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Collection James Monroe Papers


A timeline covering the life of James Monroe, 1758-1831.

James Monroe (1758-1831)

  1. 1758, April 28

    Born, Westmoreland County, Va.

  2. 1774

    Entered College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va.

  3. 1775–1780

    Served in the Revolutionary War

  4. 1779

    Re-entered the College of William and Mary; studied law with Thomas Jefferson

  5. 1782

    Elected to the Virginia House of Delegates (served April-June); appointed to the Virginia Council of State; admitted to the bar

  6. 1783

    Elected to the Continental Congress; resigned from Virginia Council of State

  7. 1784–1785

    Reelected annually to Continental Congress

  8. 1786

    Married Elizabeth Kortright (died 1830); lost election to Virginia House of Delegates; Congressional term ended; opened law office in Fredericksburg, VA

  9. 1788

    Delegate to the Virginia state convention to ratify the federal constitution

  10. 1790

    Elected to the United States Senate, first Congress of the United States

  11. 1794

    Appointed United States Minister Plenipotentiary to France; resigned Senate seat; left for Paris

  12. 1797

    Traveled to Holland and Belgium; returned to the United States

  13. 1799

    Elected governor of Virginia; served three annual terms

  14. 1802

    Tenure as governor of Virginia ended

  15. 1803

    Appointed United States Minister Plenipotentiary France (January) and Spain (March); sailed for France (March); appointed minister to Great Britain (April); signed treaty for purchase of Louisiana from France (April 30); travelled to London (July)

  16. 1803–1807

    Served as Minister to Great Britain

  17. 1804

    Left London (October)

  18. 1805

    In Madrid, Paris, and London

  19. 1806

    Signed Monroe-Pinkney Treaty with Great Britain

  20. 1807

    Returned to the United States

  21. 1810

    Elected to Virginia House of Delegates

  22. 1811

    Served a fourth term as governor of Virginia (January); resigned when appointed United States secretary of state (April)

  23. 1813

    Appointed acting secretary of war (February); served as secretary of state concurrently

  24. 1814

    Appointed secretary of war (August); still served concurrently as secretary of state; joined Maryland militia at Bladensburg

  25. 1815

    Resigned as secretary of war (March)

  26. 1817

    Inaugurated, first term, president of the United States

  27. 1821

    Inaugurated, second term, president of the United States

  28. 1825

    Second presidential term ended; John Quincy Adams succeeded him as president of the United States

  29. 1829

    President of Virginia constitutional convention

  30. 1830

    Elizabeth Kortright Monroe died; moved to New York City, home of his daughter, Maria Gouverneur and son-in-law Samuel Gouverneur

  31. 1831, July 4

    Died in New York, N.Y.