James Monroe
Burial Location Visited President Grave #
Richmond, Virginia July 13, 2005 28th Visited

Conveniently for presidential
grave hunters, there are two U.S.
presidents buried in Richmond's
Hollywood Cemetery: John Tyler

and James Monroe.

The former president died in Manhattan and
was buried in the borough's Marble Cemetery
from 1831 until he was returned to his native
Virginia in 1858. His elaborate tomb was
erected the following year.

Monroe rests in a Gothic Revival
cage designed by Albert Lybrock.
In 2015, the state of Virginia
began a $900,000 restoration
project that replaced forty percent
of its iron. The enclosure was also
repainted in its original color, ivory.

Monroe held many offices before he was
elected president, including governor,
senator, and secretary of war. He was also
a veteran of the American Revolution.
Monroe was among the men led across the
Delaware River by George Washington
 in December 1776 to attack Hessian forces.
He was wounded at the Battle of Trenton.

* Fast Facts * *

- First Lady: Elizabeth Kortright Monroe

  - Spouse: Elizabeth Kortright Monroe (m. 1786-1830)

- Political Party: Democratic-Republican Party

- Term: 1817-1825

- Vice President: Daniel D. Tompkins

- Born: April 28, 1758

- Died: July 4, 1831

- Age: 73

- Cause of Death: Heart Failure

- Cemetery: Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia
- GPS Coordinates: 37°32'01.6"N 77°27'23.5"W

* Background on James Monroe * *

* In 1802, as the United States expanded westward, Spain decreed it would transfer the vast Louisiana Territory to France. This included the port of New Orleans, which was viewed as a crucial possession for commerce because of its location at the mouth of the Mississippi River. After the decree, American access to New Orleans' warehouses was revoked. James Monroe was sent by President Thomas Jefferson to join Minister Robert Livingston in negotiations with France. The pair were authorized to buy the port and any foreign land east of the Mississippi for a maximum of $10 million. When Monroe arrived in France, though, Livingston informed him that First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte no longer wished to control Louisiana and was willing to part with all 827,000 square miles west of the river. The diplomats exceeded their authority and negotiated the purchase of Louisiana Territory in its entirety for a sum of $15 million. Debate ensued within the Federal Government about the constitutionality of the deal, but, on October 20, 1803, the Senate ratified it on a vote of 24-7. Spain placed Louisiana in French control in November, and, in turn, France transferred the land to the U.S. in December.

* After several years in James Madison's cabinet as secretary of war and secretary of state, Monroe was elected to succeed him as president in 1816. He easily defeated Rufus King, who was the last presidential nominee put forth by the faltering Federalist Party. Soon after he took office, Monroe embarked on a tour of the country to promote national unity and inspect military fortifications. The recent end to the War of 1812, along with the steady collapse of the two party system, resulted in a rise in nationalism and a decline in partisan attacks. The party was so dominant during the "Era of Good Feelings" that Monroe received all but one electoral vote in his 1820 re-election bid, though that might have been the result of "unanimous indifference" as opposed to "unanimous support." In truth, factionalism wove its way through the Democratic-Republican Party, and some of its members began to adopt Federalist ideals, including support of a national bank and protective tariffs.

* Territorial disputes were a defining facet of Monroe's administration. General Andrew Jackson, who was in the South to combat Seminoles that were conducting raids in Georgia, invaded the Spanish territory of Florida in 1818 and executed two British subjects convicted of aiding the natives. The incident was controversial, but Jackson went unpunished, and in 1819 Spain ceded Florida to the United States via the Adams–Onís Treaty. Around that time, a domestic disagreement emerged over whether an incoming state, Missouri, could practice slavery. The Missouri Compromise, signed by slave-owner Monroe in 1820, forbade any state north of longitude 36°30′ from legalizing slavery, with the exception of Missouri. Maine was simultaneously accepted into the Union as a free state, which balanced the northern and southern regions with twelve states each. The territorial matter for which Monroe is most remembered comes from his annual address to Congress in 1823. The president affirmed,"the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers." The policy later came to be called the Monroe Doctrine, though its words and format were substantially influenced by Secretary of State John Quincy Adams. Earlier in 1823, British Foreign Minister George Canning expressed a wish for the U.S. and the United Kingdom, which controlled Canada, to issue a joint statement that warned other European powers not to assert themselves in the Americas. Adams successfully argued for a unilateral declaration instead, as he was wary of British imperialism.

Sources Consulted                                                                                                                                                     

"The Era of Good Feelings and the Two-Party System." ushistory.org. Accessed March 27, 2019. http://www.ushistory.org/us/23a.asp.

Formisano, Ronald P. "James Monroe." In The Reader's Companion to the American Presidency, edited by Alan Brinkley and Davis Dyer, 66-80. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000.

Lamb, Brian, and the C-SPAN Staff. Who's Buried in Grant's Tomb?: A Tour of Presidential Gravesites. New York: PublicAffairs, 2000. Reprinted. New York: PublicAffairs, 2003.

"Louisiana Purchase." monticello.org. Accessed March 26, 2019.  https://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/louisiana-purchase.

"Monroe Doctrine, 1823." history.state.gov. Accessed March 26, 2019. https://history.state.gov/milestones/1801- 1829/monroe.

Moomaw, Graham. "Monroe's 'birdcage' tomb at Hollywood Cemetery to be repaired ahead of bicentennial." Richmond-Times Dispatch, September 29, 2015. https://www.richmond.com/news/local/city-of- richmond/monroe-s-birdcage-tomb-at-hollywood-cemetery-to-be-repaired/article_3c561733-12df-5591- ac7d-2b49230de46a.html.

The Presidents. "Washington to Monroe (1789-1825)." History Channel, 2005.

Spann, Edward K. "The Souring of Good Feelings: John W. Taylor and the Speakership Election of 1821." New York History 41, no. 4 (1960): 379-399.

"Things to See." hollywoodcemetery.org. Accessed March 25, 2019. https://www.hollywoodcemetery.org/visit/things-to-see.

"US Presidents Freemasons." Grand Lodge of Virginia. Accessed July 4, 2019. https://grandlodgeofvirginia.org/us-presidents-freemasons/.

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