MONROE, James

1758–1831

Biography

MONROE, James, (nephew of Joseph Jones and uncle of James Monroe [1799–1870]), a Delegate and a Senator from Virginia and 5th President of the United States; born in Westmoreland County, Va., April 28, 1758; pursued classical studies; attended William and Mary College, Williamsburg, Va., in 1776 and left to enter the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War; appointed a lieutenant in the Third Virginia Regiment, participated in numerous engagements, and was severely wounded in the Battle of Trenton; rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel; member, State assembly 1782; Member of the Continental Congress 1783-1786; resumed the study of law; admitted to the bar and engaged in practice in Fredericksburg, Va.; member, State assembly 1786; delegate to the State convention to consider the Federal Constitution in 1788; unsuccessful candidate for election to the First Congress; elected to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of William Grayson; reelected in 1791 and served from November 9, 1790, until his resignation May 27, 1794; appointed by President George Washington as Minister Plenipotentiary to France 1794-1796; Governor of Virginia 1799-1802; appointed by President Thomas Jefferson as Minister Plenipotentiary to France in 1803, and Minister Plenipotentiary to England 1803-1807, and during this period headed a diplomatic mission to Spain; returned home in 1808; member, State assembly 1810-1811; Governor of Virginia 1811; appointed Secretary of State in the Cabinet of President James Madison and served from 1811 to 1817; also served as Secretary of War 1814-1815; elected in 1816 and reelected in 1820 as President of the United States and served from March 4, 1817, to March 3, 1825; retired to his farm in Loudoun County, Va.; member and president of the Virginia constitutional convention of 1829; moved to New York City in 1831, and died there July 4, 1831; interment in Marble Cemetery on Second Street, New York City; reinterred in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Va., July 4, 1858.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

American Philosophical Society

Philadelphia, PA
Papers: Correspondence in Bache papers-Castle collection, 1766-1946; in University of Virginia Board of Visitors minutes, 1814-1828, copies of originals at University of Virginia; Royal Society of Great Britain miscellaneous correspondence and documents, ca. 1642-1818, on 1 microfilm reel of originals in Royal Society, London; correspondence in John Quincy Adams papers, 1809-1816, from the administrative and chancellery files of the Archives of Russian Foreign Ministry, on 2 microfilm reels; John Vaughan collection, 1768-1922; 1 letter (November 1, 1794) to French Committee of Public Safety on behalf of imprisoned Thomas Paine in Richard Gimbel collection, 1692-1921; letters in William Temple Franklin correspondence, 1775-1819; and in Jose Francisco Correia da Serra papers, 1772-1823.

Boston Public Library

Boston, MA
Papers: 37 items.

College of William and Mary
Earl Gregg Swem Library

Williamsburg, VA
Papers: 1783-1831. 95 items. Correspondence and other papers including a draft (1788) of the instructions to the Virginia deputies to the Continental Congress at Philadelphia. Finding aid. Also 80 items of correspondence and documents in Jay Johns collection of James Monroe papers, 1780-1834. Finding aid.

Cornell University Libraries
Rare Books and Manuscript Collections

Ithaca, NY
Papers: Letter (no date) from Monroe in Washington Irving's Life of George Washington, Volume VI, Miscellany, 1774 1807; letter (June 5, 1795) from Aaron Burr in Volume IX, Miscellany, 1766-1808; letter (July 6, 1828) from Monroe and portrait in Volume XIII, Miscellany, 1771-1832; and correspondence in Marie Joseph Paul, marquis de Lafayette collection, 1520-1849.

Duke University
Special Collections Library

Durham, NC
Papers: 1 item (November 14, 1791) in Zachariah and Thomas Johnston papers.

Filson Club Historical Society

Louisville, KY
Papers: Miscellaneous letters, documents, and references in various collections.

Hagley Museum and Library

Greenville, DE
Papers: In Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours papers, 1739-1817, 1757-1836, and 1769-1831; transcripts of original letters in State Department records in Henry Algernon du Pont papers, 1843-1926; and in Victor Marie du Pont papers, 1753-1847.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA
Papers: Manuscripts of Monroe (1794-1828) on the French Revolution and instructions to Monroe by Edmund Randolph (1794-1828) in Simon Gratz collection, 1677-1910; 1 letter (1822) in James Moore Swank papers, 1785-1898; in Jonathan Roberts papers, 1780-1930; letters (1811-1819) in Daniel Parker papers, 1800-1846; Monroe's account book (1812-1818) with the Bank of Columbia; transcriptions of letters in Peter Stephen Du Ponceau papers, 1663-1844 (bulk 1781-1844); in Clement Biddle papers, 1743-1835; copybook of letters (1813-1816) to Monroe concerning Morris' unofficial diplomatic service in Spain in Anthony Morris family papers, 1781-1894; letters from Monroe in Joel Roberts Poinsett papers, 1785-1851; letters (1814-1830) from Monroe in Charles Jared Ingersoll papers, 1803-1862; 1 letter (December 6, 1822) in Biddle family papers, 1688-1883; letters in Peter S. Du Ponceau correspondence, 1777-1844; 1 item (June 8, 1790) in Cadwalader papers; and in William David Lewis papers, 1800-1918.

