (1727–1774) was a moderately prosperous planter who also learned the carpentry trade. His mother, Elizabeth Jones Monroe (1730–1774), married Spence Monroe in 1752. They had four children live to maturity:

  1. Elizabeth Monroe Buckner – of Caroline County, Virginia
  2. James Monroe
  3. Spence Monroe, Jr. – Died at age 1
  4. Andrew Monroe – of Albemarle County, Virginia
  5. Joseph Jones Monroe – clerk of the District Court of Northumberland County, Virginia; private secretary to President Monroe; later settled in Missouri.

His paternal 2nd great-grandfather immigrated to America from Scotland in the mid-17th century: Major Andrew Monroe (c1625–1688) who was descended from Robert Munro, 14th Baron of Foulis (c1518-c1547), chief of an ancient Scottish highland clan. In 1650 Andrew Monroe patented a large tract of land in Washington Parish, Westmoreland County, Virginia.


Between the ages of 11 and 16, Monroe studied at Campbelltown Academy, a school run by the Reverend Archibald Campbell of Washington Parish. There he excelled as a prodigious pupil and progressed through Latin and mathematics at a rate faster than that of most boys his age. John Marshall, later Chief Justice of the United States, was among his classmates. At the age of 16, Monroe enrolled in the College of William and Mary. However in 1774, the atmosphere on the Williamsburg campus was not conducive to study, and the prospect of rebellion against King George charged most of the students, including Monroe, with patriotic fervor.

American Revolution

In June 1775, after the battles of Lexington and Concord, Monroe joined 24 older men in raiding the arsenal at the Governor's Palace. The 200 muskets and 300 swords they appropriated helped arm the Williamsburg militia. The following spring, Monroe dropped out of college and joined the Continental army. He never returned to earn a degree. Between 1780 and 1783, he studied law under Thomas Jefferson.

Monroe was the last U.S. President to really fight in the War of Independence, serving with distinction at the Battle of Trenton, where he was shot in his left shoulder. He spent three months in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, recuperating from his wound. In John Trumbull's version of the Battle of Trenton Monroe can be seen lying wounded at left center of painting.

He is depicted holding the flag in the famous painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware. Following his war service, he practiced law in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Marriage and children

James Monroe married Elizabeth Kortright (1768–1830), daughter of Laurence Kortright and Hannah Aspinwall Kortright, on February 16, 1786, in New York City. After a brief honeymoon on Long Island, the Monroes returned to New York to live with her father until Congress adjourned. The Monroes had the following children:

Eliza Monroe Hay (1786–1835) – married George Hay in 1808 and substituted as official White House host for her ailing mother.

James Spence Monroe (1799–1801)

Maria Hester Monroe Gouverneur (1803–1850) – married her second cousin Samuel L. Gouverneur on March 8, 1820, in the first wedding ever performed in the White House.

Monroe fulfilled his youthful dream of becoming the owner of a large plantation and wielding great political power, but his efforts in agriculture were never profitable. He sold his small inherited Virginia plantation in 1783 to enter law and politics, and though he owned land and slaves and speculated in property he was rarely on-site to oversee the operation. Therefore the slaves were treated harshly to make them more productive and the plantations barely supported themselves if at all. His lavish lifestyle often necessitated selling property to pay debts.

Early political career

Monroe was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1782 and served in the Continental Congress from 1783 to 1786.

In Virginia the struggle in 1788 over the ratification of the proposed new Constitution involved far more than a simple clash between federalists and anti-federalists. Virginians held a full spectrum of opinions about the merits of the proposed change in national government. George Washington and James Madison were leading supporters; Patrick Henry and George Mason were leading opponents. The central actors in the ratification fight were those who held the middle ground in the ideological struggle. Led by Monroe and Edmund Pendleton, these "federalists who are for amendments," criticized the absence of a bill of rights and worried about surrendering taxation powers to the central government. Virginia ratified the Constitution in June 1788, largely because these men suspended their reservations and vowed to press for changes after the new government had been established.

Virginia narrowly ratified the Constitution and Monroe ran for a House seat in the 1st Congress but was defeated by Madison. In 1790 he was elected United States Senator. He soon joined the "Democratic-Republican" faction led by Jefferson and Madison and by 1791 was the party leader in the Senate.

Ambassador to France

Monroe resigned his Senate seat after being appointed Minister to France in 1794. As ambassador, Monroe secured the release of Thomas Paine when the latter was arrested for his opposition to the execution of Louis XVI.

