POTUS: Presidents of the United States

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Portrait, James Monroe

James Monroe

5th President of the United States
(March 4, 1817 to March 3, 1825)

Nicknames: "The Last Cocked Hat"; "Era-of-Good-Feeling President"

Born: April 28, 1758, in Westmoreland County, Virginia
Died: July 4, 1831, in New York, New York

Father: Spence Monroe
Mother: Elizabeth Jones Monroe
Married: Elizabeth "Eliza" Kortright (1768-1830), on February 16, 1786
Children: Eliza Kortright Monroe (1786-1835); James Spence Monroe (1799-1800); Maria Hester Monroe (1803-50)

Religion: Episcopalian
Education: Graduated from College of William and Mary (1776)
Occupation: Lawyer
Political Party: Democratic-Republican
Other Government Positions:

  • Member of Continental Congress, 1783-86
  • United States Senator, 1790-94
  • Minister to France, 1794-96
  • Governor of Virginia, 1799-1802
  • Minister to France and England, 1803-07
  • Secretary of State, 1811-17 (under tiny U.S. flag Madison)
  • Secretary of War, 1814-15 (under tiny U.S. flag Madison)

Presidential Salary: $25,000/year

Presidential Election Results:
Year Electoral Votes
1816 James Monroe 183
Rufus King 34
(Votes Not Cast) 4
1820 James Monroe 231
tiny U.S. flag John Q. Adams 1
(Votes Not Cast) 3

Vice President: Daniel D. Tompkins (1817-1825)


Secretary of State
tiny U.S. flag John Quincy Adams (1817-25)
Secretary of the Treasury
William H. Crawford (1817-25)
Secretary of War
John C. Calhoun (1817-25)
Attorney General
Richard Rush (1817)
William Wirt (1817-25)
Secretary of the Navy
Benjamin W. Crowninshield (1817-18)
Smith Thompson (1819-23)
Samuel L. Southard (1823-25)

Supreme Court Appointments:

Associate Justice
Smith Thompson (1823-43)

Notable Events:

  • 1818
    • Congress fixed the number of stripes on the U.S. flag at 13 to honor the original colonies, April 4.
      Anglo-American Conventionset the 49th parallel as the border with Canada.
  • 1819
    • Florida ceded by Spain to the United States on February 22. In exchange the U.S. cancelled $5 million in Spanish debts.
  • 1820
  • 1823

Internet Biographies:

James Monroe -- from The Presidents of the United States of America
Compiled by the White House.
James Monroe -- from American Presidents: Life Portraits -- C-SPAN
Biographical information, trivia, key events, video, and other reference materials. Website created to accompany C-SPAN's 20th Anniversary Television Series, American Presidents: Life Portraits.
James Monroe -- from The American President
From the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, in addition to information on the Presidents themselves, they have first lady and cabinet member biographies, listings of presidential staff and advisers, and timelines detailing significant events in the lives of each administration.

Historical Documents:

First Inaugural Address (1817)
Second Inaugural Address (1821)
Monroe Doctrine (1823)

Other Internet Resources:

Ash Lawn -- Highland
The Virginia home of James Madison from 1799-1826. Contains a short biography of the president, tourist information, and interior photographs of the estate.
James Monroe Museum & Memorial Library
Tourist and exhibit information about the museum, run by the University of Mary Washington.

Points of Interest:

  • Monroe was the first president to ride on a steamboat.
  • At sixteen years old, Monroe attended the college of William and Mary.
  • He was the first president to have been a U.S. senator.
  • In the election of 1820 Monroe received every electoral vote except one. A New Hampshire delegate wanted tiny U.S. flag Washington to be the only president elected unanimously.
  • Monroe's inauguration in 1817 was the first to be held outdoors.
  • The bride in the first White House wedding was Monroe's daughter.
  • The U.S. Marine Band played at Monroe's 1821 inauguration and at every inauguration since.

Previous President: tiny U.S. flag James Madison | Next President: tiny U.S. flag John Quincy Adams

©1996-2008. Robert S. Summers. All rights reserved.