President James Monroe
Compiled by D. A. Sharpe
President James Monroe was born April 28, 1758 at Monroe Hall, Colony of Virginia, British America. He died July 4, 1831 in New York City.
The fifth President of the United States, James Monroe, is my 31st cousin, twice removed. Monroe is the 13th Cousin, twice removed of first President, George Washington. The ancestors in common with us are Eystein Glumra Ivarsson and Aseda Rognvaldsdatter, ninth century Vikings of Norway. They are President Washington's 25th great grand parents, Monroe's 30th great grandparents, and my 32nd great grandparents. President Monroe is the 18th cousin, seven times removed to my son-in-law, Steven O. Westmoreland. Monroe is the 10th cousin -5x removed of Edward Carleton, the husband of Ellen Newton, the stepdaughter of 6th great granduncle Danette Abney (b 1712).
Coincidentally, James Monroe was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia. We believe the county was named from Westmoreland County, England, which was a county in the northwest of England. However, in1974, Westmoreland County England was merged with the neighboring county of Cumberland to form a new county called Cumbria.
"James Monroe served 1817-1825 as President of the United States and was the author of the Monroe Doctrine. The Monroe Doctrine was a United States policy of opposing European colonialism in The Americas beginning in 1823. It stated that further efforts by European nations to take control of any independent state in North or South America would be viewed as "the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States."
Monroe's Presidency was marked by a disappearance of partisan politics, after the politically charged War of 1812, and his administration's time came to be known as the Era of Good Feelings. Monroe was a major politician of the era, although the Democratic-Republican Party almost withered away during his presidency.
"Monroe was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1782 and served in the Continental Congress 1783-1786. As a youthful politician, he joined the anti-Federalists in the Virginia Convention, which ratified the Constitution, and in 1790, was elected United States Senator.
“As Minister to France in 1794-1796, he displayed strong sympathies for the French Revolution; later, with Robert R. Livingston and under the direction of President Thomas Jefferson, he helped negotiate the Louisiana Purchase. He served as Governor of Virginia from 1799 to 1802. He was Minister to France again in 1803 and then Minister to the Court of St. James (Britain) from 1803 to1807. He returned to the Virginia House of Delegates and was elected to another term as governor of Virginia in 1811, but he resigned a few months into the term.
“He then served as Secretary of State from1811 to 1814. When he was appointed to Secretary of War on October 1,1814, he stayed on as the interim Secretary of State. On February 28,1815, he was again commissioned as the permanent Secretary of State, and left his position as Secretary of War. Thus, from October 1, 1814 to February 28, 1815, Monroe held the two cabinet posts. 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.
"Upon leaving the White House after his presidency expired on March 4,1825, James Monroe moved to live at Monroe Hill on the grounds of the University of Virginia. This university's modern campus was originally 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 Board of Visitors under Jefferson and then under the second rector and another former President James Madison, until his death.
"Monroe had racked up 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 the College of William and Mary, which has opened it to the public. He never financially recovered, and his wife's poor health made matters worse. As a result, he and his wife lived in Oak Hill until Elizabeth's death on September 23,1830.
"Upon Elizabeth's death, Monroe moved to live with his daughter Maria Hester Monroe Gouverneur in New York City, and died there from heart failure and tuberculosis on July 4, 1831, 55 years after the U.S. Declaration of Independence was proclaimed and five years after the death of Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. He was originally buried in New York, but he was reinterred in 1858 to the President's Circle at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia.
"Apart from George Washington and Washington DC, James Monroe is the only U.S. President to have had a country's capital city named after him, that of Monrovia in Liberia, which was founded by the American Colonization Society, in 1822, as a haven for freed slaves.
"Monroe was the third president to die on a July 4 date.
"Monroe was (arguably) the last president to have fought in the Revolutionary War, although Andrew Jackson served as a 13-year-old courier in the Continental Army, and was taken as a prisoner of war by the British.
"In the famous painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware (also depicted on the New Jersey state quarter), Monroe is standing behind George Washington and holds the American flag."
Elizabeth Kortright Monroe (June 30, 1768 – September 23, 1830) was First Lady of the United States from 1817 to 1825, as the wife of James Monroe, fifth President. Due to the fragile condition of Elizabeth's health, many of the duties of official hostess were assumed by her eldest daughter, Eliza Monroe Hay. They gave issue to three children; Eliza, James and Maria.
During the War of 1812, the White House was heavily damaged, resulting in the President’s residence to be in temporary quarters. This was immediately for President James Madison, then James Monroe. It was in 1818 that the White House was re-opened for the President’s residence and for the public to behold.
To honor the opening, the U.S. Mint issued the Elizabeth Monroe White House Coin.
In later years, the U.S. Mint issued in 2008 the _ oz. gold First Spouse Coin in honor of Elizabeth Monroe. Not only was she the First Lady of the White House, but she was the first Presidential spouse to be recognized on official U.S. Mint coinage.
President Monroe was interred at the Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia.
Dwight Albert (D. A.) Sharpe
805 Derting Road East
Aurora, TX 76078-3712