He managed to free all the Americans held in French prisons, including Madame Lafayette. He issued American passports for the Lafayette family, (since they had been granted citizenship), before she traveled to Lafayette's place of imprisonment, in Olmutz.

A strong friend of the French Revolution, Monroe tried to assure France that Washington's policy of strict neutrality did not favor Britain. But American policy had come to favor Britain, and Monroe was stunned by the signing of the Jay Treaty in London. With France and Britain at war, the Jay Treaty alarmed and angered the French. Washington discharged Monroe from his office as Minister to France due to inefficiency, disruptive maneuvers, and failure to safeguard the interests of his country.

Monroe had long been concerned about untoward foreign influence on the presidency. He was alarmed at Spanish diplomat Don Diego de Gardoqui who in 1785 tried to convince Congress to allow Spain to close the Mississippi River to American traffic for 30 years. Here Monroe saw Spain overinfluencing the republic, which could have risked the loss of the Southwest or dominance of the Northeast.[14] Monroe placed faith in a strong presidency and the system of checks and balances. In the 1790s he fretted over an aging George Washington being too heavily influenced by close advisers like Hamilton who was too close to Britain. Monroe favored France and so opposed the Jay Treaty in 1795. He was humiliated when Washington criticized him for his support of revolutionary France while he was minister to France. He saw foreign and Federalist elements in the genesis of the Quasi War of 1798–1800 and in efforts to keep Thomas Jefferson away from the presidency in 1801. As governor he considered using the Virginia militia to force the outcome in favor of Jefferson. Federalists responded in kind, some seeing Monroe as at best a French dupe and at worst a traitor. Monroe thus contributed to a paranoid style of politics.

Governor of Virginia and Diplomat

Out of office, Monroe returned to practicing law in Virginia until elected governor there, serving from 1799 to 1802. He called out the state militia to suppress Gabriel's Rebellion. Gabriel and 26 other enslaved people who participated were hanged. In reaction, the Virginia and other legislatures passed restrictions on free blacks and the education, movement and hiring out of the enslaved.

Under the first Jefferson administration, Monroe was dispatched to France to assist Robert R. Livingston to negotiate the Louisiana Purchase. Monroe was then appointed Minister to the Court of St. James (Britain) from 1803 to 1807. In 1806 he negotiated a treaty with Britain to replace the Jay Treaty of 1794, but Jefferson rejected it in 1807 as unsatisfactory, as the treaty contained no ban on the British practice of impressment of American sailors. As a result, the two nations moved closer toward the War of 1812.

"Old Republicans" in the South, who claimed to adhere to the traditional party "principles of 1798", tried to coopt Monroe and have him elected president in the 1808 election. John Randolph of Roanoke took the lead in the movement to thwart President Jefferson's choice of James Madison as his successor. Jefferson had snubbed Monroe on foreign policy in 1807 and thereby alienated Monroe from the administration. Regular Democratic-Republican control of key Virginia politicians, along with several other factors, however, insured Madison's 1808 electoral success.

Secretary of State and Secretary of War

Monroe returned to the Virginia House of Delegates and was elected to another term as governor of Virginia in 1811 but served only four months. In April 1811 he became Secretary of State. When he was appointed to the post of Secretary of War in September 1814, he stayed on for three more days as the Secretary of State as well. He left his position as Secretary of State on October 1 but no successor was ever appointed. Thus from October 1, 1814, to February 28, 1815, Monroe effectively held both cabinet posts. At the end of February 1815 Monroe resigned as Secretary of War and was formally reappointed Secretary of State. Monroe stayed on as Secretary of State until the end of the James Madison Presidency, and the following day Monroe began his term as the new President of the United States.

Presidential elections of 1816 and 1820

During the administrations of Jefferson and Madison the congressional nominating caucus experienced little opposition. However in 1816, this situation changed. Not only Federalists objected to the caucus system but so did an indeterminate number of anti-Virginia Republicans led by the New York delegation. Disorganization and failure to agree on William H. Crawford, Daniel Tompkins, Henry Clay, or another possible contender weakened opposition to Monroe. The boycott by Virginia delegates of the March 12 caucus removed opponents' chances and Monroe received the caucus nomination four days later.[19] With the Federalist Party in disarray due to the unpopularity of their opposition to the War of 1812, he was easily elected. The Federalists did not even name a candidate, though Rufus King of New York did run in opposition to Monroe under the Federalist banner. King carried but three states (Connecticut, Delaware, and Massachusetts) and won only 34 of 217 electoral votes cast.[20] (See United States presidential election, 1816.)

