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There have been few more zealous, indefatigable or useful servants of the public than James Monroe. [Francis Walker Gilmer, "Sketches of American Statesmen," 1815.]
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.
Private support, including that of UMW alumni, is critical to fulfillment of the Museum’s mission of preservation and education. All of our public programs are funded through the Friends of the James Monroe Museum, along with artifact conservation, publications, and special exhibitions. Last year, our Friends funded a student-produced traveling exhibit on Monroe’s 1817 northern states presidential tour that was seen by some 8,000 people in six states. YOUR support can help us develop the next traveling exhibit on Monroe’s 1819 southern tour, make it possible to save an invaluable artifact, and much more!