In the Fall of 2015, G. Mark Walsh gave a presentation on President James Monroe to the Fort Norfolk Chapter of the Daughters of the War of 1812. He stressed the length and breadth of Monroe’s political and military experience, focusing as well on the Fifth President’s role in the expansion of the United States beyond the original 13 states. This included a discussion on Monroe’s travels in the Old Northwest, his involvement in the “Small State Plan,” negotiations for the Louisiana Purchase, and the acquisition of Florida.
Specific to the Norfolk area, Walsh discussed Monroe’s involvement first as Minister to England (as the ambassadorship was originally called), then Governor of Virginia and later as Secretary of State and Secretary of War with the Norfolk Military District. Dealing with General Thomas Mathews in the years before the War of 1812 and General Robert B. Taylor during the war, President Monroe came to clearly see the problem of the British naval intrusions – including the Leopard-Chesapeake Affair in 1807 and the blockade of the Chesapeake even following the American victory at the Battle of Craney Island. Contending that this influenced the development of the Monroe Doctrine, Walsh continued with Monroe’s selection of the site of the fortress that would bear his name during his first term through to the near acclamation in his second and the “Era of Good Feelings.”
In conclusion, much was made of Monroe’s esteem of liberty, with appreciation for and defense of individual liberty discussed as President Monroe’s most lasting legacy.
Speaker Mark Walsh portrays a Gentleman of the Young Republic Era in casual day clothing; the kind you might see on a gentleman inspecting his fields.
Speaker Mark Walsh speaks to the importance of James Monroe and explains the current dress of the day. In particular, notice the beginnings of the American Indian influences on textile color and patterns.
President Pangle thanks Speaker Mark Walsh for spending time with the ladies of the 1812 and teaching us so much about James Monroe.