James Monroe Fact Sheet: Who was James Monroe? The following short biography and fact sheet provides interesting facts about the life, times and history of James Monroe.
James Monroe Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1758 - 1831 *** Full Name: James Monroe *** Nickname: The Last Cocked Hat *** Occupation: Lawyer, Planter, College Administrator and Fifth President of the United States *** Date of Birth: James Monroe was born on April 28th 1758 *** Place of Birth: James Monroe was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, British America *** Family background: His father was Spence Monroe and his mother was Elizabeth Jones. His grandfather was originally from Scotland *** Early life and childhood: He grew up with several siblings *** Education: James Monroe was educated by his mother before attending Campbell Town Academy, a very bright and able student and very quick to learn ***
James Monroe Fact 1: James Monroe was born on April 28th 1758 and during the 18th century period in history when France and America both went through revolutions and the Industrial Revolution began in Britain.
James Monroe Fact 2: His father died I 1774 at which time he inherited his father’s small plantation and what slaves he owned. At sixteen years of age he began to form a very close bond with Judge Joseph Jones his mother’s brother.
James Monroe Fact 3: With the encouragement of his uncle, when Monroe was eighteen he began attending the College of William and Mary where there was visible excitement about the potential rebellion that was brewing against King George III of England.
James Monroe Fact 4: Eighteen months after he started college he left to join the Virginia regiment in the Continental Army where his standing as a plantation owner with a college background meant he was offered an officer’s commission.
James Monroe Fact 5: He took part in the Battle of Trenton right beside Captain Washington, who was General Washington’s cousin, and both were wounded in the same battle. Washington receiving serious injuries to both of his hands and Monroe received a musket wound to his shoulder which hit an artery, only through receiving immediate attention by a young patriot doctor, John Riker, who clamped off the bleeding artery that saved Monroe's life.
James Monroe Fact 6: Once recovered Monroe went back to Williamsburg where he took up the study of law under George Wythe before moving to Richmond where he studied law under Thomas Jefferson.
James Monroe Fact 7: Although he had no particular passion for law he saw it a means of making a good living with social and political standing.
James Monroe Fact 8: In 1786 he married Elizabeth Kortrigh in New York City and together they had three children, Eliza Kortright, James Spencer and Maria Hester.
James Monroe Fact 9: In order to fulfill his plans to enter the legal profession he sold his plantation, inherited from his father, although he would own other, larger plantations and slaves.
James Monroe Fact 10: In 1782 he would be elected to the Virginia House of Delegates and the following year would be elected to Congress. In 1790 he would be elected by the Virginian legislature as United States Senator and became a member of the Democratic-Republican group which was led by Madison and Jefferson. He would become party leader in the Senate in 1791.
James Monroe Fact 11: During 1794 he was appointed as Minister to France and so resigned his seat in the Senate.
James Monroe Fact 12: Once returned to America he resumed practicing law in his home state of Virginia until he was elected governor between 1799 and 1802 and was re-elected in 1811.
James Monroe Fact 13: He would only serve four months as governor because James Madison appointed him Secretary of State and by 1814 would appoint him as Secretary of War. When no replacement was found for her former post he held down both posts successfully.
James Monroe Fact 14: By 1815 however he was no longer needed at Secretary of War so was again formally appointed as Secretary of State where he remained until 1817.
James Monroe Fact 15: During the election year of 1816 however, Monroe decided to run for President and will the Federalists collapsing he was left with little to no opposition in his initial bid for the presidency or in his bid for re-election.
James Monroe Fact 16: As a newly elected President he virtually ignored previous party policies when it came to appointing lower posts and appointed where he felt was appropriate.
James Monroe Fact 17: It was during Monroe's administration that various states not at that time under American rule, for example, Florida, which was under Spanish rule and Russia trying to claim the Pacific coast, that it was in the Monroe Doctrine where he would proclaim that America should forever be free of any European colonization or interference going forward.
James Monroe Fact 18: He would also state that he wished the United States to remain neutral in any and all future wars between European powers or their colonies. Also under his administration he admitted Mississippi, Illinois, Alabama, Maine and Missouri to the Union.
James Monroe Fact 19: Once his successful terms as President were concluded in 1825 he eventually retired to Oak Hill until his wife died in 1830 and which point he went to live with his daughter in New York City.
James Monroe Fact 20: James Monroe died on July 4th 1831 of heart failure and tuberculosis aged seventy three years. His body laid to rest initially in New York in the Gourverneur, his daughter’s family vault in the New York City Marble Cemetery but later his remains would be moved to the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia in the President’s Circle.
Influence & Legacy of James Buchanan: Even though Andrew Jackson was a courier during the war, it is James Monroe who was considered that last President to be regarded as a Revolutionary War Veteran. He was considered one of the most qualified men ever to have taken office. His foreign policies proved particularly successful and overall his administration was seen as one of the most successful ones. Monroe was a great thinker and encouraged debate on all topics and issues.