Biography and History

James Monroe, fifth president of the United States (1817-1825), was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia. He fought with distinction in the Continental Army, and he practiced law in Fredericksburg, Va. As a young politician, he joined the anti-Federalists in the Virginia Convention which ratified the Constitution, and in 1790, an advocate of Jeffersonian policies, he was elected as a United States senator. As minister to France in 1794-1796, Monroe showed strong sympathies for the French cause; and later, with Robert R. Livingston, he helped negotiate the Louisiana Purchase. His ambition and energy, together with the backing of President Madison, made him the Republican choice for the Presidency in 1816; and with little Federalist opposition, he also won re-election in 1820.

Source: From the finding aid for C1142