The collapse of the Federalists left Monroe with no organized opposition at the end of his first term, and he ran for reelection unopposed, the only president other than Washington to do so. A single elector from New Hampshire cast a vote for John Quincy Adams, preventing a unanimous vote in the electoral college. (See United States presidential election, 1820.)

Presidency 1817–1825: The Era of Good Feelings

Monroe made balanced Cabinet choices, naming a southerner, John C. Calhoun, as Secretary of War, and a northerner, John Quincy Adams, as Secretary of State. Only Henry Clay's refusal to accept a position kept Monroe from adding an outstanding westerner. He allowed the lower posts to take on diverse political appointees, which reduced anxiety and led to the naming of this period in American history as the "Era of Good Feelings". To build national trust, he made two long national tours in 1817. Frequent stops allowed innumerable ceremonies of welcome and good will. All the while, the Federalist Party continued to diminish; it maintained its vitality and organizational integrity at the state and local level, but dwindled at the federal level due to redistricting. The party's Congressional caucus stopped meeting, and there were no notable national conventions after Monroe's last term.

Internal Improvements

During his presidency, Congress demanded high subsidies for internal improvements, such as for the improvement of the Cumberland Road. Monroe vetoed the Cumberland Road Bill, which provided for yearly improvements to the road, because he believed it to be unconstitutional for the government to have such a large hand in what was essentially a civics bill deserving of attention on a state by state basis. This defiance underlined Monroe's populist ideals and added credit to the local offices that he was so fond of visiting on his speech trails.

Missouri Compromise

The era of "good feelings" endured until 1824, and carried over to John Quincy Adams who was elected President by the House of Representatives in what Andrew Jackson alleged to be a "corrupt bargain." Monroe's popularity, however, was undiminished even when following difficult nationalist policies as the country's commitment to nationalism was starting to show serious fractures. The Panic of 1819 caused a painful economic depression. The application for statehood by the Missouri Territory, in 1819, as a slave state failed. An amended bill for gradually eliminating slavery in Missouri precipitated two years of bitter debate in Congress. The Missouri Compromise bill resolved the struggle, pairing Missouri as a slave state with Maine, a free state, and barring slavery north of the latitude 36/30' N forever. The Missouri Compromise lasted until 1857, when it was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court as part of the Dred Scott decision.

Foreign policy

After the Napoleonic wars (which ended in 1815), almost all of Latin America revolted against Spanish or Portuguese rule and declared independence. Americans welcomed this development as a validation of the spirit of Republicanism. Adams suggested delay in formal recognition until Florida was secured in 1819. The whole problem of imperial invasion was intensified by a Russian claim to the Pacific coast down to the fifty-first parallel and simultaneous European pressure to have all of Latin America returned to its colonial status.

In March 1822 Monroe informed Congress that permanent stable governments had been established in the United Provinces of La Plata (present-day Argentina), Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Mexico. John Quincy Adams, under Monroe's supervision, wrote the instructions for the ministers (ambassadors) to these new countries. They declared that the policy of the United States was to uphold republican institutions and to seek treaties of commerce on a most-favored-nation basis. The United States would support inter-American congresses dedicated to the development of economic and political institutions fundamentally differing from those prevailing in Europe. The articulation of an "American system" distinct from that of Europe was a basic tenet of Monroe's policy toward Latin America. Monroe took pride as the United States was the first nation to extend recognition and to set an example to the rest of the world for its support of the "cause of liberty and humanity."

In his message to Congress on December 2, 1823, Monroe formally announced what was later called the Monroe Doctrine. He proclaimed that the Americas should be free from future European colonization and free from European interference in sovereign countries' affairs. It further stated the United States' intention to stay neutral in European wars and wars between European powers and their colonies, but to consider new colonies or interference with independent countries in the Americas as hostile acts toward the United States.

