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April 28, 2004 Legislators, Governor Honor Monroe

By CHRIS WINSLOW

Joining the Foundation's commemoration of the 246th Birthday of James Monroe were legislators serving Virginia at the federal and state governments. At the Foundation's request and in memory of Mr. Monroe, the following remarks were included in the corresponding legislative records:

U.S. Senator George Allen (VA)

"Mr. ALLEN: Mr. President, I rise today on the one hundred ninety-eighth anniversary of his birth, to recognize James Monroe, a Virginia patriot, and honor his service to our Nation as a soldier, a diplomat, a legislator and as the fifth president of the United States of America.

James Monroe, born April 28, 1758 in Westmoreland County, was born, raised, and educated in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Foregoing his studies at the College of William and Mary, James Monroe joined the Williamsburg Militia in 1775 in defiance of the British King. He served gallantly in the Continental Army on the battlefield at Harlem Heights, White Plains, Trenton, Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth, eventually rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

A student of Thomas Jefferson’s after serving in the Revolutionary War, James Monroe was an adherent of Mr. Jefferson’s principles of individual freedom and restrained representative government, which would guide him through fifty years of public service. Elected to the Virginia General Assembly in 1782, Monroe served in the Confederation Congress and in the first United States Senate before his first of two terms as Minister to France. He returned to his Virginia, and as many students of Mr. Jefferson have done since, served four years as Governor.

During Thomas Jefferson’s Presidency, James Monroe returned to France and was essential in the negotiation of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. His foreign policy experience led James Madison to name him both Secretary of State and Secretary of War as the United States was once again pulled into war with Great Britain in 1812.

Elected President of the United States in 1816, Monroe's Presidency has long been referred to as the Era of Good Feeling, during which time he helped resolve long-standing grievances with the British, acquired Florida from the Spanish in 1819, signed the Missouri Compromise and renounced European intervention or dominion in the Western Hemisphere with one our Nation’s greatest foreign policy documents, the Monroe Doctrine.

In 1820, Monroe achieved an impressive re-election, losing only one electoral vote, reserving a unanimous election for George Washington.

My own family has many strong ties to the legacy of James Monroe. My wife Susan and I enjoyed our wedding on the grounds of his home AshLawn-Highland in Charlottesville where her family has worked for many years. In fact, part of Monroe’s property in Albemarle County, is now on the Grounds of his teacher’s great institution of learning, the University of Virginia and is respectfully referred to as Monroe’s Hill.

The life of James Monroe is one that embodied Virtue, Honor and Commitment during his accomplished life of public service. It is fitting that he would pass from this Earth on July Fourth, 1831.

It is with sincere admiration that I respectfully ask my colleagues to recognize James Monroe’s two hundred and forty-sixth birthday as a reminder of his remarkable and magnificent leadership for the people of Virginia and the United States of America."

Congresswoman Jo Ann Davis, 1st District

"HONORING PRESIDENT JAMES MONROE (Mrs. JO ANN DAVIS of Virginia asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend her remarks.) Mrs. JO ANN DAVIS of Virginia.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor an incredible American statesman and native of Virginia's First District, which I have the privilege of representing in this House. James Monroe was born this day in 1758 in Westmoreland County, Virginia, and spent much of his life in what is now Virginia's First Congressional District.

He attended the College of William and Mary and practiced law in Fredericksburg before becoming a U.S. Senator, Minister to France, negotiator of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and ultimately our Nation's fifth President.James Monroe is perhaps best remembered for his December 2, 1823 message to Congress that is now known as the Monroe Doctrine.

James Monroe forged an independent American foreign policy and signaled the end of Old World colonization of the Americas.James Monroe will forever be remembered in the hearts and minds of all Americans, but he will always have a special place for citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia."

Congressman Robert "Bobby" Scott, 3rd District

"ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF JAMES MONROE, FIFTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, HON. ROBERT C. SCOTT OF VIRGINIA. The House of Representatives: Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Mr. SCOTT of Virginia:

Mr. Speaker, today, April 28th, the Commonwealth of Virginia celebrates the birthday of James Monroe, who served as the fifth President of the United States from 1817 to 1825.James Monroe was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia to Spence Monroe and Eliza Jones Monroe on April 28, 1758.

As a student of law at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he studied under the tutelage of Thomas Jefferson, a young James Monroe decided to join the Continental Army and was soon fighting at the side of George Washington in New York. Lieutenant Colonel Monroe earned recognition from General Washington as ``a brave and active officer.'' After the Revolutionary War, Monroe was appointed Military Commissioner of Virginia.After a distinguished military career and completion of his legal studies, Monroe was elected to the Continental Congress in 1783, where he avidly fought to promote a bill of rights.

It was at this time that he met and married Elizabeth Kortright.In 1790, Monroe was elected to represent the Commonwealth of Virginia as a U.S. Senator, followed by an appointment to serve as the U.S. Minister to France from 1794 to 1796.[[Page E690]]Monroe returned home and was elected in 1799 to serve as the Governor of our great Commonwealth.

In 1803, Monroe helped negotiate the Louisiana Purchase.Eventually, Monroe's political ideals led him to become U.S. Secretary of State, U.S. Secretary of War, and then, ultimately, President, at which time he began a new Era of Good Feelings for the nation.Monroe served two terms as President--his popularity at the end of his first term so high that he ran unopposed in 1820. During his tenure as President, Monroe signed the ``Missouri Compromise,'' barring slavery in territories north and west of Missouri, as well as the ``Monroe Doctrine,'' which denounced European intervention and colonization in the Western Hemisphere.

James Monroe was a loyal public servant and an important figure in both Virginian and American history. He set an example we can look to today by being a chief executive who usually chose the middle path, the path of compromise.Governor Mark R. Warner has recognized today, April 28, 2004, as James Monroe Day in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Therefore, on this day, the anniversary of the birth of James Monroe, I ask for unanimous consent that the Governor's Certificate of Recognition be entered into the Record.

'Certificate of Recognition: Whereas, James Monroe was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia to Spence Monroe and Eliza Jones Monroe on April 28, 1758, and he studied law under the tutelage of Thomas Jefferson at the College of William and Mary; and Whereas, James Monroe fought with the Continental Army as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Revolutionary War, earning recognition from General George Washington as ``a brave and active officer''; andWhereas, as a young politician, James Monroe joined the anti-Federalists in the Virginia Convention, where he helped ratify the Constitution of the United States of America, and in 1790, he was elected to represent the Commonwealth as a United States Senator, andWhereas, James Monroe was the United States' Minister to France from 1794-1796 and, along with Robert R. Livingston, he utilized his understanding of foreign policy and his powerful skills of persuasion to negotiate the Louisiana Purchase; andWhereas, James Monroe served as the fifth President of the United States from 1817-1825, during which time he signed the ``Missouri Compromise,'' barring slavery in territories north and west of Missouri, as well as ``The Monroe Doctrine,'' which denounced European intervention and colonization in the Western Hemisphere; andWhereas, James Monroe was a loyal public servant and an important leader in both Virginian and American history, and he left behind a legacy as one of our nation's great foreign policy leaders;Now, therefore, I, Mark R. Warner, do hereby recognize April 28, 2004, as James Monroe Day in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.'"



 

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