James Monroe Law Office/Museum
and Memorial Library

Fredericksburg, VA
Papers: 1780-1836. Ca. 300 items. Includes approximately 80 letters by Monroe, 200 by others, and portraits. Advance, special permission required.

Knox College
Seymour Library

Galesburg, IL
Papers: 1 land patent (November 27, 1820) in Seymour autograph collection, 1750-1945; 1 letter (December 6, 1830) in Sang autograph collection, 1751-1954; and 2 letters (October 16, 1819; January 8, 1822) in Bookfellow Foundation autograph collection, 1793-1945.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: 1758-1839. 45 containers. Correspondence and papers as congressman, senator, governor, diplomat, cabinet officer, and president of United States. Available on 11 reels microfilm. Finding aid.
Additional Papers: 7 containers (1783-1831) of correspondence and papers; correspondence in Commissioners of the City of Washington records, 1791-1869 (bulk 1791-1808); in Spanish-American affairs collection, 1810-1816; 1 item (December 1, 1791) in Stone papers; 2 items (November 26, 1790; December 15, 1790) in Jefferson papers; correspondence in Alexander Hamilton papers, 1760-1830, available on 46 microfilm reels; in William Harris Crawford papers, 1810-1914; and Nicholas Philip Trist papers, 1795-1873.

Massachusetts Historical Society

Boston, MA
Papers: Correspondence in Samuel Cabot papers, 1713-1858; and Jonathan Russell papers, 1799-1863.

New Jersey Historical Society

Newark, NJ
Papers: Correspondence in miscellaneous manuscripts, 1664-1956.

New York City Municipal Archives

New York, NY
Papers: 2 letters (1832) of John Yates Cebra concerning arrangements for Monroe's funeral; and 1 letter (October 3, 1814) regarding the city's loan of $1 million dollars to the federal government for defense purposes in War of 1812 papers, 1813-1820.

New York Public Library

New York, NY
Papers: 1772-1836 (bulk 1795-1822). 4 linear feet. Includes correspondence (1772-1836) and writings (1785-1831). Correspondence is chiefly political with emphasis on constitutional issues, diplomatic assignment in France, slave trade, and Bank of the United States. Foreign policy and war issues are also discussed. Writings include manuscripts of autobiography; drafts of speeches, articles, and treaties with Great Britain and Spain; draft of proposed Bill of Rights; and copies of Monoe's cipher and Jefferson/Monroe cipher. Available on 8 microfilm reels. Finding aid.
Additional Papers: Correspondence in James Barbour correspondence, 1792-1848; 1 item (June 20, 1791) in Emmet collection; and miscellaneous items in various collections.

Pierpont Morgan Library

New York, NY
Papers: 1793-1831. 29 items.

Princeton University
Seeley G. Mudd Library

Princeton, NJ
Papers: Ca. 60 items (1794-1830) in the Andre de Coppet collection.

Rosenbach Museum and Library

Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 1785, 1794, [1800], 1816, 1817, 1821, 1825. 12 items. Also message to Senate (February 13, 1821) concerning Treaty of Washington; and draft of first inaugural address (March 1817), 14 pages.

South Carolina Historical Society

Charleston, SC
Papers: Correspondence in Miscellaneous manuscripts, series I and II, 1631-1979; and an autograph in Prioleau family autograph collection, 1697-1876.

Southern Illinois University

Carbondale, IL
Papers: 1 item (June 3, 1791) in Elsie and Philip Sang collection.

Smith College
Rare Book Room

Northampton, MA
Papers: March 10, 1789. 1 item.

Temple University Libraries
Rare Book and Manuscript Collections

Philadelphia, PA
Papers: Correspondence in Dallas family papers, 1794-1865; and Albert J. Caplan collection.

University of Kentucky Libraries
Special Collections and Archives

Lexington, KY
Papers: 1 item (November 19, 1790) in Monroe papers.

University of Michigan
William L. Clements Library

Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: Ca. 70 items ([1780]-1831) in various collections, many pertaining to War of 1812.

University of Virginia
Alderman Library

Charlottesville, VA
Papers: 1785-1834. Ca. 160 items.
Additional Papers: Correspondence in Key, Cutts, and Turner family papers, 1790-1858 (bulk 1790-1817), on 1 microfilm reel; 1 item (February 7, 1791) in Jay W. Johas deposit; and letters, state papers, land documents, and accounts (1650-1842) in various Virginia repositories reproduced on 13 microfilm reels (1969). Finding aid.

Virginia Historical Society

Richmond, VA
Papers: Ca. 80 items in various collections including the Archibald Stuart papers, 1785-1822, and the Graham family papers, 1798-1925, available on microfilm, and portraits.