Although it is Monroe's most famous contribution to history, the speech was written by Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, who designed the doctrine in cooperation with Britain. Monroe and Adams realized that American recognition would not protect the new countries against military intervention to restore Spain's power. In October 1823 Richard Rush, the American minister in London, advised that Foreign Secretary George Canning was proposing that the U.S. and Britain jointly declare their opposition to European intervention. Britain, with its powerful navy, also opposed re-conquest of Latin America and suggested that the United States join in proclaiming a "hands off" policy. Galvanized by the British initiative, Monroe consulted with American leaders and then he and Adams formulated a plan. Ex-Presidents Jefferson and Madison counseled Monroe to accept the offer, but Adams advised, "It would be more candid ... to avow our principles explicitly to Russia and France, than to come in as a cock-boat in the wake of the British man-of-war." Monroe accepted Adams' advice. Not only must Latin America be left alone, he warned, but also Russia must not encroach southward on the Pacific coast. "...the American continents," he stated, "by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European Power."

In 1823 the Monroe Doctrine pertained more to the Russians in North America than to the former Spanish colonies in South America. The result was a system of American isolationism under the sponsorship of the British navy. The Monroe Doctrine held that the United States considered the Western Hemisphere as no longer a place for European colonization; that any future effort to gain further political control in the hemisphere or to violate the independence of existing states would be treated as an act of hostility; and finally that there existed two different and incompatible political systems in the world. Therefore the United States promised to refrain from intervention in European affairs and demanded Europe to abstain from interfering with American matters. In the event there were few serious European attempts at intervention.

Spain and Florida

The relations with Spain over the purchase of Florida proved to be more troublesome, especially after General Andrew Jackson invaded that territory on what he believed to be the president's authorization, which Monroe later denied giving. But largely through the skillful work of John Quincy Adams, a treaty was signed with Spain in 1819 by which Florida was ceded to the United States in return for the assumption of $5,000,000 in claims and the relinquishment of any claims to Texas.

Monroe began to formally recognize the young sister republics (the former Spanish colonies) in 1822. He and Adams had wished to avoid trouble with Spain until it had ceded Florida to the U.S., which was done in 1821.

Seminole Wars

Monroe sparked a constitutional controversy when, in 1817, he sent General Andrew Jackson to move against Spanish Florida to pursue hostile Seminole Indians and punish the Spanish for aiding them. News of Jackson's exploits ignited a congressional investigation of the 1st Seminole War. Dominated by Democratic-Republicans, the 15th Congress was generally expansionist and more likely to support the popular Jackson. Ulterior political agendas of many congressmen dismantled partisan and sectional coalitions, so that Jackson's opponents argued weakly and became easily discredited. After much debate, the House of Representatives voted down all resolutions that condemned Jackson in any way, thus implicitly endorsing Monroe's actions and leaving the issue surrounding the role of the executive with respect to war powers unanswered.

Monroe believed that the Indians must progress from the hunting stage to become an agricultural people, noting in 1817, "A hunter or savage state requires a greater extent of territory to sustain it than is compatible with progress and just claims of civilised life." His proposals to speed up the assimilation process were ignored by Congress.

Later life

When his presidency was over on March 4, 1825, James Monroe lived at Monroe Hill on the grounds of the University of Virginia. This university's modern campus was Monroe's family farm from 1788 to 1817, but he had sold it in the first year of his presidency to the new college. He served on the college's Board of Visitors under Jefferson and then under the second rector and another former President James Madison, until his death.

Monroe had racked up many debts during his years of public life. As a result, he was forced to sell off his Highland Plantation (now called Ash Lawn-Highland; it is owned by his alma mater, the College of William and Mary, which has opened it to the public). Throughout his life, he was not financially solvent, and his wife's poor health made matters worse.

For these reasons, he and his wife lived in Oak Hill, Virginia, until Elizabeth's death on September 23, 1830. In August 1825, the Marquis de Lafayette and President John Quincy Adams, were guests of the Monroes there.


Upon Elizabeth's death in 1830, Monroe moved to New York City to live with his daughter Maria Hester Monroe Gouverneur who had married Samuel L. Gouverneur in the first White House wedding. In April 1831, John Quincy Adams visited him there.

Monroe died there from heart failure and tuberculosis on July 4, 1831, becoming the third president to die on July 4. His death came 55 years after the U.S. Declaration of Independence was proclaimed and 5 years after the death of the Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. He was originally buried in New York at the Gouverneur family's vault in the New York City Marble Cemetery. Twenty-seven years later in 1858 the body was re-interred to the President's Circle at the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia. The James Monroe Tomb is a U.S. National Historic Landmark.

Religious beliefs

"When it comes to Monroe's ..thoughts on religion," Bliss Isely comments in his The Presidents: Men of Faith, "less is known than that of any other President." He burned much of his correspondence with his wife, and no letters survive in which he might have discussed his religious beliefs. Nor did his friends, family or associates write about his beliefs. Letters that do survive, such as ones written after the death of his son, contain no discussion of religion.

