James Monroe:Americas Fifth President
James Monroe was born on April 28, 1758, in Westmoreland County, Virginia. Monroe was the second of five children born to Spence and Elizabeth Jones Monroe. James Monroe attended Parson Campbell's school and he studied at the College of William and Mary until he enlisted in the Third Virginia Regiment in 1776.
The young Monroe, led by General George Washington, was wounded in the Battle of Trenton. He camped at Valley Forge the next winter, and retired at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Afterwards he returned to Williamsburg. There he met Governor Thomas Jefferson. Monroe began studying law under Jefferson and the two men formed an immediate lifelong friendship. In February 1786 James Monroe married Elizabeth Kortright. Together they had three children, Eliza, James Spence Monroe, and Maria Hester. The family lived at Highland for twenty-four years, Monroe's plantation which neighbored Jefferson's Monticello.
Monroe held an impressive fifty years of public service which began with his election to the Virginia General Assembly in 1782.
Many political offices followed like when monroe served in the Confederation Congress and in the first United States Senate. He became the Minister to France twice, once to Britain and to Spain, and served four one-year terms as Governor of Virginia. He became Secretary of State for President James Madison's and Secretary of War during the War of 1812. Monroe's greatest achievement as a diplomat was in 1803 when Thomas Jefferson bought the Louisiana Purchase from France. This exhibited Monroe's friendship with Jefferson once more.
James Monroe reached the top as a politician when he was elected President of the United States in 1816 and in 1820. He only went higher when he resolved grievances with the British, acquired Florida from the Spanish in 1819, and created the Monroe Doctrine in...