Skip to main content
Main Content

James Monroe (1758 - 1831) Born April 28, 1758 in Westmoreland County, Virginia.  Monroe attended William & Mary from 1774 through 1776 . Monroe was a Virginia planter, served in the military during the Revolutionary War, studied law under Thomas Jefferson, was elected a Senator and Governor from Virginia, held numerous other diplomatic and political roles, including that of President of the United States.

As a diplomat under President Madison, Monroe attempted to maintain neutral relationships with revolutionary France and pre-War of 1812 Britain.  He played a leading role in the War of 1812 as Secretary of War and Secretary of State under President James Madison. His popularity from his efforts in the War of 1812 helped him win the election as the fifth President of the United States (1817-1825). This would make Monroe the 4th Virginian to hold that office out of five presidents. Elected in 1816, his administration was marked by the acquisition of Florida (1819); the Missouri Compromise (1820), in which Missouri was declared a slave state ; he supported the repatriation of freed slaves to Africa, and with the creation of Liberia 1822 the capital was named Monrovia in his honor ; and the profession of the Monroe Doctrine (1823), declaring U.S. opposition to European interference. Although a long-time Democratic-Republican, Monroe deemphasized partisanship during his presidency, which became known as the Era of Good Feelings.  He died of heart failure at the age of 63 in New York on Independence Day, July 4, 1831.

Material in the Special Collections Research Center

News From W&M

"Science rewrites history at the home of President James Monroe" August 10, 2016 from James Monroe Highland

Further Reading

 

Want to find out more?

To search for further material, visit the Special Collections Research Center's Search Tool List for other resources to help you find materials of interest.

Questions? Have ideas or updates for articles you'd like to see? Contact the Special Collections Research Center at spcoll@wm.edu or 757-221-3090.

A note about the contents of this site

This website contains the best available information from known sources at the time it was written. Unfortunately, many of the early original records of William & Mary were destroyed by fires, military occupation, and the normal effects of time. The information in this website is not complete, and it changes as we continue to research and uncover new sources.