U.S. Presidents / James Monroe

Portrait of President James Monroe

1758 - 1831

James Monroe

To what, then, do we owe these blessings? It is known to all that we derive them from the excellence of our institutions. Ought we not, then, to adopt every measure which may be necessary to perpetuate them? Seventh Annual Message (Monroe Doctrine)


James Monroe was the last American President of the “Virginia Dynasty”—of the first five men who held that position, four hailed from Virginia. Monroe also had a long and distinguished public career as a soldier, diplomat, governor, senator, and cabinet official. His presidency, which began in 1817 and lasted until 1825, encompassed what came to be called the "Era of Good Feelings." One of his lasting achievements was the Monroe Doctrine, which became a major tenet of U.S. foreign policy in the Western Hemisphere.

Fast Facts

James Monroe
Westmoreland County, Virginia
College of William and Mary (graduated 1776)
“The Last Cocked Hat,” “Era-of-Good-Feelings President”
February 16, 1786, to Elizabeth Kortright (1768–1830)
Eliza Kortright (1786–1835), James Spence (1799–1800), Maria Hester (1803–1850)
Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia
Daniel Preston

Chicago Style

Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia. “James Monroe.” Accessed June 17, 2024. https://millercenter.org/president/monroe.


Daniel Preston

Dr. Preston is the editor of The Papers of James Monroe at the University of Mary Washington.