5 - James Monroe

James Monroe was born April 28, 1758, on his family's estate near Colonia Beach, Virginia.  The home is no longer standing, but there is a park the James Monroe Birthplace Visitor Center.  However, when I visited in 1978, the excavation of the site had only begun, so my visit was limited to the marker along the highway:

Monroe left the family home in 1774 to attend the College of William and Mary, followed by service in the Continental Army, study of law under Virginia Governor Thomas Jefferson, and entry in to political office.  In 1786, he returned home to marry and moved in to the home of his uncle at 301 Caroline Street in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  This home is not open to the public.

Monroe practiced law while living in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  The building, which he owned from 1786 to 1792, that served as his law office operates as the James Monroe Museum.  I visited in 1978:

A highlight at the museum is Monroe's desk - the guide told us that it was where he wrote the Monroe Doctrine.  The doctrine was a small passage of a speech that Monroe delivered to Congress, and some historians believe it was actually written by his Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, but regardless, this was indeed Monroe's desk:

In 1793, at the urging of his friend Thomas Jefferson, Monroe purchased a plantation adjacent to Jefferson's Monticello.  He built and moved into the home in 1799.  I visited Monroe's Highland in 1976:

Monroe spent a lot of time away from Highland.  From 1794 to 1796, he served as minister to France, staying at the Hôtel Cusset at 95 rue de Richelieu in the 2ème.  From 1799 to 1802, he lived in Richmond, serving as Virginia governor.  From 1803 to 1807 he served as minister to England and Spain.  From 1811 to 1817, he served as U.S. Secretary of State (and for a brief time in 1814-15, also as Secretary of War).

In 1817, Monroe became president of the United States.  Because the White House was under repair of damages sustained during the British burning of Washington, Monroe moved in to the Timothy Caldwell House at 2017 I St NW.  This building, now also known as the Monroe House, is currently the home to the Arts Club of Washington.  I have not yet visited this site.

When the renovations were completed, Monroe moved in to the White House .  I have visited this site many times over the years.  Here is a photo taken in the Oval Office... of the gift shop across the street :-) in 2013:

During his presidency, Monroe built Oak Hill on an estate located near Aldie, Virginia.  He retired there when he left the White House in 1825.  This estate is privately owned and not open to the public.

In 1830, after the death of his wife, Monroe moved in with his daughter and son-in-law at their home at 63 Prince St in New York City.  This building no longer exists.

Monroe died July 4, 1831, in New York City.  He is buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia.  I have visited this site twice - first, with my family in 1976:

and then again in 2014:

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