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Monroe, James

Born: 1758 AD
Died: 1831 AD

1758 – Born on April 28th in Westmoreland county, Virginia. The fifth president of the United States (1817–25), who issued an important contribution to U.S. foreign policy in the Monroe Doctrine, a warning to European nations against intervening in the Western Hemisphere.

1774-1776 – At age 16 Monroe entered the College of William and Mary but left to fight in the American Revolution.

1777-1778 –  Advanced to major, he became aide-de-camp to General William Alexander (Lord Stirling) and with him shared the suffering of the troops at Valley Forge in the cruel winter. Monroe was a scout for Washington at the Battle of Monmouth and served as Lord Stirling’s adjutant general.

1780 – Resigned his commission in the army, he began the study of law under Thomas Jefferson, then governor of Virginia, and between the two men there developed an intimacy and a sympathy that had a powerful influence upon Monroe’s later career.

1782 – Monroe was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates  and was chosen a member of the governor’s council.

1785 – He vigorously insisted on the right of the United States to navigate the Mississippi River, then controlled by the Spanish, and attempted to secure for the weak Congress the power to regulate commerce, thereby removing one of the great defects in the existing central government.

1786 – Monroe, 27 years old, and Elizabeth Kortright of New York, 17 years old, were married. They had two daughters, Eliza Kortright and Maria Hester, and a son who died in infancy.

         – Retiring from Congress, Monroe began practicing law at Fredericksburg, Virginia.

1787-1788 – He was chosen a member of the Virginia House of Delegates and a member of the state convention at which Virginia ratified the new federal Constitution.

1790 – He was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he vigorously opposed President George Washington’s administration.

1794 – Washington nominated him as minister to France.

1803 – They signed a treaty and two conventions (antedated to April 30) whereby France sold Louisiana to the United States (see Louisiana Purchase). The fact that Monroe signed the treaty along with Livingston did not hurt his political career at home, but he is not entitled to much credit for the diplomatic achievement.

1807-1810 – Monroe returned to the United States in December. He was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in the spring.

1816 – Monroe was elected president of the United States as the Republican candidate, defeating Rufus King, the Federalist candidate; Monroe received 183 electoral votes and King, 34.

1826-1829 – On the expiration of his second term Monroe retired to his home at Oak Hill, Virginia.He became a regent of the University of Virginia and was a member of the convention called to amend the state constitution.

1831 – Monroe died—like Jefferson and Adams before him on the Fourth of July—in New York City at the home of his daughter, Maria, with whom he was living after the death of his wife the year before.