Monroe was raised in a family that belonged to the Church of England when it was the state church in Virginia before the Revolution. As an adult frequently attended Episcopalian churches, though there is no record he ever took communion. He has been classified by some historians as a Deist, and he did use deistic language to refer to an impersonal God. Unlike Jefferson, Monroe was rarely attacked as an atheist and infidel for his deistic views. An exception came in 1832 when James Renwick Willson, a Reformed Presbyterian minister in Albany, New York, criticized Monroe for having "lived and died like a second-rate Athenian philosopher."

As Secretary of State Monroe dismissed Mordecai Manuel Noah from his post as consul to Tunis in 1815, for the apparent reason that he was Jewish. Noah protested and gained letters from Adams, Jefferson, and Madison supporting church-state separation and tolerance for Jews.


On October 15, 1799, some slave traders attempted to transport a group of slaves from Southampton to Georgia when they revolted and killed the slave traders. According to Scheer's article on the subject, the slave patrol responded and killed ten slaves on the spot in extra judicial killings without the benefit of trial. Concerning the five men taken alive, Scheer says that were tried in an oyer and terminer court without the benefit of a jury, and that Governor Monroe postponed their executions to check their identities, granting a pardon to one, and allowing two to hang, while the other died in jail from exposure to the cold. Scheer's argument is that Monroe "help[ed] secure a modicum of civil protection for slaves sentenced to death for capital crimes."

When Monroe was Governor of Virginia in 1800, hundreds of slaves from Virginia intended to kidnap Governor Monroe, take Richmond, and negotiate for their freedom. Due to a storm on August 30th, they were unable to attack. This is known as Gabriel's slave conspiracy.

Monroe called out the militia and slave patrols captured some slaves. Sidbury says some trials had a few measures to prevent abuses like an appointed attorney, but were "hardly 'fair'". Slave codes prevented slaves from being treated like whites, and had quick trials without a jury.[38] Monroe influenced the Executive Council to pardon and sell some slaves instead of hanging them. Nonetheless, historians say the Virginia courts executed between 26 and 35 slaves.

Monroe owned dozens of slaves, and according to William Seale, took some of his slaves to serve him when he resided at the White House from 1817-1825; this was not unique, as other slave owning presidents also had the custom of bringing their slaves to work for them since there was no demestic staff provided for the presidents at that time.

As president of Virginia's constitutional convention in the fall of 1829, Monroe reiterated his belief that slavery was a blight which, even as a British colony, Virginia had attempted to eradicate. "What was the origin of our slave population?" he rhetorically asked. "The evil commenced when we were in our Colonial state, but acts were passed by our Colonial Legislature, prohibiting the importation, of more slaves, into the Colony. These were rejected by the Crown." To the extreme chagrin of states' rights proponents, he was even willing to accept the federal government's financial assistance in emancipating and deporting the slaves. At the convention, Monroe made his final public statement on slavery, proposing that Virginia emancipate and deport its bondsmen with "the aid of the Union."

Monroe was part of the African Colonization Society formed in 1816, which included members like Henry Clay and Andrew Jackson. These men were not abolitionists, but they did find common ground with some abolitionists who supported colonisation, and together they helped send several thousand freed slaves to Africa from 1820-1840. The concern slave owners like Monroe and Jackson had was to prevent free blacks from influencing slaves to rebel in southern states. With about $100,000 in Federal grant money, the organisation also bought land for those people in what is today Liberia. The capital of Liberia was named Monrovia after him.


Since its 1824 renaming in his honor, the capital city of the West African country of Liberia has been named Monrovia. It is the only non-American capital city named after a U.S. President.

On December 12, 1954, the United States Postal Service released a 5¢ Liberty Issue postage stamp honoring Monroe.

The James Monroe Building in Richmond, Virginia, was named after him.


Monroe was the last U.S. President to wear a powdered wig and knee breeches according to the men's fashion of the eighteenth century.


"It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising their sovereignty. Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and an usurper soon found. The people themselves become the willing instruments of their own debasement and ruin."

"The best form of government is that which is most likely to prevent the greatest sum of evil."

"Never did a government commence under auspices so favorable, nor ever was success so complete. If we look to the history of other nations, ancient or modern, we find no example of a growth so rapid, so gigantic, of a people so prosperous and happy."