Virginia State Library

Richmond, VA
Papers: 7 miscellaneous items (1799-1827); letterbooks as governor (1799-1802, 1811); correspondence in Stuart family papers, 1768-1912; Tazewell family papers, 1790-1848; Tucker-Ewell papers, 1770-1893; Mrs. Edmund Waller collection, 1780-1825; genealogy in Gary Boyd Roberts papers, 1979; and portraits.

Yale University Libraries
Manuscripts and Archives

New Haven, CT
Papers: Correspondence in William Wirt papers, 1786-1850, on 24 microfilm reels of originals at Maryland Historical Society; James Monroe papers in Virginia repositories, 1650-1846 (bulk 1799-1811), on 13 microfilm reels; James Monroe papers, 1758-1839, on 11 microfilm reels of originals at Library of Congress; in Joseph Wheaton papers, 1797-1839; Morse family papers, 1779-1868; John Trumbull papers, 1750-1961, on 11 microfilm reels; Pruden family papers, 1572-1941; Colonel John Brown and Major Preston Brown papers, 1763-1865; and 1 letter in Alfred White Van Sinderen collection, 1789-1969, on 1 microfilm reel.
Research Libraries Information Network In addition to the institutions listed above, items are also cataloged in collections at: Abigail Adams Smith Museum, New York, NY; Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery, AL; American Baptist Historical Society, Rochester, NY; Brigham Young University Archives, Provo, UT; Brown University, Providence, RI; Columbia University, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, New York, NY; D.C. Archives, Washington, DC; East Hampton Free Library, East Hampton, NY; Indiana Historical Society, Indianapolis, IN; Johns Hopkins University, Special Collections, Baltimore, MD; Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA; Maine Historical Society, Portland, ME; Maryland Historical Society Library, Baltimore, MD; New-York Historical Society, New York, NY; New York State Library, Albany, NY; Northwestern University Library, Evanston, IL; Radcliffe College, Schlesinger Library, Cambridge, MA; Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, CA; State Historical Society of North Dakota, Bismark, ND; University of California, Bancroft Library, Berkeley, CA; University of Rochester, Rush Rhees Library, Rochester, NY; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Library, Blacksburg, VA; Washington's Headquarters State Historic Site, Newburgh, NY; and Winterthur Museum, Winterthur, DE.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Adams, John Quincy. The Lives of James Madison and James Monroe. Boston: Phillips, Sampson & Co., 1850.

Ammon, Harry. "Agricola versus Aristides: James Monroe, John Marshall, and the Genet Affair in Virginia." Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 74 (July 1966): 312-20.

___. James Monroe: The Quest for National Identity. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1971.

___, ed. James Monroe: A Bibliography. Westport, CT: Meckler, 1991.

Berkeley, Edmund, and Dorothy Smith Berkeley. " 'The Piece Left Behind': Monroe's Authorship of a Political Pamphlet Revealed." Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 75 (April 1967): 174-80.

Brown, Stuart Gerry, ed. The Autobiography of James Monroe. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1959.

Cresson, W.P. James Monroe. 1946. Reprint. Norwalk, CT: Easton Press, 1986.

Cronin, John W., and W. Harvey Wise, Jr., eds. A Bibliography of James Madison and James Monroe. Washington: Riverford Publishing Co., 1935.

Dickson, Charles Ellis. "James Monroe's Defense of Kentucky's Interests in the Confederation Congress: An Example of Early North/South Party Alignment." Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 74 (October 1976): 261-80.

___. "Politics in a New Nation: The Early Career of James Monroe." Ph.D. dissertation, Ohio State University, 1971.

Elliot, Ian, ed. James Monroe, 1758-1831; Chronology, Documents, Bibliographical Aids. Dobbs Ferry, NY: Oceana Publications, 1969.

Garrison, Curtis Wiswell, and David Lawrence Thomas, eds. James Monroe Papers in Virginia Repositories. University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, 1969. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 1989. Microfilm. 13 reels and guide.

Gilman, Daniel Coit. James Monroe. 1898. Reprint, with new introduction by Robert Dawidoff. New York: Chelsea House, 1983.

Hamilton, Stanislaus Murray. The Writings of James Monroe. 7 vols. 1898-1903. Reprint. New York: AMS Press, 1969.

Monroe, James. The People, the Sovereigns: Being a Comparison of the Government of the United States with Those of the Republics which Have Existed Before, with the Causes of Their Decadence and Fall. Edited by Samuel L. Gouverneur. 1867. Reprint. Cumberland, VA: James River Press, 1987.

Morgan, George. The Life of James Monroe. 1921. Reprint. New York: AMS Press, 1969.

Schoenherr, Steven E., and Iris H.W. Engelstrand. "James Monroe, Friend of the West." Journal of the West 31 (July 1992): 20-26.

Styron, Arthur. The Last of the Cocked Hats: James Monroe and the Virginia Dynasty. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1945.

Weston, Elizabeth. "The Early Career of James Monroe." Master's thesis, University of Virginia, 1942.

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