The James Monroe Museum
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The public career of James Monroe (April 28, 1758–July 4, 1831) ranged from distinguished service in the Revolutionary War to two presidential terms. In between, he served in virtually all branches of local, state, and national government, including diplomatic postings abroad. To date, no person elected to the presidency has had a longer or more varied résumé of public service.
At the James Monroe Museum, you can explore the life and legacy of this dedicated and respected public servant. The museum was opened in 1927 by Monroe descendants to display the family's collection of furniture, clothing, decorative arts, books and documents. The collection continues to grow through ongoing acquisitions.
Highlights include the Louis XVI secretary on which Monroe penned his famous foreign policy statement, the Monroe Doctrine; a furlough signed by Monroe as a Continental Army officer at Valley Forge; jewelry belonging to his fashionable wife Elizabeth Kortright Monroe, celebrated by the French as “la belle Americaine;” court attire worn by the Monroes at the coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte as Emperor of France; examples of the first official White House china purchased by Monroe in 1817; and an 1810 Astor pianoforte that was a favorite of the Monroes’ daughter Maria Hester.
The James Monroe Museum is a National Historic Landmark administered by the University of Mary Washington. Reflecting the University’s mission and the personal values of James Monroe, the museum supports adaptive learning, personal achievement, responsible leadership, service to others, and engaged citizenship in a global and diverse society.
If you can't get to Virginia, visit the virtual tour of the museum.