"In this great nation there is but one order, that of the people, whose power, by a peculiarly happy improvement of the representative principle, is transferred from them, without impairing in the slightest degree their sovereignty, to bodies of their own creation, and to persons elected by themselves, in the full extent necessary for the purposes of free, enlightened, and efficient government."

"The earth was given to mankind to support the greatest number of which it is capable, and no tribe or people have a right to withhold from the wants of others more than is necessary for their own support and comfort." ..."

SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Monroe

Biographical Summary #2:

James Monroe (April 28, 1758 – July 4, 1831) was the fifth President of the United States (1817–1825). His administration was marked by the acquisition of Florida (1819); the Missouri Compromise (1820), in which Missouri was declared a slave state; the admission of Maine in 1820 as a free state; and the profession of the Monroe Doctrine (1823), declaring U.S. opposition to European interference in the Americas, as well as breaking all ties with France remaining from the War of 1812.

James Monroe (son of Spence Monroe and Elizabeth Jones) was born April 28, 1758 in Monroe's Creek, Westmoreland County, Virginia, and died July 04, 1831 in New York, NY. He married Elizabeth Kortright on February 16, 1786 in Trinity Episcopal Church, New York, NY, daughter of Lawrence "Laurens" Kortright and Hannah Aspinwall.

Marriage: February 16, 1786, Trinity Episcopal Church, New York, NY.

Children of James Monroe and Elizabeth Kortright are:

  1. Eliza Kortright Monroe, b. July 27, 1787, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania Co., Virginia, d. 1835, Paris, France.
  2. James Spence Monroe, b. May 1799, d. September 28, 1800, Richmond, Virginia.
  3. Maria Hester Monroe, b. 1803, Paris, France, d. 1850, Oak Hill, Leesburg, Virginia.

Ash Lawn–Highland, located near Charlottesville, Virginia, USA, and adjacent to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, was the estate of James Monroe, fifth President of the United States. Purchased in 1793, Monroe and his family permanently settled on the property in 1799 and lived at Ash Lawn–Highland for twenty-four years. Personal debt forced Monroe to sell the plantation in 1825. Before and after selling Highland, Monroe spent much of his time living at Oak Hill.

President Monroe simply called his home "Highland." It did not acquire the additional name of "Ash Lawn" until after his death.

The estate is now owned, operated and maintained by Monroe's alma mater, the College of William and Mary.


  1. "Biography of James Monroe". The White House. http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/jm5.html. Retrieved 2006-10-23.
  2. "MONROE, James - Biographical Information". United States Congress. http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=M000858. Retrieved 2009-07-24.
  3. "American President: James Monroe: Life Before the Presidency". Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia.
  4. "The administration of James Monroe." Bancroft, Hubert H., ed. (1902). "The Great Republic by the Master Historians". http://www.publicbookshelf.com/public_html/The_Great_Republic_By_th....
  5. "Cumberland Road". Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States by the Best American and European Writers. 1899. http://www.econlib.org/library/YPDBooks/Lalor/llCy338.html.
  6. D. L. Birchfield. "Choctaws". http://www.everyculture.com/multi/Bu-Dr/Choctaws.html. Retrieved 2008-05-07.
  7. Remini, Robert. "Expansion and Removal". Andrew Jackson. History Book Club. p. 395. ISBN 0965063106.
  8. Cushman, Horatio (1999). "The Choctaw". History of the Choctaw, Chickasaw and Natchez Indians. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 149-150. ISBN 0806131276.
  9. White, Earl. "Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma". Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. http://www.choctawnation.com/History/index.cfm?fuseaction=HArticle&.... Retrieved 2008-02-25.
  10. Clarke, Hewitt (1995). "Chapter 1, "The Death of Koosa Town"". Thunder at Meridian. Lone Star Press. p. 51-52. ISBN 0964923106.
  11. http://encyclopedia.stateuniversity.com/pages/11188/James-Monroe.html

5th President of the United States of America

American statesman who served from 1817 to 1825 as the fifth President of the United States. Monroe was the last president among the Founding Fathers of the United States

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James Monroe, 5th President of the USA's Timeline

April 28, 1758
Monroe's Creek, Westmoreland County, Virginia, British Colonial America
July 27, 1787
Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania , Virginia, United States
May 1799
Richmond, Henrico County, Virginia, United States
Paris, Île-de-France, France
- 1825
Age 58
United States of America, Washington, District of Columbia, United States
July 4, 1831
Age 73
Home of his daughter, New York, New York, New York, United States
Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia, United States