Support the James Monroe Museum on #MaryWashDay!
From the very first one perceives that he has lived in the most distinguished circles; but it is still more pleasing to recognize in him qualities of kindness and good will. [Baron de Montlezun, 21 September 1816]
James Monroe compiled a more distinguished record of public service than anyone ever elected President of the United States. Combat in the Revolutionary War was followed by state and federal legislative offices, four terms as governor of Virginia, negotiation of the Louisiana Purchase Treaty, and simultaneous service as secretary of state and secretary of war. As the nation's fifth president from 1817 to 1825, Monroe signed the Missouri Compromise, gave diplomatic recognition to emerging Latin American republics, acquired Florida from Spain, and in 1823 committed the Unites States to preventing European intervention in the affairs of the Western Hemisphere—later termed the Monroe Doctrine.
The James Monroe Museum opened in 1927 to showcase his family’s cherished collection of artifacts and archives. It was given to the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1964, and is today administered by the University of Mary Washington. Building upon its founding mission to interpret the legacy of our fifth president, the James Monroe Museum is also deeply engaged in UMW’s academic programs in history, historic preservation, and museum studies, helping to train the future stewards of our heritage. The museum contributes to a superior educational environment by serving as a cultural and professional resource for students, faculty, and staff. Student involvement includes internships, and class projects, which provide marketable job skills for students as they move on to pursue their careers.
Private support, including that of UMW alumni, is critical to fulfillment of the Museum’s mission of preservation and education. Funds raised through Giving Day 2018 helped provide much needed conservation for the cushions of two Neoclassical chairs. The conservation of the cushions required the expertise of textile historians Colleen Callahan and Newbold Richardson. Their efforts have stabilized the fabric and prevented further deterioration allowing them to continue to be exhibited in the museum.
Giving Day 2018 donations also helped support our efforts to make most of our public programming accessible to the public at no cost. Programs supported include the annual James Monroe Lecture and the ongoing Monroe Conversations series, which features conversations between James or Elizabeth Monroe and one of their contemporaries through the talents of historical interpreters. In 2018 we offered conversations between James Monroe and James Madison, and between Elizabeth Monroe and Dolley Madison.
All donations received help support the museum’s mission of studying, interpreting, and presenting the life and times of the fifth President of the United States. They help us to trace the social, political and intellectual influence of James Monroe and to present it within the context of his life through exhibitions, publications, scholarly presentations, community events, and educational programs.